It’s hard to say—IIRC, MS announced that they were going to release an SP1 for Vista later this year. Not to mention that they finally released SP2 for Win 2k3...
Could simply be an XP SP3 in the works; just tightly wrapped and possibly putting in some additional crap.
My guess is that MS is going to take its sweet-ass time and try to, er, convince people to upgrade to Vista—all while going ahead on Fiji and Vienna.
Linux is still the superior option; its primary problem is that it is still largely perceived as a geek’s OS.
Linux has come a LONG way as a desktop OS. The only big problem that still remains, and this has always been a problem, is hardware support. Really this isn't as much of an OS problem as it is hardware vendors not being prompt about creating compatible drivers.
I recently built a new computer using all the best components from newegg. I planned on installing Linux for the OS only to find no Linux distros yet support Intel's DG965WG motherboard. I can't even get a Ubuntu or SLAX live CD to boot because of it. I've read others are having this problem, and I expect drivers will be forthcoming. Right now it's just a waiting game. Who knows, there may be drivers now. I haven't checked in the last month or so.
Quick Linux question. How do you install something? I loaded Ubuntu on my mom’s old computer and tried to install some stuff on it, and it was not as easy as it has been on either Windows or OS X.