Gartner: Microsoft Windows, R.I.P. (and a Java house?)

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Gartner Group says that Windows is dead, unless Microsoft gets its finger out. Not to mention more stupid interview questions...

Gregg Keizer reports:

Calling the situation "untenable" and describing Windows as "collapsing," a pair of Gartner analysts yesterday said Microsoft Corp. must make radical changes to its operating system or risk becoming a has-been ... Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald said Microsoft has not responded to the market, is overburdened by nearly two decades of legacy code and decisions, and faces serious competition on a whole host of fronts that will make Windows moot unless the software developer acts ... Among Microsoft's problems, the pair said, is Windows' rapidly-expanding code base, which makes it virtually impossible to quickly craft a new version with meaningful changes. That was proved by Vista, they said, when Microsoft -- frustrated by lack of progress during the five-year development effort on the new operating -- hit the "reset" button and dropped back to the more stable code of Windows Server 2003 as the foundation of Vista ... "Windows as we know it must be replaced," they said in their presentation. more

Brier Dudley is patchy: [You're fired -Ed.]

I hope Microsoft isn't Yahooing while its Rome burns ... Gartner ... delivered the warnings at a Las Vegas conference sponsored by the giant research firm ... said Windows has become too ungainly, making it harder to upgrade the system ... They had to know about the new, leaner "MinWin" Windows kernel that surfaced last October, right? Either way, they're setting the stage for Microsoft to start talking up the presumably nimbler Windows 7 at its big conferences with partners in July and developers in October and November. more

John Martellaro observes:

Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald said that Microsoft is saddled with 20 years of legacy code and is facing serious competition that could end up making Windows moot ... that the large Windows code base makes it impossible to craft a new version with meaningful improvements ... Microsoft had planned on many new features for Vista, but, unable to make enough progress during development, the company had to cancel those projects. Even though Microsoft talks about the modular nature of Windows, the analysts think that Windows is actually too monolithic to change, and that fact threatens the long term viability of Microsoft ... Today, Microsoft seems to be doing everything it can to acquire Yahoo! as a cure for its ills. Some have wondered how far US$44B would go in building a next generation OS, as Apple elected to do back in the late 1990s and culminating in Mac OS X 10.0 in March, 2001. more

Garry King reminisces:

Back in the dark ages when yours truly was involved in software development, tremendous time and energy was devoted to efficiency. Resources were expensive and limited, and shorter processing time was a competitive advantage. Then came the microprocessor and Moore’s law that enabled inefficient, bloated code to be viable with ever more powerful hardware that was cheap and abundant ... [Garner] goes on to say that the current monolithic Windows one size fits all approach is a dead end. While Gartner is usually right only about 30% of the time, I think they pegged this one. more

Stephen Downes doesn't care:

I totally agree with the gist of the report ... Of course, agreeing with the gist of the report basically also means the ends of the Windows era. Oh well... more

Neither does David Ramel:

This OS battle is losing its relevance. With Intel on the Mac, boot options, virtualization, Parallels, Boot Camp and all that, you can almost use whatever OS you want on any machine. And soon there won't be any OS wars at all. MicroGoogleSoft will control an omnipresent computing "cloud" that we all hook into wirelessly at incredible speeds to use whatever program we need at any time from any place. Eventually this cloud will become self-aware — and you know what will happen to us humans then. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Richi Jennings
is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research.
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