Aw c'mon Microsoft, why you always gotta ruin our fun? We were perfectly content to push around vague rumors of a Windows Vista followup in late 2009 and whatever features it may or may not have, dangling all our hopes and dreams off of a thin and potentially out-of-context quote from Ben Fathi, and now you've gotta come along and disown the guy. According to Kevin Kutz, Director of Windows Client: "The launch of Windows Vista was an incredibly exciting moment for our customers and partners around the world, and the company is focused on the value Windows Vista will bring to people today. We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we're working on it. When we are ready, we will provide updates." Ars Technica conjectures that the original story might've even gotten Ben wrong, and the 2.5 years might be how long it takes for for Vienna to make it out the door after the Fiji service pack. Of course, the word from Mr. Fathi was evidently not "official guidance," so who knows. What we can be certain of is that there are two mistakes Microsoft doesn't want to repeat with this OS: taking forever to release, and drumming up false hopes of any sort of launch date earlier than the actual one.

[Thanks, Mike]

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Microsoft puts the kibosh on 2009 Vienna rumors