Paul Thurrott on Wininfo Daily News 27/05/08:
Microsoft has been very cagey about Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista that's set for a 2010 release. Theories about the company's silence on Windows 7 are numerous, but most point to Microsoft Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky, the man most directly responsible for Windows development. That's because Sinofsky is close-lipped and calculating, in direct contrast to his predecessor, Jim Allchin. This week, however, Sinofsky and company opened the doors and offered a brief peek at Windows 7 for the first time. A very brief peek.
Both [Sinofsky and Flores] claimed that Windows 7 would be a "major" or "significant" version of Windows, but both then went to great lengths to describe how the technical underpinnings of Windows 7 are based on Vista and will thus not incur any additional compatibility headaches. That, dear reader, is how Microsoft typically defines a minor, or R2 ("release 2") version of Windows.
Despite these mixed signals, my understanding was that the next version of windows was always going to be a Vista Second Edition. That said, Microsoft have got their work cut out rebuilding the credibility of windows after the public perception problems that have plagued Vista. Maybe that’s why they are keen to distance the upcoming release from the Vista nomenclature.