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Gartner Analysts Warn That Windows Is Collapsing

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the the-sky-is-falling-if-you-have-enough-ram dept.

Windows 868

spacefiddle writes "Computerworld has an article about a presentation from Gartner analysts in Las Vegas claiming that Windows is 'collapsing', and that Microsoft 'must make radical changes to the operating system or risk becoming a has-been.' Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald provided an analysis of what went wrong with Vista, and what they feel Microsoft can and must do to correct its problems. Larry Dignan of ZDNet has his own take, and while he agrees, he suggests that the downfall of Windows will be slow and drawn-out. As an interesting tangent to this, there's also a story from a few days prior about Ubuntu replacing Windows for a school's library kiosks, getting good performance out of older hardware. '[Network administrator Daniel] Stefyn said he was "pleasantly surprised" to discover that the Kubuntu desktops ran some applications faster with Linux than when they ran on Windows. An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students cease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system.'"

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Really? (4, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034766)

"Apple introduced its iPhone running OS X, but Microsoft requires a different product on handhelds because Windows Vista is too large, which makes application development, support and the user experience all more difficult," said Silver and MacDonald.
Wait, the iPhone OS X can run on a several devices, with as little as a 133 MHz processor with 16MB of RAM?
Wait, Apple didn't have to customize OS X to run on the iPhone, it was perfect the way it was?
Wait, it's easier for people to develop and distrubte applications for the iPhone, even though the ability isn't avaiable yet?

Are these guys supposed to be taken seriously?

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

San-LC (1104027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034864)

Yeah, I'm confused along with the GP. Last time I checked, the iPhone ran a 620 MHz ARM Processor, and the original OS X Kernel was not suited to run on ARMs, only PowerPC and x86 architecture. Then, the OS X system folder was originally 2 GB on a PowerPC/x86, yet it magically became less than 500MB on an iPhone? I feel to believe that some trimming was done to the Kernel and system files in order to make it fit, so who's to say that Microsoft can't trim Windows in order to fit better on a handheld? Steve Jobs did it!

Re:Really? (2, Informative)

gigne (990887) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034962)

well, nothing at all. Microsoft have a Windows XP Embedded designed to run on small thin clients devices. These devices typically have very underpower CPUs and hardly no hard disk. It stands to reason they could do a similar thing for Vista.
You could always trim your own XP/Vista down with http://www.vlite.net/about.html [vlite.net] vLite (okay, got bored of trying to get the link formatted in the new inline editor.)

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035010)

so who's to say that Microsoft can't trim Windows in order to fit better on a handheld?
I think that is the point. 5 years of development and one service pack later MS is still struggling to get Vista to run on the machines it was designed for. Creating a lean palm version would be a million miles away.

I am not aware of the detailed structure of Vista's kernel, but my guess would be it is unlikely to be easily scaled down - it is an OS that requires higher specifications than XP to do mundane tasks like file copying. That doesn't suggest efficiency and portability.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035262)

I think that is the point. 5 years of development and one service pack later MS is still struggling to get Vista to run on the machines it was designed for.

Rubbish. Vista runs fine on the modern-day machines it was "designed for".

Heck, you can run Vista usably on hardware up to about 8 years old, with minor upgrades.

I am not aware of the detailed structure of Vista's kernel, but my guess would be it is unlikely to be easily scaled down - it is an OS that requires higher specifications than XP to do mundane tasks like file copying. That doesn't suggest efficiency and portability.

The "bloat" in Vista isn't the kernel, it's all the stuff that goes on top like the GUI.

Re:Really? (1, Redundant)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034874)

Sure they are serious. Illogical critic of MS products. Illogical praising of Abble's products. No need to research, sir, if you want to be politically correct these days.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035056)

Of course not, that is stupid. But you would still say Linux can run on these devices despite the fact it also has to be recompiled and tweaked etc. I think what they are arguing is that Apple uses the same code base for the iPhone as it does for their desktops. Microsoft however has two completely seperate products for Windows and Windows Mobile which increases the development costs and complexity.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035254)

Wait, the iPhone OS X can run on a several devices, with as little as a 133 MHz processor with 16MB of RAM?
I'm no Apple fanboy, but I don't really think that your points are valid anyway. Apple has no embedded device with a 133 MHz processor and 16 MB of RAM, so why should they even try to make the iPhone OS X run on such a device? In fact, since there has been no attempt to run it on such a device, how can you even sound so sure that it cannot be done?

Wait, Apple didn't have to customize OS X to run on the iPhone, it was perfect the way it was?
Of course they had to -- it is called "porting" the operating system to a new hardware platform, and it is a different process from writing a new system from scratch. You may have heard already, but there are several so called "Linux distros", many being ports of an operating system to different platforms, without necessarily making it a completely different system.

Wait, it's easier for people to develop and distrubte applications for the iPhone, even though the ability isn't avaiable yet?
While the iPhone SDK hasn't been publicly released yet, it was pretty clear from Apple's Keynote demonstration of it that it still uses all the standard OS X libraries and interfaces (with, of course, the addition of the libraries for the new UI elements). Of course, your being wrong does not necessarily make Gartner right, but I don't know enough about such things as Embedded XP to make any claims in either direction.

Re:Really? (1, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035266)

Are these guys supposed to be taken seriously?

They shouldn't be, yet here this tripe is as a featured Slashdot story, as it will surely top the other meme sites.

And as you mentioned, it's just complete and utter bunk. The idea that OSX was just copied over to the iPhone is absurd. "OSX" on the iPhone is to OSX on the desktop as Windows CE is on PDAs and embedded devices (which Microsoft has been doing for at least 8 years or so) to the desktop -- yeah, there's some cross branding, shared libraries (from a source-code perspective -- C is cross-platform, even in the Windows world), API similarities, but underneath it all it isn't the same, and both are best-purposed for their respective targets, which is a much better decision than any run anywhere, lowest-common-denominator approach.

Of course I knew Gartner's opinion was nonsense when they went down the ridiculous-yet-truthy-through-repeated-assertion "monolithic" line of argument (which they likely picked up on Slashdot, it should be mentioned). Vista is a failure not because of any sort of code maintenance problem, but rather that Microsoft aimed far too high with Vista, taking far too many risks for a big, big change.

Like many such highly speculative (the whole WinFS initiative), large-scale projects, it failed spectacularly, and the result was a backtrack and then a polishing of XP to pretend it was something new. The failure of WinFS alone, which was to be a major foundation of a lot of the features of the new OS, was a massive failure for the project.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035328)

Steve has shown in 5 years that Apple can release more interesting stuff than Microsoft. Apple just "does" it, they don't pre-announce years in advance. Steve just shows up on sage with a fully operational Intel Mac running Apple's software Suite (OSX, iLife, etc) on day 1, or with a fully functioning iPhone that happens to have used OSX, on day 1.

Microsoft bellyaches how "hard" software is to make, and constantly delays (and they don't make computers or phones and sell them) Apple makes it look very easy and investors are starting to see Microsoft isn't really that good at their CORE job.

Wishiful thinking (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034800)

Yes, sir, the reality depends on the color of the glasses your are using to see the world thru'. Keep your glasses on if that makes you happy.

Hacking the setup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23034802)

"...An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students cease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system....'"

Yeah, well just wait until he realizes what they have moved onto hacking....!!!

Re:Hacking the setup (2, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035204)

That statement just goes to show the stupidity of the people involved...two reasons:

1) The kids don't know Ubuntu/Gnome like they do Windows. Once they figure it out, they'll continue trashing them and installing games.

2) The morons should properly secure the computers in the first place. If user rights were properly limited in the first place, they wouldn't have had any issues with the Windows machines. And if they don't limit them properly on the Linux ones, they'll have the same problem.

Re:Hacking the setup (5, Insightful)

spisska (796395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035354)

1) The kids don't know Ubuntu/Gnome like they do Windows. Once they figure it out, they'll continue trashing them and installing games.

The point is they can't trash Linux since they only have write access to /home/user. Neither can they install games except to /home/user. It's trivial to simply reset /home/user to a default state with every login. Like most changes on Linux, this does not require a reboot.

2) The morons should properly secure the computers in the first place. If user rights were properly limited in the first place, they wouldn't have had any issues with the Windows machines. And if they don't limit them properly on the Linux ones, they'll have the same problem.

Rights are properly configured on Linux by default. Your hypothetical kids in the library won't be able to touch anything system related, or anything not owned by the user. There is no configuration required to enforce this.

That is not how it works in Windows. Yes, you can enforce user levels in XP but some apps will not work, and it is pretty easy to bypass anyway. Maybe Vista is better, but I certainly don't expect to see Vista on a public terminal anytime soon.

Important lines from TFA (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034814)

Most users do not understand the benefits of Windows Vista...

You mean the almost-constant nag screens?

or do not see Vista as being better enough than Windows XP...

Making them smarter than the lying marketroids selling it...

to make incurring the cost and pain of migration worthwhile.

Translation: People are smarter than they think, and an OS that takes twice the hardware to be twice as slow AND even more incompatible with previous software isn't worth my money.

Of course, they still get sales - from the same idiots at my work who want to be upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 2007 because it's a bigger number, and then complain that they are confused by Office 2007 and want the tech support guys to "fix" it.

Re:Important lines from TFA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035016)

Most users do not understand the benefits of Windows Vista...

You mean the almost-constant nag screens?
Are you sure you mean the almost-constant nag screens?

Re:Important lines from TFA (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035034)


I just got a Vista laptop (tablet!) and it has not been terrible.

The nag screens are only on occasion, and it makes feel better knowing that something is checking to see that exes should be running. The annoying thing is that you can't "personally sign" an application, so that the next time you run it it does not bitch at you.

The thing I like, Vista application switching is a lot smoother than my XP experience. I have not run into a lot of lag when nothing happens. Of course, I run 50/50 on hibernate (lots of reboots after hibernate). But it has not been as awful as I expected.

And my wubi knoppix install won't even boot to a usable environment. Worked once, now I get a black screen. Nice! I don't have time to troubleshoot this crap!

Re:Important lines from TFA (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035242)

Astroturf Bingo 4 claimed by A11.

Re:Important lines from TFA (-1, Offtopic)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035290)

How did the parent post, which is nothing more than an anti-Vista rant, get modded interesting?

Re:Important lines from TFA (1)

nicatronTg (1268080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035306)

Yep... The OS is trash in your box. Vista boots slower than my 640MB HP laptop (that has XP on it).

Gartner analysts? (-1, Flamebait)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034816)

Who? Is this just another blog calling themselves analysts?

Re:Gartner analysts? (-1, Offtopic)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034844)

Is this just another blog calling themselves analysts?

A small amount of research will reveal that this lot are more anal than average.

Re:Gartner analysts? (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034904)

After all these years saying Gartner "analysts" doesn't know their as from their elbow, I am *so* conflicted ...

Re:Gartner analysts? (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034986)

I know. That's why I found it fascinating. I had to double-check the date to make sure it wasn't a leftover April Fools' story...

And of course, now that Someone Influential has gone all Chicken Little on Microsoft, the story's spreading around and inspiring spinoffs. Google News is grabbing about 40 last time I looked. I'm as interested in this effect as I am in the story itself. Maybe more.

more demands for unwavering 'patriotism'... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23034820)

& 'loyalty' coming soon. that's so we can 'enjoy' being bushwhacked/mislead/ripped off even more. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Here we go again, eh? (5, Insightful)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034826)

For how many years have slashdot 'experts' been predicting the 'downfall' of windows? For 23 years they have not just controlled, the word is 'dominated' the desktop environment. For the majority of computer users, the words 'Windows' and 'Computer' are borderline synonymous.

And you're proof? Because some users believe that 'Vista sucks' blah blah blah. How many people started ringing the bells for Microsoft after Windows ME? We saw how that worked out...

Re:Here we go again, eh? (5, Interesting)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034886)

Gartner owns Slashdot now?

Man, when did this happen?

You are right about one thing... the morons still equate "windows" with "computer". But thanks to the 'tubes, TV, and Apple's marketing, that _is_ changing.

Death knell? Windows will not die with a bang, but with a whimper... but what do I know... I'm posting on Gartner, er Slashdot.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035022)

They forecast that the share price would drop, which it did, and then they bought it cheap just like lots of other companies. Some people complained that about it but Gartner forecast they would have accidents unless they went to live on a desert island. And sure enough, those that didn't leave did have accidents. No one messes with Gartner now.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (4, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034948)

There is a difference. MS rely on the guidance of marketing analyst PT Barnum ("There's a sucker born every minute"). In the days of ME, this was a fair analysis - most ME users had never seen a computer before. Not only you could sell them most anything, they had no one to turn to who knew better until win2k came out, and then the migration path was obvious.

Unfortunately for MS, virtually the entire world's population now has Windows experience. It was not a great experience.

Some are cretins, and could not interface with a 4x2, but enjoy blaming windows

Some are experienced IT people who have seen Linux/Unix and know how it could be.

Most are now in a position to ask the professionals "Is this as good as it gets?" and being told - no, there IS another way.

Some are migrating to Vista, and realising that if it can get worse, sure as hell it could get better somehow. They know who to ask for advice, and its not the guy in PC world.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035298)

Some are experienced IT people who have seen Linux/Unix and know how it could be.

Was this a pro-linux/unix comment or a pro-windows comment? Its much too ambiguous.

Getting linux running smoothly can be just as trying as windows if not more trying.

Most are now in a position to ask the professionals "Is this as good as it gets?" and being told - no, there IS another way.

A different way, with its own slew of canyon-wide pitfalls. Like... nearly all your software won't work, including your accounting software won't run on it at all, period. Or the minefield of setting up dual screens or wifi, or getting your shiny new blackberry or iphone to sync contacts with outlook... oh wait... no outlook...

Sure ubuntu etc have reached the point where you can build a basic web&email machine very quickly and its pretty simple, but go much beyond that and Linux throws plenty of obstacles into your path. Some can be overcome, some can't.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (5, Interesting)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034968)

Your argument essentially boils down to, "they had a pretty good run so far so I'm assuming they are invincible".

Same how the Roman empire was invincible, really. And the British empire. And let's not even get started on the American empire, which is crumbling before our very eyes.

Where is IBM? Where is Word Perfect? Both ruled supreme in their days, but those days are long gone. And just like IBM, Microsoft will still be around - but not as the powerhouse it once was. It will just be another big player instead.

One day soon the stockholders will ask why Microsoft is sinking so much money into XBox 360 or any of those other loss-making projects that Microsoft enjoys so much. And once they pull the plug on such projects, they will start to wonder if profits wouldn't be higher if Office were in a separate company, not fettered to any particular operating system.

Windows will survive that, as will Microsoft. But it will gradually become a niche product, one of many choices available for the operating system. Hardware will be controlled more and more through hypervisors. Applications will more and more be in virtualized environments of their own (beit virtual machines like Java or .NET, or in interpreted environments like browsers).

And one day, someone will ask "what operating system are you running that on?", and despite being a card-carrying geek with a 4-digit slashdot ID, you will be forced to admit "Uhm, I'm not actually sure." Because it won't matter anymore.

Mod parent up! (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035148)

Lucid, interesting, and well written.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (1, Insightful)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035208)

Same how the Roman empire was invincible, really. And the British empire. And let's not even get started on the American empire, which is crumbling before our very eyes.
Really? Could you explain what the "American empire" even is, and what its fall would even mean? The Roman Empire fell to mismanagement, and increasingly effective "barbarians" taking back their lands. The British Empire "fell" because it became too expensive to keep all those colonies locked down. If by "American Empire" you mean our presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, and even Hawaii, then maybe I can see this "empire" crumbling. But I don't see the US being invaded and the government overthrown any time soon. Who would even want to do that? And I don't see the citizens of the country overthrowing our horrible dictator by any other means than election any time soon either. Is it that we will become a corporate-ocracy? As corporate actions become more intolerable people will eventually vote to stop them. Or, is it that the plight of the common man will become so horrible that he will vote for a demagogue like Hitler, and the US will actually become fascist?

All of these seem highly improbable. There is no "American Empire" to crumble. While American democracy may not be the perfect solution (or even the best solution in the world currently), it is a very stable one. I can only see its destabilization by some cataclysmic event. You made that statement as if it is an obvious fact, and that anybody like me is just naive. But stating things like that does not actually make them true, it is just really annoying. So, can you explain what you meant?

How did the US GET it's government? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035340)

Oh, that was invasion, wasn't it.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034970)

The Windows Me situation was different.

Microsoft had the entire Windows NT branch practically ready and waiting in the wings to replace it with.

With XP coming to the end of its life for desktop machines, what can they move to this time?

Re:Here we go again, eh? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23034994)

Ordinarily, it might look like everybody is just decrying their favorite OS...but I think Bill's recent announcement that Win7 is coming next year lends some credence to the speculation.

Think about it--every self-respecting business decided to hold off on Vista until at least after SP1. Well, SP1 has only just arrived, but before those businesses even have a chance to think about migrating, M$ is talking about releasing a completely new OS. It's speculation, sure, but it looks like Redmond believes it too, if they're willing to make a move like this...

Re:Here we go again, eh? (0)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035020)

Proof, how about Windows market share on new machines went from 98% to 83% in less than 18 months and is poised to drop to less than 70% by years end?

Re:Here we go again, eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035360)

Funny that you say "Proof", but don't provide any. 91% of PCs [hitslink.com] would like to disagree with your statement. The closest info I could find to your statement was here [cnn.com] , but that's just consumer PCs, completely disregarding the Enterprise market.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035028)


  How many people started ringing the bells for Microsoft after Windows ME? We saw how that worked out...

I didn't think Windows ME, which seemed to be a hastily kludged afterthought, was likely to really hurt Microsoft. They just stubbed their toe. And when Windows ME went thud, there was a good alternative, Windows 2000. Windows 98SE was still available then, too.

But the situation with Vista is very different because there's alot more riding on the success of it than was riding on the succes of Windows ME.

I use XP and Vista at work. Vista drives me nuts with all it's "sure you wanna do that?" dialogs and it's lackluster performance. I don't want to buy a computer with Vista pre-installed.
 

Re:Here we go again, eh? (3, Interesting)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035068)

Well, in my opinion, the big difference is that when the Windows ME was released (2000), Apple was just coming out of their crisis, and Linux was too far behind in ease of use for the general public. Now, Apple is a real competitor, eating marketshare fast, and Linux is more than ready to be an option for anybody. So now there are real alternatives, and then there were none.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (1)

coop247 (974899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035112)

It's very easy to point out that Vista sucks, however it's not like people are scrambling to move away from Windows, they are just sticking with XP. Linux/Apple usage has only moved a few percentage points. So how exactly is going from 96% market share to 92% market share dying?

Why I'm still with Windows (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035236)

I would personally love nothing better than to be able to cut the strings and ditch Windows myself. It's expensive and the target-of-choice for virtually every piece of malware, spyware, and virus. But every time I try, I always come back. Why?

Because Apple is even more expensive and just as proprietary as Windows, won't let me build my own system, and is poorly supported by software developers. If Apple dominated the market, there is every reason to believe they would be just as heavy-handed as MS, if not much worse.

Because doing anything in Linux ends up with me banging my head against my computer screen. Even Ubuntu, the most user-friendly distro so far, is an endless series of frustrations. "Why can't I just download a piece of software and double-click on it to install?!?!" "What is the difference between KDE and Gnome and why should it matter?!?!" "Why do I have to go to the command line interface to do even basic stuff?" Hell, until the latest release, Ubuntu wouldn't even let me attach a projector without a complicated edit to the Xorg config file. ARGHHHHH!!!

Windows may die one day, but it's going to take a *lot* more work before anyone else is going to slay that dragon.

Re:Here we go again, eh? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035372)

Well the "Slashdot 'expert'" More wanted windows to die more then predicting it to die. Here are some good reasons.

80's there was DOS and people liked it. The concept of a GUI and multi-tasking was considered a huge overhead (although Macs at the time did this rather well, the PC Guys overlooked the advantages and pushed the PC and DOS) Then windows came around still kinda a kiddy fake OS still running on top of DOS. Was largly ignored. Untill the Early/Mid 90's where more applications were starting to become windows only. At this point Linux was starting to get its name out, and Macs were dieing. So the DOS people celbrated the near death of the Mac but not compleatly happy with windows had to make a decision. Go with Linux and take a huge learning curve or stick with Windows and hope the next version will be better (Or pay huge bucks for NT), or put Bets on this OS/2 Thing (if they knew what it was. The OS/2 Commericals were the stupidest add campain I ever saw, a bunch of geeks gwawking infront of a screen and saying how cool it was, never explaining what it was or what it was for, durring this time a lot of people didn't have Internet or connections to BBS's to get a better scoop on what the heck OS/2 was). (I Myself took the Linux route). Then Windows 95 came out with a huge fanfare being able to do multi-tasking good enough and a lot of the same things poeple were dissing Macs for for doing. Now that people started to see good old DOS going away most people bit the bullet and delt with the GUI and with systems with good Video Cards Graphics Mode wasn't as much of a pig as they expected. During this time the Linux Comunity was starting to put more effort into graphics as well. Replacing FVWM with FVWM2 rigged to look like windows 95. Netscape 4 came out for Linux with its slicker interface. Basicly playing a User Interface catchup with 95. But people who went with the 95 route (a good Majority) while overall happy with Win 95 were kinda fustrated because it wasn't what Microsoft Promiced, full 32 bit support, crash proof, complete DOS Compatiblity... But still it really wasn't enough to get them to switch. 98 was a marginal improvement and with IE Integrated in the OS it basicly got everyone using the Web, with the default OS. Now here is where problems starting to come up. Internet Virusus, and the fact that IE won the browser war ment attackers know what most people will be using to browse the web. So they began making more hacks to the system, as well Microsoft big push to ActiveX (A first attempt to kill Java) where they took a security stance we will allert them before they install an ActiveX control, they should know if it is good for their system or not... Window Systems started to get filled quickly with Crap and become unusable, and crashing a lot (at the same time companies were really pushing budget PC enhancing the problems). Linux started to look a bit better but still the risk of switching isn't enough for most people who have invested hundreds or thousands of dollars in software and windows only hardware. ME Came out with little fanfair, and most people wanted Windows 2000 but they didn't want to pay the NT cost but that didn't last long. Windows XP came out, touted as the most stable and secure OS Microsoft had to date. Then a rash of viruses came out, new ones not the old ones that use to be part of executable, these new viruses attached themselfs to emails, and some would find volnerabilitys in the OS and bytemselfs hack into others computers to spread. This caused a large Linux migration at least on the corporate level. Because the pain of using Windows was worse then the pain of using Linux. About midway threw XP life cycle Macs returned with a fancy OS X with the Unixy goodnes that Linux has and Graphics and interface that put the other OS's to shame. Adding to the Pressure. Then Microsoft tried to make Vista to Out OS X, It was an attempt to make the killer OS. But the project was to big. Now today people have a high degree of pain if they choose a Vista system, so a Lot switch to Macs (even the old Mac Haters) and others have moved to Linux (but numbers point to mostly Macs) Still Windows is the majority but from 98% market share a decade ago to around 91% today and dropping we see that microsoft is starting to take a hit. And guys like Google and More advanced web software are making Windows less relevlant every version.

Collapsing? (1)

TomRK1089 (1270906) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034828)

I don't know if Windows is going to collapse, as the article implies. I think they're guaranteed a certain minimum of customers each year, just from either individuals or companies who know it as the familiar choice, that doesn't require much retraining to use. Where I work we use a Windows server to run a phone-calling application for non-profit donations, despite the fact that by using, say, Apache and Linux the company could save a bundle. So there might be more emigration to another OS, but I don't think it'll kill off Windows, if only because the average user doesn't appreciate the benefits of switching to one of the myriad other options.

Re:Collapsing? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035082)

I don't know if Windows is going to collapse, as the article implies. I think they're guaranteed a certain minimum of customers each year, just from either individuals or companies who know it as the familiar choice, that doesn't require much retraining to use.
I know people who were used to Windows XP and managed to use a Macintosh running Leopard without any assistance (including figuring out how to use the touchpad with two fingers), but had real problems using Vista. So much that they asked me if I could install Windows on their new laptop instead of Vista.

Re:Collapsing? (2, Interesting)

TomRK1089 (1270906) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035218)

Heh, true. My point was that there's plenty of people like my bosses who just can't comprehend a computer that isn't Windows. They're baffled when I mention alternatives. So it's those people who'll be providing the constant stream of money.

Re:Collapsing? (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035320)

I know people who were used to Windows XP and managed to use a Macintosh running Leopard without any assistance (including figuring out how to use the touchpad with two fingers), but had real problems using Vista.

Given the UI differences between Vista and Windows _95_ (let alone XP) are almost all cosmetic, whereas the UI differences between any version of Windows and any version of MacOS [X] are most fundamental, I'm going to have to call bullshit.

Anyone having trouble going XP to Vista is going to have substantially more trouble going XP to OS X. Unless, of course, they've got someone whispering in their ear about how much Vista sux0rs and how much OSX rawks.

Read Meat For A Friday.. (-1, Flamebait)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034842)

For the 1,000,000th time we get what you are selling: Linux: good Windows: bad Microsoft: evil This is a typical red meat article for the peasant rabble on a Friday. :)

Re:Read Meat For A Friday.. (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034888)

Unfortunately, my meat printer is jammed. I think I should have stuck to flank steak; in retrospect, it appears that hamburger wasn't such a great idea.

Smaller Windows (1)

servo335 (853111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034850)

It would be nice if my OS didn't need 1+gb of ram just to run smoothly so a smaller windows would be great. I don't however think the entire OS will be run virtually ever....

No more hacking, but... (1, Insightful)

-Tango21- (703195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034852)

...now students don't need to hack, they just open Synaptic or apt and install whatever they want.

Whose to say that if you can't secure a Windows install you can secure a Linux system. Maybe this is just an example of security through obscurity rather than an actual enhancement.

Re:No more hacking, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23034920)

Of course, all the students have the admin pwd, yeah, of course.

Re:No more hacking, but... (1)

foobat (954034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034936)

I was going to say they could just remove users from sudoers, but knowing standard school setup they'll forget. Back when I was in school they always kept the default passwords. So looking in the manual for "the default password is set to" or simply guessing gave easy access.

Re:No more hacking, but... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035270)

There is no default password.

what are you talking about? (3, Informative)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034982)

They'd be able to install software with apt or Synaptic if they had the root account's password, were in the sudoers file, or found a privilege escalation exploit.

Presumably the first two options are disallowed by policy and machine setup. The latter is a hazard of running computers. That's not security through obscurity, that's security through proper setup and patching the OS to make sure exploits are eliminated as they're discovered.

Re:No more hacking, but... (1)

apt142 (574425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035000)

You'd have to run as super user to install apps under Ubuntu. So, if the kids can figure out the password for that, you're correct, they could trash it quite easily.

But assuming the school technology administrator is not a total retard, guessing that password should be quite difficult.

But aside from that, some of the applications that kids would want to put on there just wouldn't be available for a Linux distro. And a lot of the malware that follows in with those programs wouldn't make it on their either.

Even if they get root access, the applications that you get through apt or synaptic are free of viruses, adware, malware, etc.

Re:No more hacking, but... (0)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035008)

It will take a little bit of time for the students to find games they want to play that will run.

Also, I am too lazy to RTFA, but they could be upgrading from some awful Windows setup that was impossible/hard to lock down (something from the 9X line, or some library software that must be admin). Fixing those types of things for Windows costs money in software and maybe hardware. The move over to Linux "only" costs training.

There is a real perception amongst people that Linux is "impossible" to do anything or use, that alone should buy some time (if the school is small enough). Once someone realizes there are games it will be back to the old situation.

Re:No more hacking, but... (1)

tikram (1262046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035366)

How would they do that without the administrator password?

students will hack *anything* (4, Insightful)

sqldr (838964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034854)

An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students cease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system.'"

Yeah, that'll last. I'll give it a week before someone finds a manual and migrates their "expertise" to their new operating system.

I'll never believe it... (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034868)

until Netcraft "confirms it"[tm].

Re:I'll never believe it... (5, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035100)

Forget netcraft.

It is official. Gartner now confirms: Windows is collapsing.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Windows community
when Gartner confirmed that Windows is collapsing in complete disarray and
risks becoming a has-been. Coming on the heels of a recent survey which
plainly states that by the end of 2007 only 6.3 percent of the 50,000
enterprise computer users it surveyed were working with Vista.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict Windows' future. The
hand writing is on the wall: Windows faces a bleak future. In fact there
won't be any future at all for Windows because Windows is collapsing.
Things are looking very bad for Windows. As many of us are already aware,
Windows continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of
blood.

Fact: Windows is collapsing

At home perhaps (5, Insightful)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034872)

I can see this happening rather quickly at home. It hasn't been hard to convince my family members to get away from Windows. While my wife is probably more computer savvy than most, she hasn't had any problems switching from Windows to Linux, and actually likes it more. It's been more difficult for others I've gotten to switch, but in general the result has been positive.

The corporate world is a completely different story, though. Many large, medium, and small companies have committed vast resources to development in .Net. And while a good chunk of that can be run on Mono in a non-Windows environment, it's not entirely the same, and transitioning to something else, from a OS or software perspective, is going to take even more time and money in an economy where money isn't readily available.

Additionally, while you can probably count on your IT staff to have a reasonably easy transition to something other than Windows, your non-tech employee base is almost certainly going to have a great deal of difficulty. Add in the fact that lots of small and mid-size businesses use "friendly" accounting software that runs solely on Windows, and I think Microsoft has a much larger buffer for error than most people think.

Will it happen? God I hope so... but I'm not optimistic it will happen even in the next 5-10 years.

Re:At home perhaps (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035166)

It's like switching cars from gasoline to hydrogen. Too much infrastructure to make the change easy or cheap. Yes it might be better, but the choices before we were alive will affect our grandchildren.

Re:At home perhaps (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035316)

Add in the fact that lots of small and mid-size businesses use "friendly" accounting software that runs solely on Windows, and I think Microsoft has a much larger buffer for error than most people think.

You've alluded to the biggest issue.

Businesses depend on a whole bunch of software which isn't fun to write, requires enormous amounts of maintenance (you try telling your local taxman that your tax return is innaccurate because nobody's bothered to update your software for the recent changes in legislation!) and for which no sane Linux alternative exists.

Here there is a chicken and egg scenario. The likes of Sage aren't going to port their product unless they've got serious numbers of customers lining up to say "We're putting Linux on the desktop. Port it or lose the contract.", and no customer can seriously make such a threat because right now, Sage can easily turn around and say "OK then. Let us know how you get on running a desktop platform which doesn't have any serious accounting packages."

He's not all anti-Microsoft (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034894)

Michael Silver, it should be noted, is fairly neutral in his coverage of Microsoft. Here is a link to his past papers:

http://www.gartner.com/Search?op=16&f=2&keywords=&bop=0&op=16&sort=73&archived=0&simple1=0&n=8332&authorId=8332&resultsPerSearch=0&dir=70&sort=73&dir=70 [gartner.com]

The problem, as I see it, is not Vista itself. Rather, it is the slow but steady migration from PCs being central to computing tasks to reliance on servers for processing power and storage. Although Outlook client may run on your PC, the real work managing your company's mail is handled in the backrooms on server hardware. They aren't running client Windows back there.

So on the front end, as McNealy and Ellison have been saying for a decade, computers require less and less individual computing power, and backend servers need more and more. This is the problem for Windows because the growing requirements of the OS to do all the cool things that users like is outstripping the pace at which the needs of the users are growing. Translation: Vista does too much unnecessary stuff (however cool and flashy it might be.)

Apple does this too, but their hardware requirements are automatically met by virtue of them selling the hardware themselves. Linux, OTOH, is both a low-end client and a high-end server. It fills the roles needed by users without bringing with it a hefty cost per unit.

The upshot is that the PC as a computing platform is ailing. It will always have its place, and it will hang on for quite a while longer. However, the general trend towards less necessary functionality on the client end and more stability and power on the server side means that alternative systems now have a lower hurdle to gain a foothold in the upcoming paradigm shift.

We have already seen a huge shift away from laptops as the mobile computer towards dedicated devices like the Blackberry and smartphone. As we progress, many of the roles that the PC plays now will move closer to the user so that the usage scenario no longer is sitting in front of a glowing monitor but rather sitting back and doing the same job faster and more easily than currently performed. I, for one, welcome our new embedded overlords.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034918)

An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students cease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system.'"
Are we to infer that non-windows operating systems are unhackable?

Re:Huh? (1)

Knertified (756718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035036)

If linux ends up being the desktop standard, kids will start trying to hack it to install games too. I don't see the point either.

Re:Huh? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035324)

That is not about desktop setups. It is about kiosks.

FTA (emphasis added):

"Students can walk up to each terminal, conduct an Internet search and go on to collect their printout, reserve a book, or access the college Intranet. Other sites are locked out by the proxy setting, and the workstations power off nightly using a cron [timed] poweroff command," he said.


That is a far cry from what a normal desktop computer would be used for.

no (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035238)

All the man said was that the students stopped "hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system."

If you infer any more from that statement than that the kids stopped hacking to install games or trash the os, that's about you and whatever you're bringing to your reading of the article.

Re:no (1)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035336)

All the man said was that the students stopped "hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system." If you infer any more from that statement than that the kids stopped hacking to install games or trash the os, that's about you and whatever you're bringing to your reading of the article.
That's not all he said. The implication here is that departure from windows has a positive externality of kids not messing up the computers or putting games on them, which the author outright states when he said that it was "An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students ease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system."

Unless reading comprehension is a difficult matter for the reader, you don't have to bring anything to this article to infer this implication.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035304)

Er... no, i think we're meant to infer that the students in this real, actual, non-theoretical case, were hacking the setup to install and play games, and trashing the operating system... and now they aren't. *shrug*

Or, working with your statement, i think it's fair to say we can infer that non-windows systems are harder to hack than windows systems by your average high school student. Which, while more qualified a statement than yours, is still not something for Microsoft to brag about, right..?

Incidentally, if as some have predicted the result of this is that the kids start learning how to get around in non-windows systems, i say GOOD. Then they'll be learning more than how to evade the "proxy settings" in explorer and playing stupid flash games online. They might actually have a concept of file systems and how computers operate 'n' stuff.

Re:Huh? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035318)

Unhackable? That depends more upon the sys admin. But far less hackable from a default install. Most Linux systems are secure by DEFAULT and you then have to open things up and in Windows it has always been the opposite until recently and even then it is still not as secure.

Alot of pro-Windows people point to Secunia stats but most open source projects (like Linux) are transparent about security flaws so they can be quick to fix them and so the community will be quick to report them. But Microsoft has threatened legal action against security experts who publish findings that they have refused to patch in a MORE than timely manner (6 months or more) and have a track record of not reporting flaws so that it 'LOOKS' like they have fewer. Regardless of even that fact, their flaws always seem to be wore extreme whereas the open source flaws are usually minor.

So to answer your question, not unhackable, just vastly more secure.

Why? (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034930)

I've always been puzzled by these reports. How are they created? Why? Someone has to create them and get payed for it - who pays for them? I doubt it's just a matter of bored analysis sitting at their desks and saying "well, I might write something about ... Windows... today".

Part of technology life cycle (5, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034938)

Despite Microsoft's valiant efforts, the real problem is that PCs running a windows-ish GUI have become a ubiquitous utility in our society, just like water and roads and electricity and phones. This is not a good thing for a technology company. It was not good for Bell for phones to evolve from a cutting-edge innovative technology to a ubiquitous utility, or for Edison for electricity to do the same.

When a technology service becomes ubiquitous and homogenous and - importantly - ceases being innovative, it runs the risk of becoming a candidate for conversion into a public utility. To stave this off, either ongoing innovation is required or the illusion of innovation and change is required. Microsoft has done a bit of both with Windows. But it's a thin veneer. As a result, poopulist efforts to 'socialize' this technology into a public utility are surging; hence, Ubuntu et al.

There never was a Windows OS! (5, Informative)

vainov (107102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034950)

Windows NT was developed by Dave Cuttler (of DEC VMS team) based on a operating system specification developed by IBM. (It was supposed to be released under the name OS/2 version 3).
Microsoft implemented the Windowing API on top of that operating system.

The fact is that Microsoft has never developed a commercial operating system from scratch!!!

They have only incremented the original Windows NT (a.k.a. OS/2 v3.0) code base, for example by:
  - replacing the OS/2 file system delivered in Windows NT with the more modern NTFS
  - re-writing the OS/2 deveice driver layer of Windows NT with a new, 32-bit and C-based API [the original NT device driver model was 16-bit and assembler-based]
  - moving the implementation of the graphics API into the ring-0 kernel [big mistake!]
  - replacing the OS/2 multitaskin DOS compatibility (i.e. the text window of Windows) with a less DOS-compatible one, which was supposed to run on multiple processor architectures.

The effort to create a new operating system core for Vista failed because of lack of in-house knowlege.

The task of writing a new core OS (under the Windows API) seems to be too difficult for a company run by marketing people and lawyers.

Re:There never was a Windows OS! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035146)

The NT Kernel is nothing like the OS/2 kernel. IRPS, DPC and IRQL are central to NT and don't exist in OS/2.

legacy code (5, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034980)

If anything, legacy code will be Microsofts downfall (as TFA stated). I saw this happen firsthand for a company I worked for over a decade ago. They had a pretty impressive application and a long list of Fortune 500 corporations as customers. Even IBM (we're talking back before the Windows 3.x days) was basically giving the company a few million dollars a year for the privilege of reselling the software themselves. Well rather than build new versions of the application from the ground up, or even introducing potential incompatibilities between major releases, the powers that be insisted on full backward compatibility.

Over time more competitors showed up in the marketplace, and as the economy shifted IBM stopped tossing money in our laps. Our engineers (of which I was one) spent most of their time trying to figure out how to shoehorn new features and entire new parallel products on top of the existing legacy codebase. The inevitable result was that we struggled while our competitors came out with newer, more modern & more powerful software. I eventually left that company to go to a startup where 7 others from this company had already gone to. That company was acquired a couple years later, and the application pretty much no longer exists.

If the engineers, who had requested the ability to create a new product from the ground up, had been listened to, then perhaps that company would still be around and competitive. It was mainly because of the business decisions to retain backward compatibility, like MS has done with Windows, that they eventually disappeared. As long as MS maintains their own demand for backward compatibility they'll be waging a slow & prolonged war that they have no chance of winning.

Re:legacy code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035134)

This is why virtualization will be a key feature for Windows 7 when it's released. The idea being that if you can virtualize an older operating environment, and thus your legacy application, you can build your new system and still have the old school in place.

Re:legacy code (1)

scruffy (29773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035172)

Your company was run by idiots.

achieving backward compatibility != keeping legacy code

Re:legacy code (2, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035350)

Your company was run by idiots.

No arguments there.

achieving backward compatibility != keeping legacy code

That depends entirely on the software. Ours was a high level client/server programming language. It was an English-like language, along the lines of BASIC. Since there were no statement separators (like semicolons in C, java, etc) it meant the language parser (built via YACC) had to be extended significantly. YACC is, by default, a look-ahead 1 parser. Thanks to our language not using statement separators the grammar was eventually extended to the point (thanks to the addition of new features) where it eventually had to look ahead 7 tokens. Trying to improve on that while maintaining backward compatibility would have required maintaining all that legacy code in the modified YACC parser, etc.

The application also saved itself by basically dumping the entire contents of the running applications memory to a disk image. So to load/run an application you just read the entire image into memory and started executing it. In order to maintain binary compatibility with earlier versions of the product you had to maintain all the features that existed in earlier versions of the product since any binary image that got loaded could make use of those older features. Again, it effectively required a reliance on legacy code. If the legacy code was modified/replaced then it would have required customers to likely modify their code and recompile, which is exactly what the decision makers wanted to avoid.

Why Kubuntu? (0, Flamebait)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23034992)

Why not use Xubuntu or Fluxbuntu for older machines? That's what those distributions are intended for.

I'm probably going to get flamed for this.

Re:Why Kubuntu? (2, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035104)

Answered my own question. From TFA:

"The KDE Kiosk admin tool is currently used as there didn't appear to be enough flexibility with the GNOME setup to allow for a decent lockdown," Stefyn said.
It helps to RTFA.

I guess Xubuntu and Fluxbuntu should develop a similar Kiosk admin tool.

Seriously folks... (3, Insightful)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035006)

...do we really need Gartner to tell us that Vista is crap - one year and 3+ months after it was release?

Statements like "Users want a smaller Windows that can run on low-priced -- and low-powered -- hardware..." make me wonder if these guys graduated at the top of their class at Captain Obvious University.

Additionally they state "...increasingly, users work with "OS-agnostic applications..." - is there a reason for them to not just say "web apps"? And how about the fact that most large organizations have so much legacy code that even if Windows development stopped entirely today, you wouldn't get rid of all of that desktop apps for many, many, many years.

""Apple introduced its iPhone running OS X," no, it's a variant, which is a code-word for sub-set.

Re:Seriously folks... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035232)

..do we really need Gartner to tell us that Vista is crap - one year and 3+ months after it was release?


Considering all the "There's nothing wrong with Vista, it runs great for me" posts we see, apparently so.

Statements like "Users want a smaller Windows that can run on low-priced -- and low-powered -- hardware..." make me wonder if these guys graduated at the top of their class at Captain Obvious University.


Not really. Users might have wanted a larger Windows that offered more capabilities and features, instead. Arguably, Microsoft has laid their bets that this would be the case. Gartner is now saying that they bet on the wrong horse.

Additionally they state "...increasingly, users work with "OS-agnostic applications..." - is there a reason for them to not just say "web apps"?


Because "OS-agnostic applications" != "web apps". An OS-agnostic application might be a Java bytecode program that runs in a JVM, with no web browser or server involved. On the other hand, a web app might be coded with ActiveX controls which mean it'll only run on IE on a Windows box.

And how about the fact that most large organizations have so much legacy code that even if Windows development stopped entirely today, you wouldn't get rid of all of that desktop apps for many, many, many years.


More than a little truth here, but Microsoft isn't going to survive, let alone dominate, by just supporting legacy code. And while WINE is still immature, it's developing.

Re:Seriously folks... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035364)

Statements like "Users want a smaller Windows that can run on low-priced -- and low-powered -- hardware..." make me wonder if these guys graduated at the top of their class at Captain Obvious University.


Not really. Users might have wanted a larger Windows that offered more capabilities and features, instead. Arguably, Microsoft has laid their bets that this would be the case. Gartner is now saying that they bet on the wrong horse.
Two words: Eye Candy.

More likely... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035024)

That Microsoft's presence in the home will begin to waver, and people will replace their Windows PCs either with Linux installs or Apple Macs.

But Microsoft's dominance in the work place will remain for years to come. There are simply too many apps that run on Windows PCs to make them easily replaceable. Unless, of course, everything goes thin client, which it certainly won't overnight.

I might be wrong, but the average home user really only needs a bunch of things,

  • A web browser
  • A way to play music and movies
  • A way to manage photographs
  • Basic word processing needs
And Linux has all of these already.

Are these the same Gartner analysts (2, Insightful)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035026)

who said in 2001 that we'd all be using IM instead of email at work by 2006? My inbox says otherwise. I'll put this with all the other World of Tomorrow prognositcations, in the circular file.

Re:Are these the same Gartner analysts (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035214)

Speak for yourself. While I find myself receiving quite a bit of email, I would say that 85%+ of my communications at work are via my company's secure internal chat system.

And in related news ... (2, Funny)

mshmgi (710435) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035042)

it has also been reported that Apple (APPL) is still very near to death's door.

Windows vs Ubuntu (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035088)

I've bought my Mum a laptop for her birthday. It comes with Windows Vista but I'll be removing it and putting (K)Ubuntu on it instead.

Why? Because I'm worried about security. I don't want to put Firefox on the machine and constantly worry about the default browser (and its homepage) being reset. I don't want to one day be looking on Slashdot and read a story about how just browsing the web on Vista will compromise the machine and turn it into a zombie. I don't want to get a phone call from her because it's prompted her to allow or disallow an action.

I just want to install Firefox, set the homepage to Google and be done with it.

Learn from history, no it's not dying (2, Insightful)

noldrin (635339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035130)

Windows has always been a dog, but that has never stopped it. Vista is a dog, but I still have customers clamoring for it despite our best efforts to get them to stick with XP. The only way Linux will compete is if they build new platforms for people to do business on. Trying to clone the MS platform is always going to be buggy and incomplete. FOSS developers would do good to spend some time temping around as office admins to get an idea of how offices actually use their computers.

And the IMF says we're in recession ... (5, Insightful)

charlie (1328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035154)

Of course Windows is going to decline.

The International Monetary Fund [telegraph.co.uk] just announced that the sub-prime crisis has tipped the USA into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. During recessions, the first thing to get cut back on is unnecessary infrastructure replacement -- and PCs have been marketed on the basis of planned obsolescence [wikipedia.org] for around a decade now. So the PC replacement cycle will be hit, hard.

Vista is a resource hog, Ubuntu is just about coming up to mass market usability, and a lot of places are going to stop replacing their PCs annually or bi-annually in the next couple of years. Unless Windows 7 is as comparatively lightweight as XP, it's going to crash in the "upgrade your OS" market -- only new PCs will ship with it. So Microsoft will have two poor sellers in a row -- which is enough, in the mind of the fickle public, to establish a trend, and with Apple chowing down on 25% of the high-end laptop market already, they're in danger of being squeezed between a high-end competitor and a low-end one.

But.

Windows is so big, with such a huge established base, that its decline will resemble that of the old IBM mainframe environment -- which is still doing fine, decades after the death of the mainframe was predicted. This ain't going to happen overnight.

Re:And the IMF says we're in recession ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035330)

I'm tired of hearing that the sky is falling. The article you sited said, "The US is projected to tip into a mild recession in 2008, despite aggressive rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and timely implementation of a fiscal stimulus package."

I don't know how you got "the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s" out of that.

Slightly more on-topic. Vista is kinda crummy, but so was 95, 98, and Me. Everyone complained about 2000 and XP when they came out too. Microsoft didn't collapse. You're not going to see Mac and Linux corporate desktops in any great numbers any time soon.

"Give me a job, I'll support your company." (2, Interesting)

jab9990 (1260764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035182)

It's a simple formula that college kids don't understand until they are unemployed for a few years after college. That's when the blind chanting enthusiasm for the "best" product is put to the test.

The biggest problem stays Balmer (3, Interesting)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035244)

Balmer is a Tyrannosaurus, a dinosaur of the past. He's still playing an aggressive dominance card of leadership, but his ship has started sinking very slowly a long time ago. His style of management is imperious and ignorant. This used to be the way to go, when Microsoft was a aggressive and flexible shop going for world domination - not by being better, but being faster, and by _setting_ standards instead of waiting for them to evolve. Those times are long gone. Microsoft is a moloch. Vista didn't set any standard for anything. Apple did on the desktop and Google and others did in the web. And still there we have yelling Balmer as commander in chief shouting at those who could know better instead of listening and comprehending what is really going on.

Microsoft forgot their customer (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23035252)

Microsoft got all corporate and forgot their customer were the *end users*.

They seemed to get it in their head their customers were the people asking for DRM throughout the OS.

They seemed to believe the end users (the ones who have to pay for, and use their product) don't matter. They thought people just wanted some fancy need interface tweaks, and they'll accept whatever is forced on them.

It turned out they were wrong.

Microsoft need to strip it down, make the next version wicked fast, make it open to people who want to use their platform and media the way they want, and encourage developers. Backward compatibility? Only to the extent of running the top 500 well-behaved applications.

Give the next version away. Use the slogan "We're showing Windows the door".

Gartner is the Jeane Dixon of Computers (4, Insightful)

pcguru19 (33878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035264)

There are folks that take the word of Gartner like it is manna from heaven and it continues to amaze me. They've managed to position themselves a trusted source by putting products in a 2x2 square after they interview people using the software despite the fact that most of the time they end up being wrong. Like any good psychic, they only refer to their successes at predicting the future and hope people will forget when they missed the mark.

Going forward... (1, Insightful)

locokamil (850008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23035368)

... it's not that I'm not looking forward to a world where MS no longer controls the desktop market. It's just that in the places it matters, MS software is *so* much easier to use than the competitors.

An example, if you will: I recently wanted to set up a mailing/scheduling system at home because I have way too many computers to manually add all my appointments and contacts to. My order of preference for these kinds of projects is usally Linux first, and then MS, so I tried setting up Zimbra (thanks for acting like MS and locking features down, asshats!), then Scalix (holy hell, I've never seen such a complicated management interface) and finally Kolab (feature incomplete). I spent a total of about 40 hours getting all of these things to run.

I was left with no choice other than an MS solution. I had all the bits and pieces lying around the house, and in the end, it took less than two hours to put together an AD domain controller with Exchange running on it. And that includes the time it took to set up each of my seven computers to talk to the system.

Really, I don't mean to come off as an MS shill. When I'm working for myself, Linux is my first port of call. But OSS is far behind MS on the usability front, and until it catches up, the (bulk) business customers that drive the IT industry won't abandon MS.
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