Gartner: Microsoft’s Windows collapsing under its own weight

“Microsoft’s Windows juggernaut is collapsing as it tries to support 20 years of applications and becomes more complicated by the minute. Meanwhile, Windows has outgrown hardware and customers are pondering skipping Vista to wait for Windows 7. If Windows is going to remain relevant it will need radical changes,” Larry Dignan blogs for ZDNet.

“That sobering outlook comes courtesy of Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald. Half of a full room of IT managers and executives raised their hands when asked whether Microsoft needed to radically change its approach to Windows,” Dignan reports.

“So what does Microsoft need to do? For starters, Windows should create versions for specific uses. These modules would be able to swapped out depending on the customer,” Dignan reports.

A few key redesign ideas from Silver and MacDonald:
• Windows should be able to be tailored to specific applications
• Better security
• Make migration to new versions easier
• Simplify licensing to focus on specific devices

Dignan reports, “The bottom line for Gartner is that Windows needs to be replaced, lock-in needs to end and product schedules need to be more predictable. Windows should also be more manageable.”

“Will Windows 7 become this adaptive thing that Gartner describes? Probably not. Gartner argues that Microsoft should use virtualization to solve the backward compatibility issue plaguing Windows,” Dignan writes. “Will Windows 7 jettison its current kernel for multiple versions? Not likely.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s nothing wrong with Windows. In fact it’s magnificent and only getting better. And if by “collapsing under its own weight” you morons mean “maturing” then you might have something.

    Microsoft has ushered in so many useful and welcome innovations through Windows in the past 20 years we should all be grateful—most of all Apple. Where do you MAC lemmings think the copycats in Cupertino get their ideas? Let Apple seal their doom with Zen concepts like ‘adding by subtracting’. As far as Windows goes I really think Microsoft should continue to ‘add by adding’.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  2. Yes. True. I feel the same way.
    But we’re in the 21st century now and progress is progress.

    I just bought Ps CS3 and I just want you to know that I never see the progress bar when I apply a filter.
    It is much more expensive, but so is a new car.

    As for Micros**t, they fail because they just have no taste. And I mean that not in a small way, but in a big way.

  3. It’s all that legacy support going all the way back to DOS and Windows 3. Microsoft really should have done what Apple did with the transition to OS X: Make an entirely modern Operating System, with legacy support as an optional feature that can eventually be chopped off.

    Remember, since the PC was introduced, Apple has made two major legacy breaks (Apple II to Mac, Classic to OS X) and two lesser but OS-significant breaks (68K to PowerPC, PPC to Intel).

    MS in that same timeframe has made NONE. Windows today is nothing more than 20+ years of barnacles on a creaky DOS hull.

  4. Also, Blue Dream, consider smart filters, smart objects, layer comps, super, super tight integration with the other apps . . . it’s worth upgrading, and unless I’m mistaken, all you need to get upgrade pricing is any version of Photoshop (at least that used to be the policy). I don’t know what you do, but it might make your life a lot easier. Loathe as I am to shill for Adobe nothing else really compares.

  5. I had a choice.

    Between insecure (Windows) and secure (OSX).

    Between cobbled together (Windows) and well integrated (OSX).

    Between ugliness (Windows) and beauty (OSX).

    Between good enough (Windows) and excellence (OSX).

    Between going with the crowd (Windows) my own path (OSX).

    Between pain (Windows) and pleasure (OSX).

    Between clumsiness (Windows) and grace (OSX).

    Between an insidious destructive monopoly (Micros**t) and a company on top of its game (Apple).

    Instead of letting the herd mentality dictate my buying decision I let common sense do the talking. I run my own business.
    Without Micros**t.

    That pathetic sod who names himself after a bad iPod copy is a great example of how people think once they have ceded their own individuality to a monolithic empire. Poor bastard.

  6. @Zune Tang®
    You’re as goofy as a Hammerhead shark. Your eyeballs are pointed in two different directions and you don’t even know it. They keep trying to improve this pigs ear of a program (Microsoft) and it is still a pigs ear. Your registered name should be Hot Brown Butt Mud for the crap you sling around here.

  7. Please lay off Zuney! He’s a friendly neighborhood troll.

    I guess MS could only fool people for so long, eh? I’m glad to see their down fall in my lifetime-think of the possibilities if the playing field were truly even again. Someday in retrospect, the time they spent at the top will seem like a blip.

  8. Windows is so bloated and carries so much legacy code that the “great idea” from Gartner is to have multiple versions of Windows so users could pick only the modules they want. This flies in the face of Microsoft’s plan, which is to tie everything to the OS so that users don’t have a choice in which app to use.

    Of course, this strategy also presumes that users could easily differentiate between versions of Windows. Sure didn’t happen with Vista.

    Microsoft wouldn’t need multiple versions of Windows if it would just cut off legacy code and accept that some corporations may not upgrade right away due to old legacy apps. Those corporations may just get inspired to in turn update their 15 year old apps and move into the 21st Century, which would actually push them along to new versions of Windows.

    Thank goodness Microsoft is too stupid (and Ballmer is too focused on immediate sales) to figure that out.

  9. What’s laughably ironic is if the article is to be believed, and the IT managers in the room are serious, M$ is already giving them what they want with Vista and yet they still complain, even though most of them aren’t even using it or haven’t even tried it.

    For example, these IT managers ostensibly want to do away with Windows venerable legacy compatibility all the way back to 16-bit applications. Great idea. Would make everyone’s life easier, including M$. Well, Vista does just that…and so they’ve not adopted it because they’d have to recode all those thousands of custom and legacy applications that don’t have correct privilege elevation rights. Hell, I work at a company where they have a 12-year old database system running on 11-year old hardware and management refuses to invest in software made this decade. Replicate that problem millions of times in corporate America and the cries for abandoning legacy support fall flat. This is one area where Apple really, really shines, though admittedly, they had less to lose by breaking off pre-OSX applications and hardware vis a vis M$.

    Vista also breaks with an entirely new and eminently more secure driver model (drivers completely separated from the kernel now), and yet IT managers complain that legacy hardware (printers, scanners, cameras, old servers, et al) don’t work on Vista because there are no drivers for old gear that comply with the new model. IT managers want it both ways and it’s just not going to happen, especially since Windows 7 based on the MinWin kernel is just continued refinement of Vista.

    About the only thing they said that makes sense is that M$ really needs to fix its licensing model…it’s just crazy (and SA can be sometimes punitive), though not the worst.

    “Then they only have to scrap DirectX and replace it with OpenGL and you have something that might actually work.”

    Um, dude, DirectX is far, far more capable and advanced than OpenGL. It’s not even close.

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