__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Friday 05 May 2006 23:18 \__
> Actually, I'd go even further than that and call it wishful thinking.
> There are some historical patterns which back this up.
> Normally, when Microsoft promises a product that is late - for a
> particular year,
> Windows NT 3.1 came out in late July
> Windows 95 came out in August
> Windows NT 4.0 came out in September
> Windows 98 came out in April (shortly after the appeal ruling on the
> contempt of court case).
> Windows 2000 came out in April
> Windows XP came out in September (possibly "official release" on August
> The April releases came out in that time largely in response to certain
> court ruling issues, and/or to avoid coming out during a critical time.
> Generally the initial release has been followed by an "upgrade",
> usually around 6-10 months later. Windows 95 became Windows 95B,
> Windows 98 became Windows 98 SE, Windows NT 4.0 had SP1, SP2, and was
> stable at SP3. Windows 2000 was stable by SP2, and Windows XP was
> stable under SP1 but Microsoft has pushed SP2 almost against the
> desires of certain customers.
Was there a choice at all? The resistance should be directed at the flaws of
the existing product and not a certain decision made by the vendor,
primarily due to security woes(**). One must question: how can a company
develop and invest labour in a new product while falling back to older
versions (on which the successor depends) to fix critical 'in the wild'
issues and rebuild everything as to make it more modular and easier to test.
No wonder Windows Vista has become Service Pack III and a release date is so
hard to determine. Windows drove itself into the wall.
(**) This comes to show the dangers of being locked to just one vendor. Back
in the days of Seervice Pack II there were other choices available.
> On the other hand, Microsoft going the route of DRI is pure fantasy.
> In reality, Bill Gates has far too much control over the company to let
> that happen. Furthermore, Gates has clearly planned for the demize of
> Windows as the monopoly operating system. The release of the X/Box
> family of products, and the licensing of Unix assure Microsoft of the
> ability to remain relevant and even profitable and thriving - even if
> the monopoly control of the market disappeared.
The XBox, however, is aimed at dominance at home entertainment (the living
room). Whether there are channels for expansion, we shall see in a few
years. The XBox could evolve into a Web surfing station and a better media
centre appliance. The Xbox 360 is just a way of setting a foot on the door.
Lockins and exit barriers will might leave it there for while. Why do you
think Microsoft are selling XBoxes for a loss? They merely try to have that
Trojan horse penentrate people's houses.
> In fact, Microsoft has enough experience in this market to remain a
> dominant force even if Linux were to be installed in every new machine.
> Microsoft still has a great talent for creating self-supporting
> applications, which many customers would prefer even if Linux replaced
Well, Microsoft identified potential in Web services. So far they are doing
quite badly. There is another Gompany (sic) with market wisdom and a
wonderful pool of talent.
> What would be remarkable is if Microsoft shifted it's focus from a
> proprietary kernel, allowing users to use Linux or BSD based kernels,
> and focused on the desktop manager, the applications, and the tools and
> games that they have offered for Windows.
> After all, it's Microsoft's applications which keep people attached to
> Windows, and Microsoft doesn't make that much profit on the Operating
> Systems sold to OEMs and Corporations, which is about 99% of their
> The irony is that Microsoft might even be MORE profitable if they could
> focus their energies on what they do best (Self-Supporting tools and
> applications) and leave the nuts and bolts of the inner kernel and core
> display systems to Unix. Now that they have purchased all of the
> rights to UNIX (on a nonexclusive basis) from SCO, they could easily do
Microsoft are using Linux servers in some in-house sections (networking). I
could find the reference to this, if needed.
> The main thing is that there are no longer any barriers, legal or
> contractural, preventing Microsoft from putting a great desktop manager
> on Unix/X11, adding some of the most popular tools, applications, and
> configuration tools, and calling it Vista.
Pulling an Apple? I think someone one alluded this in the context of Windows.
> Quite honestly, if Microsoft adhered to Unix standards instead of
> corrupting them, they might be able to have a better product, in less
> time, that could compete well with OS/X.
> If Apple started licensing OS/X for AMD-64 and IA-64 machines, possibly
> even allowing the OEMs to use FreeBSD, BSD, or Linux kernels as the
> foundation - using the OS/X value-adds - Apple could be a huge threat
> to Microsoft.
I believe they already are. It's the cost that will not allow them to enter
the average household.
> If Novell continues to enhance and expand the SUSE Linux destkop
> environment, they could be a big threat as well.
> The more realistic scenario would be essentially a "Mainframe on a
> Laptop" - running VM (VMWare, VirtualPC, Xen,...) with multiple
> concurrent operating systems running much like applications. I've been
> using VMWare Workstation to manage multiple VMs and have found that
> this is a good alternative to pulling out the second laptop which runs
> Linux - every time I need Linux.
> Even for Windows, having VMs makes it easier to avoid the "DLL Hell"
> that so often results in a corrupted laptop that won't reboot - that
> has to be re-imaged completely.
> The irony is that I still find that using XP as the primary operating
> system is the "path of least resistance" for 32 bit platforms. Linux
> is the "path of greatest advantage" for 64 bit chips.
Exactly. In so many respects (other than market share), it is already far
ahead. It obviates the need for pricey Solaris and UNIX servers. From what I
can gather in general computing newsgroups, the number of people who install
Ubuntu on a second partition is growing exponentially.
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