Originally Posted by Bill Gates
Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version.
Notice that he didn't say that a new Windows version will be available to consumers
next year. I'm pretty sure that in this context, "we" refers to Microsoft and "having a new version" means they will have the core of the OS written. So I'm reading this statement more as, "Microsoft will start internal alpha-testing on Windows 7 sometime in 2009".
Of course, I'd be happy to be proved wrong
. XP is getting a bit long in the tooth but it still handles all my needs, and there's no way I'm going to Vista just for DX10 that none of my hardware, and a tiny portion of my software, supports.
I just hope that Microsoft delivers on their original promise with Vista and writes Windows 7 in 100% managed code (.NET Framework). That would be the most stable OS ever released, period.