You don't have to believe me. Just look at what Microsoft has been doing. First, Microsoft started fast-tracking Vista's successor, Windows 7. Recently, we discovered that Windows 7 alpha will be coming to developers this October.
Still, you might think, "So what, Microsoft is still giving us a choice between Vista and Vista for the next year or two." Wrong. The rumors were true. Microsoft is extending XP's sales life again.
Microsoft won't sell XP Pro to you, the end-user, but it will sell it to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and system builders. They, in turn, will sell you systems with XP. The deal is, if you buy a PC "with" Windows Vista Ultimate and Business editions, you can have it 'downgraded' to XP Pro until July 31, 2009.
Windows 7 is due out, depending on who you believe, what side of the bed Ballmer got out of this morning, and what the market is doing on any given day, anywhere from late 2009 to early 2010. In other words, Microsoft is making it easy for you to skip Vista entirely. And, in fact, that's what some organizations, like the state government of Maine, were planning on doing even before Microsoft closed the XP to 7 gap. Of course, it's not like anyone was moving to Vista anyway.
As for this being a downgrade, please! What downgrade? XP SP3 is easily the best version of Windows out there. Vista, even after SP1 arrived, is junk. Using Vista, instead of XP, is just dumb.
Microsoft has been telling us for months that even they thought Vista was heading for the trash. Back in April, Steve Ballmer himself told Microsoft's MVPs that Vista was "a work in progress" and needed improvements in system performance, software and hardware compatibility and battery life. Wow, Vista is a work in progress after having shipped for over a year and after more than five-years of development. Boy, that's the kind of operating system I want to spend my money on. Oh yeah. You betcha.
Why not, instead of waiting for 7, which may or may not be any good, try desktop Linux or Mac OS X? After all, they're actually available today and works as advertised unlike, oh, say, Vista.