Ever since 2003 TechEd we’ve been speculating on the time when Microsoft will be releasing a modern operating system to compete with the new lightweight offerings from the competition that are starting to pick up more steam. To see the details of the complaints and issues, check out this hit piece on Windows from NY Times, written with the anger you’ll only get on Vladville.
The situation is far simpler than both Microsoft and NY Times would have us believe though.
Microsoft is afraid of a complete system rewrite because every incremental step in evolution of Windows over the past few years has been met with severe resistance. First the 64bit move, which vendors were not ready for and did not have anything ready for. Then we had the security enhancements in both Vista and Windows Server. For Vista’s sake, it was just horribly implemented, everyone but maybe five people I know absolutely hate UAC to the extent that they have disabled it and shot the system back to the security level that even XP would cringe at. On the server side, Microsoft just doesn’t have the security reputation for people to trust it, and Forefront line of software is just never discussed as an option.
So, what is Microsoft to do? Sit back and roll out another dud?
Last week, Bill Veghte, a Microsoft senior vice president, sent a letter to customers reassuring them there would be minimal changes to Windows’ essential code. “Our approach with Windows 7,” he wrote, “is to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista so the investments you and our partners have made in Windows Vista will continue to pay off with Windows 7.”
This is why I am tuning into the Digital WPC to find out what they will say about the future of the platform that is crumbling. Microsoft, at least in PR terms, is taking the line of least resistance and trying to say that everything will be the same its always been (look how well that worked out for Vista after all, the sales are through the roof!) and it will be same ol’, same ol’ with just a few tweaks to sync up to the net.
I want to propose something else..
If the assumption is that the Microsoft monopoly on the Office and Desktop is strong enough to put another [explicit language string too long for the blog post] Vista version out, what about putting out a modern operating system out with the legacy compatibility running in a virtual machine?
It’s not going to happen, but after all, this is Microsoft, and it needs to do something big. If it intends to remain relevant that is.