HiltonWell, with the announcement at CES 2009 that Windows 7 is available now for TechNet and MSDN subscribers (and those of us on the Windows 7 Beta program) and will soon be available for all other people via download from the Microsoft website (well, the first 2.5 million people who try and download it), as well as the announcement of Windows Live Essentials which contains Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Photo Gallery (which were all standard features previously available in Windows XP and also Windows Vista, but no longer in Windows 7), it seems that Microsoft is on target for a "later this year" release of Windows 7 to replace its poorly received Windows Vista operating system that escaped captivity in late 2006.

Did I say Windows 7 or Windows Vista R2?  :)

I can say that this far, I've been impressed with Windows 7 – it feels significantly faster than Vista SP1 on the same hardware (sure, that's not really all that hard), the interface is much improved over Vista's rather good interface, UAC prompts have been toned down a little (which was never really an issue for "regular" computer users anyway), and the new Superbar that replaces the old Taskbar is a major improvement.  The new "Jump Lists" also work rather well.

Apple's desktop market share has climbed steadily since November 2006 from around 5% (from memory) to where it is now – a record for Apple at a smidge under 10%.  Let's all hope that, for Microsoft's sake (and ours as Microsoft's partners), Windows 7 can bring people back to the Microsoft platform.

Google Android has been ported to Netbooks by a couple of guys at VentureBeat.  They used the Android Open Source code and a bit of nouse and came up with a working result.  Google and the Open Handset Alliance will need to work together to come up with future devices, but this could be very interesting for those of us who use, sell and support mobile solutions.

Microsoft has some work ahead of them!