Microsoft launched its Windows Vista PC operating system in January 2007 for consumers but their latest PC OS has been slammed with tons of bugs and compatibilty issues. Nearly all PC games still run under Windows XP with only a few currently supporting Vista natively via the DirectX10 graphics API.
Now it appears that the next major Windows OS release could be on store shelves and inside new PCs inside of a year. News.com is reporting that during a presentation at Microsoft's annual WinHEC conference slides were shown that seem to indicate Microsoft is aiming to ship the OS, currently known only as Windows 7, in mid-2009 in time for PC makers to place them in their rigs for the 2009 holiday season.
Officially Microsoft has yet to set a release date for Windows 7, perhaps because it got burned when it had to delay Windows Vista from a planned fall 2006 commerical release to January 2007. Microsoft has yet to say what PC game specific features Windows 7 will have but the company has already revealed plans for DirectX11, the next version of its game graphics API. It's likely to be included in the Windows 7 launch (although it's already been announced that DirectX11 will be compatible with Vista).