Windows Vista has barely reached its first service pack, and the powers that be are already starting the hype on “Windows 7,” the code name for Vista’s replacement. Even though most of it seems to be vaporware and yet more eye candy, Microsoft seems to have tightened their lips about significant changes, perhaps to avoid the appearance of removing features before release, as seemed to be the case with Vista. Still, it appears that Microsoft may accelerate their plans for the successor to a 2009 release.

Windows 7: The Anti-Vista? (ZDNet)

The two improvements unveiled at the D: All Things Digital conference were multitouch, a technology that seems to look to the iPhone for inspiration, and a replacement for the Windows Taskbar with a circle cut into pie slices that appears when you hover. It is troubling that Microsoft seems to have dropped the ball on marketing Vista, another OS upgrade that pretty much takes a new computer to run properly. Microsoft has also announced that they may try to sell a subscription-based OS in the near future.

Ballmer and Gates Demo Windows 7: Multitouch, Pie Menus, and a Piano (Wired)

Windows 7 Already a Threat to Vista (PCMag)

Windows “7” FAQ (WinSuperSite)

I haven’t been a huge fan of Vista since its release, even after working with a TabletPC with Vista on it for close to a year. I honestly didn’t see even one truly compelling feature and was annoyed, just as Microsoft intended, when User Account Control popped up every time third-party software wanted to install. I just ordered nearly 40 laptops with XP on them not because they won’t run Vista, but because XP is so rock solid stable. Has your business started switching to Vista?