Why Vista Will Not Be The Last OS Microsoft Makes

A site boasting to offer irreverent Apple news boasted some frankly irrelevant news yesterday. An opinion piece titled "

Will Vista Be the Last Operating System Microsoft Produces?" suggested that after Vista, that's it in the OS game for Microsoft. We urge you to read it.

The article argues that if they do put out another OS, it won't be until 2015. How, I hear you cry, could this be so? Quite simple, according to

Apple Matters (we'd pun the name, but hey, you can over do it). First, Vista is just too big! Secondly, that web based Google OS is coming. Thirdly, that Microsoft have lost some employees to Google.

Leaving asides the

63,000+ people still working at Microsoft, the article is seriously flawed on a number of counts. A new OS every eight years?! Drive letters are an antiquated 'idea'? A web based Google OS? There's too much code in Vista?! Come on. A drastic re-write is what Microsoft claims to have done with Vista, and is one of the reasons why it has taken so long to deliver. The Google OS rumour has hopped from blog to blog with little attributable information to verify such a claim. One might claim with more credibility that Microsoft had done a far better job at building a 'web OS' with Live.com. Further, if reports are to be believed, Microsoft will soon be launching online storage too, well before the GDrive is launched. As Mr Cringley is so found of writing, we probably will see serious virutalisation of Windows on Mac in the near future - yet the scale is important.

Apple is very deft at getting journalists (and bloggers) to write very favourable articles about the company. However, this skill masks excellently the company's size in comparison to the competition. Apple's share of the PC market in 2005 was just

2.5%. That's correct. Whilst it might be coasting at 50+% in portable media player markets, if not a lot more, in the PC market, it is slim. Steve Jobs, mac god, has engineered a recovery in the company's financial fortunes but has seen a

decline in the market share (4.6% in 1996, 2.2% 2005). We think you can probably do the maths here - hint - Linux isn't taking up more than a few percent. That's right - Windows has between 80 and 90% of the PC market.

Here is the reality. Vista development is plodding along. It's not going to be the re-birth of Christ, but it is going to be an improvement on Windows XP. It is exciting, and whilst it's very popular to say otherwise, it does come with new features. We're mid year, and Microsoft does not have any major product announcements at the moment. This is why it's gone a bit quiet; not because something has gone seriously wrong and they're hushing it up. Microsoft have a long list of items they've, well, dropped from Vista, and it doesn't seem plausible that they would simply waste that development. Expect a service pack with a number of features (WinFS, for example) after Vista has been launched.

Perhaps it is unfair to single out this article for attention, for it is but one in a series of articles doing a dis-service to bloggers online. A previous example is the 60% of Vista getting a re-write story which bounced around the web in March. We'll admit - true to name, we at Neowin are about as un-professional as it gets. However, we're not in the business of what can best be described as 'trashy think pieces', designed for the single aim of
courting 'controversy' - and traffic. Writers might think that the short term gain from getting syndicated around the web is worth it - but we think not. We're here for our users, and think that running mis-leading articles is at best unhelpful, and at worst, down right mischievous. If online publications, bloggers included, want to be taken seriously as 'news' outlets, they need to be serious about their news.

As this affects
you, dear reader, we'd like to hear your thoughts - so leave us a comment.

View: Apple Matters Article


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