Hey, it's not Microsoft's fault that 2011 sounds like the realm of jet pack VR massage cars, but it's certainly a long ways away any way you slice it. Contrary to previous rumors of Microsoft planning a Windows 7 release sometime in 2009, Microsoft has apparently gotten in touch with WinVistaClub and set the record straight: Windows 7 is in "planning stages," and development will take approximately three years. Microsoft wouldn't comment on that supposed leak we spotted last week, and of course denied any implications that development was being accelerated to make up for Vista shortcomings. We can't help but wonder how different the OS landscape will look three years from now, with Linux rapidly reaching feature and usability parity, while Apple plugs away at OS X and cloud computing lands everywhere, but we're sure Vista SP1 won't be the last bid Microsoft makes at this generation.
Update: Other quotes from Microsoft has the date set at 3 years from the launch of Vista, which would indeed land it around 2009, so perhaps all hope is not lost. No date is set yet, and our money is on 2010 at the earliest.