Gartner: Microsoft’s Vista will be the last of its kind

Apple Store“Vista will be the last version of Windows that exists in its current, monolithic form, according to Gartner,” Matthew Broersma reports for Techworld.

Broersma reports, “Instead, the research firm predicts, Microsoft will be forced to migrate Windows to a modular architecture tied together through hardware-supported virtualisation. ‘The current, integrated architecture of Microsoft Windows is unsustainable – for enterprises and for Microsoft,’ wrote Gartner analysts Brian Gammage, Michael Silver and David Mitchell Smith.”

“The problem is that the operating system’s increasing complexity is making it ever more difficult for enterprises to implement migrations, and impossible for Microsoft to release regular updates. This, in turn, stands in the way of Microsoft’s efforts to push companies to subscription licensing,” Broersma reports.

Broersma reports, “Next-generation Windows-based partitions ‘could run in parallel to partitions running kernels with the Vista/NT code base,’ wrote Gammage, Silver and Smith. They said Microsoft doesn’t agree with this vision, saying it’s identified problems with integrating data across partitions and creating a consistent user experience… Gartner expects a significant update to Vista in late 2008 or 2009 that will add virtualisation (in the form of a component called a hypervisor) and a service partition. The hypervisor will allow more frequent updates, and will make the Software Assurance subscription scheme effectively mandatory for Windows from around 2010, Gartner said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “The Other Steve” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: The problem, defined charitably above as “increasing complexity,” is more properly described thusly: Windows is a bloated mess of old code, rewrites, add-ons, workarounds, and spaghetti code that was not designed at its core to be a networked OS and that no one person understands fully.

With Apple’s Mac OS X, the world’s most advanced operating system, the future’s right before your eyes. Get a Mac.

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  1. I agree that Microsoft cannot continue as it has in the past. The extraordinary difficulties they’ve had getting Vista even to a state where they can ship a product that is far from their initial aspirations, and their continued inability to deal effectively with security illustrate the problems. The MSDOS-Win95-NT-XP-Vista code is too complex and too tied to preinternet days when viruses and other malware weren’t even imagined. Like Apple did with OSX, MS needs to start over and write a new, modern, secure OS, while continuing to support their legacy software. It makes sense that it might be modular but it doesn’t seem necessary to me. Why they haven’t done so already is beyond me. They certainly have the money and, by all accounts, many very talented young programmers. Yes, it means that Windows software will have to be ported to the new OS, which will delay migration. But MS is in such a dominant position in the corporate world that most businesses will eventually have to update and software developers will only profit from the new sales. Unfortuantely (or fortunately for those of us who love Macs) MS seems to lack vision and real leadership. They resemble IBM in the early 80s. Too big and cumbersome, too tied to the past. Maybe they need to do what IBM did when they built the first IBM-PC: spin off a small group to do the task and leave them alone.

  2. jay: “Will someone put that into non-geek speak for me?”

    “Next-generation Windows-based partitions ‘could run in parallel to partitions running kernels with the Vista/NT code base,’ wrote Gammage, Silver and Smith.”

    Translation: We make stuff up to sound smart. If our crap sounds believable, we get paid. There was an entire semester of this BS in college and now it’s paying off. One more beer bong and we would have missed this lesson.


    wake up people..

    just because you’ve invested years of your life learning to use, and using it doesnt justify its existance, and it doesnt mean that its not crap…

  4. Max OS X is no less a bloated mess of old code, rewrites, add-ons, workarounds, and spaghetti code.

    I love it and use it and have since the Public Beta all the way up to now. And it works nearly flawlessly and by nearly I mean 99.9999999999999999999999% of the time. My Macs have uptimes of half-years.

    But let’s not pretend that code-wise, things couldn’t be streamlined, trimmed down, optimized and cleaned up a lot more than how it is now.

    And seeing “NS_” this and “NS_” that in the Mac code makes me cringe. 16 years after NeXTSTEP and the Mac OS X code is still needlessly branded.

  5. As every developer is aware of this, OS X got a lot of stuff from NextStep — and these terminologies were retained as is.

    I don’t understand why this should make you cringe. Is there anything specific that you are referring to?

  6. “16 years after NeXTSTEP and the Mac OS X code is still needlessly branded.”

    Isn’t it more accurate to say 9 years after NeXTSTEP? It was still being developed until Apple bought NeXT in 1997. Why count from the beginning? And do you really think OS X would be so much better if the NS_” stuff was removed?

  7. I’m all for the Wall Street Pirates buying & breaking the mother up. SPlit it into the following business units:
    1-Online Services Company including MSN, Windows Live & X-Box Live.
    2-Applications Company including Office, Security-A/V software & Windoze Media.
    3-Consumer Products Company including X-Box, Fake iPods, peripherals & Game Studios.
    4-Technology Licensing Company that holds all Patents and gains income through the licensing of them.
    5-Stand-Alone Company selling client & server versions of Windows and IT services.

  8. Microsoft’s Vista will be the last of its kind

    Because when it ships, it will[/i be the last, of course, and when the next version ships, Vista will be the last one, again, whether the next one is the same kind or not, as XP is the last one now.

    “Last” should be “final.”

    They should pull up their gartners and write another headline.

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