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.
"Most users do not understand the benefits of Windows Vista or do not see Vista as being better enough than Windows XP to make incurring the cost and pain of migration worthwhile."
Users want a smaller Windows that can run on low-priced -- and low-powered -- hardware. And increasingly, users work with "OS-agnostic applications," the two analysts said in their presentation. It takes too long for Microsoft to build the next version, the company is being beaten by others in the innovation arena, and in the future -- perhaps as soon as the next three years -- it's going to have trouble competing with Web applications and small, specialized devices.
Gartner is so friendly to M$ they recommend people buy Vista, so the truth is worse than the report. Industry and users have revolted and numerous profitable developments like the EEE PC prove no one needs M$.
A ZDnet response is amusing. The author has trouble imagining restrictive Apple taking over because of the decentralized nature of the PC market. That's fine but he's also unable to imagine much less restrictive free software being able to do the same. He's got some sort of distribution hang up that ignores the reality of PC support - it's always been provided by the community, not M$. It should be obvious at this point that every level of the PC market is already moving to free software from manufacture to mom and pop PC stores. M$ has failed to deliver and the alternative is easy to get your hands on. The PC community will be able to deal with a choice of distribution the same way they have dealt with the huge choice of hardware that's always been available. Free markets thrive on choice that non free software can't provide.