Monday, May 07, 2007

RIP Windows?

In 1995, Microsoft introduces a new operating called Windows 95. It also announce the end of life of DOS. Since then, computer users experienced new versions of Windows with the latest being Windows Vista. Will Vista be the last Windows or the start of its death march?

It took Bill Gates and company around three years after the release of Windows XP to get it out. It also performs major surgery, dropping several promised technologies from Windows Vista feature list. Even then, loud rumors have been circulating that Windows Vista is already flawed and that a Service Pack was ready while Vista was being packaged. And then it was released. Problems abound.

Heavy hardware requirements aside, Vista's security management is far too rigid that it is a problem just to install your standard XP programs such as Adobe Acrobat. Yet it still open to attacks. Aero Glass interface is such a power hog that several laptop computer manufacturers had it turn off upon purchase of their computers to be able to save power ( Its power management is even more confusing than ever before.

So where do Microsoft should go from here?

There are three paths that it can thread. First, do an Apple reboot meaning create a clean, new operating system without any of the legacy codes. Though Microsoft is big, the source code of Windows is said to be in millions of lines that even several legions of programmers, it may take several years again to redo it. I think this should be done immediately since the bugs and hack openings of Windows is worsening. Computer users, including this author, are experiencing renewed attacks from malovalent programs such viruses, spywares, rootkits and trojans. It is already reaching an exasperating level already.

Second, they can just buy Novell Suse and use it as a base for its new "Windows". I must admit this a radical approach but the most logical one given the buggy nature of the current Windows. It is also cost-effective, easier and faster to implement. But legal issues may be encountered since Suse Linux is open source. Microsoft may produced a closed-source version from Novell Suse.

Third, Microsoft will still use current source code no matter what. That would mean Windows users will continue their sufferings. Some, if not all, Windows users may slowly experiment and eventually shift to Linux. This might be the likely situation.

Given the renewed drive against software piracy by their governments, users in third world countries will definitely give Linux and FLOSS a try. Hopefully, they will also shift.

Now, let us wait and see on what will Microsoft will do.


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