Following what some might call a flop for Microsoft, the successor to Vista is currently being made known as Windows 7. Microsoft has been issuing public statements and a new ad campaign to get more businesses and home users on the Vista bandwagon. Why you ask?
Microsoft is taking what it learned from mistakes made with Vista, and placing Windows 7 where Vista should have been: The successor to Windows XP. Microsoft learned a lot from creating Vista; from creating a better set of standards with hardware and software vendors, to solidifying and securing the Windows Kernel, to learning from how Apple capitalized on their success with OSXs sleek and stylish interface.
The key here is Windows 7 is not deviating far from the Vista code base. Other than fixing bugs and improving on compatibility, Windows 7 will be very similar to Vista. One could assume taking a note from Apple with the OSX (10.0 - 10.5 versioning, plus 10.6 to come).
Windows 7 vs Snow Leopard
Over at TGDaily.com, analyst Rob Enderle draws a great comparison between Microsoft and Apple, their customer focus and where they want to go. Microsoft has primarily been concerned with businesses, while Apple has primarily been concerned with the consumer. Each company is taking a serious look at the other and taking notes. Apple wants to move into big business, and Microsoft wants to reclaim the home consumer.
With the possible support for Multi-Touch in Windows 7, Microsoft may finally bring forth a product to compete with Apple's hyped OSX for the consumer, but can Apple really move in and rub elbows with Microsoft in big business? Only time will tell. In the end it's the users that will win with better interoperability and features everyone wants to use.