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Hasta la Vista, good morning Vienna

Reports of a replacement to Microsoft's much-hyped new operating system - codenamed 'Vienna' - are already surfacing.

With Microsoft's Middle East operation gearing up for the consumer launch of Windows Vista this week, reports are already surfacing of its replacement.

Ben Fathi, a corporate VP in Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division, reportedly told journalists at last week's RSA Conference that the software company is drawing up plans to usurp the software with a follow-up codenamed 'Vienna', which is expected to launch around 2009.

While Microsoft has declined to comment further on the announcement, a gap of two years between different versions of the OS is more typical of the firm than the five year delay between XP and Vista.

Vista's reputation for being Microsoft's most secure OS also appears to be enhanced with the firm this week releasing 12 patches for 20 vulnerabilities in its software; none affected Vista directly, although one related to a component in it, Windows Defender.

The patches were released as part of Microsoft's monthly patch update.

Microsoft rated half of the vulnerabilities as "critical", with users being urged to apply the patches immediately.