Goodness, I don't know what I'll have to write about when Windows Vista finally ends its cycle and the new of era of Windows 7 comes to be.

As recently as last week, I reported on this blog that PC sales for this year are expected to be much worse than previously projected. U.S. sales are expected to be down more than 11%. The previous title of worst- year- ever goes to 2001, when the PC industry suffered the one-two-three punch of the dotcom bust, the y2k hangover and 9/11. That was a paltry 3% dip in comparison to what we're facing now. Yipes!

Officially, Windows 7 is not expected to launch until January 2010.

That's officially!

Unofficially, word is coming from numerous sources that Microsofties are working around the clock to actually get it out in time to be bundled into PCs for the fourth quarter (Ho Ho Ho!).

As a friend of mine would say, "and there was much rejoicing!", if this is true.

One such source is PC industry analyst Sandeep Agaarwal, from Collins Stewart, who says Microsoft is expected to put the finishing touches on Windows 7 by mid-summer making it possible for it to come out by football season. He also says the next version of Microsoft Office, Office 14, will come out in the first quarter of next year. Office 2007 is actually a great upgrade. We can wait on that one.

An early release of Windows 7, however. That's another story.

How many companies and personal users are dog-paddling by with XP skipping over Vista entirely. I predict, bad economy or not, PC sales will get a healthy bounce when Windows 7 ships.

Let's just hope it's not a dead cat bounce.