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March 20, 2008


Gen Kanai

Redmond is between Scylla and Charybdis wrt Vista. There is no Plan B for Microsoft. Users can go back to XP, or to a Mac, or to a flavor of Linux, but for Redmond, all they can do is bang the drum of Vista, because that is all they have. While there have been some small concessions to the users, it's clear that any official stance by Redmond prolonging the support of XP would be seen as a blatant admission of Vista's horrendous market acceptance.

It is often said that Microsoft was caught by Brook's "mythical man-month" wrt Vista: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."


I am one of those people who thought it would have been better for Microsoft (and all of us) if the company had been split into separate OS and application companies a few years back. There's no shortage of brain power in Microsoft, but there is an unfortunate loyalty to the technical status quo. Imagine what Office for Linux would have done for the prospects of Linux as a business desktop. Imagine what the specter of real OS competition would have driven the Microsoft OS division to do. But, alas, water under the bridge.

Even OS X is a slick shell on a legacy OS (FreeBSD). Of any company on earth, Microsoft has the best shot at re-thinking the PC OS from the ground up and developing something entirely new. That's what I'd like to see from them. But they, and thus we, seem mired in Win32 legacy land for ever.

The bright spot is that technology has way of evolving out from underneath top-heavy incumbents (see IBM). Some incumbents adapt and resurrect (see IBM again). Some don't.

Which will Microsoft be?


Great post - I'm not a big fan of the "overenthusiastic" protection of IP here in the states, but I think the integration of global markets offers a very good hope for some sort of reasonable compromise. I'm against piracy, but I think that using monopoly advantage to intentionally deprecate a usable technology is abuse of market position.

This thought has been out there for awhile, but there are many similarities between Vista and ME, especially in terms of adoption rates (as opposed to technical inadequacies). Both got a rep of being less than perfect, and their respective successors (XP and System 7) will come to market quickly and will need to be very solid for MS to retain market dominance.


That's a commendable thing to do. And I hope they succeed. I like my WinXP and I can't stand that damn Vista.

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