This is all but the death knell in Vista's coffin. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium ITexpo in Orlando, Fla last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged all those companies that still haven't made the upgrade to Vista and that "if people want to wait, they really can... Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better."

He said a mouthful.

First of all, this is a not so subtle admission - finally- that Vista is a turkey.

Second, it would appear, Microsoft is finally willing to admit it.

Let's review some recent reports.

- According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Windows 7 is ramping up a lot faster than most realize. The inside dope is it could get released by late 2009.

- This little tidbit is leaked out on the heels of Microsoft's announcement just a few weeks ago that once again, they are extending "downgrading rights" another six months to the PC Makers to still swap out Vista for XP to appease reluctant customers. Those rights were supposed to finally expire in January of 2009, now it's June of 2009. Hmmm... wouldn't that be around the same time they release Windows 7?

- It's the economy. For all those businesses who couldn't pull the trigger on Vista over the past couple of years when times were much better, what are the chances that anyone is going to commit to a Vista rollout now?

Ballmer describes Windows 7 as Vista, but a whole lot better. Danger! Danger!

Wouldn't that sort of be like McCain saying he would basiclly be George W. Bush, but a whole lot better?

I wonder what operating system Joe the Plumber uses?