The codename Windows 7 is actually going to stick with it's codename Windows 7 for the final release name for the operating system also.
As Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management puts it:
"The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or "aspirational" monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new "aspirational" name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows."
So what is Windows 7 you may ask. According to Microsoft:
"It's the next version of Windows for PCs, and it's the result of working hand-in-hand with our partners and with people who use Windows in the real world every day. We're paying particular attention to the things they're telling us are important to them and will make their PCs work the way they want them to—things like enhanced reliability, responsiveness, and faster boot and shut-down. We're also trying to make their everyday tasks easier, like connecting and syncing devices, browsing the web, and managing a home network.
Of course, we're also working on new capabilities, so people will be able to do things with Windows 7 that were difficult (or perhaps impossible) to do with PCs before. Finally, we're working hard to ensure that Windows 7 will run on any PC and work with any program that works today with Windows Vista, so upgrading from Windows Vista will be easy."
From my research it does seem Windows 7 will have much of the look and feel of Windows Vista but they are making a lot of revisions and fixes to it. One being that you will not get popup messages all the time, instead they'll be stored in a queue for later review. Also they are revamping their kernel and using a kernel based from MinWin. This is also supposed to reduce the kernel size by 1000% taking it from approximately 2500 MB to 25 MB.
If you want to learn more, you can find a Quick FAQ WindowsVienna
By Sundance of Free TV Shows Online