My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Predictions About Microsoft's Next OS After Vista

A recent insider told me that Vista is going to be the last OS of its kind once it is released. And that's if it's released, of course. It might, once again, have to go back to the drawing board to have more stuff ripped out that's unpopular, and more goodies added in, in order to lure people in. This process is going to be expensive for Microsoft. Meanwhile, Microsoft may do what they did when Windows 98'ers started to mention that they would not upgrade to Windows 2000 when it was planned to be released -- Microsoft introduced Windows ME and stalled W2K's release a few months. I think the same thing will happen to Vista. Therefore, before Vista ships, imagine a "Windows XP Service Pack 3" with a kind of "Windows XP Plus Pack", call it something completely different like "XP Vista", and imagine you having to pay for it and not get it for free. That's probably what will happen before Vista ships. And I imagine that Vista might ship without DRM and some of the other unpopular features inside, and it might not ship until late 2007 or early 2008.

So what comes after Vista? Well, you may see the pieces falling into place:

  • Microsoft was secretly backing SCO's lawsuit through a third-party in an effort to thwart Linux. (We all know that backfired.) It shows Microsoft's continual alliance with SCO. We also can recall the early SCO (before it went bankrupt and reformed as Caldera and was renamed as SCO again) and that this SCO was a spinoff from Microsoft when Microsoft came up with a fork of BSD Unix called Xenix. So Microsoft has always kept its hand in the cookie jar of another Unix-based company.

  • SCO is a company in dire straits ever since losing the cases against IBM and Novell. They could use a big injection of cash, sort of like when Microsoft injected a bunch of cash into Apple.

  • Microsoft has always been a big fan of Apple. It owes much of its success to Apple. Much of Vista's new features look like almost complete ripoffs of Apple once again, just like the similarities with Windows 95 and an earlier Mac OS. Apple taught Microsoft a lesson when it switched its underlying OS into BSD Unix and bolted the Mac OS on top of that to form Mac OS X. Apple basically acquired NeXT Corp and the NeXT OS, which was BSD Unix based, and bolted on the Mac OS GUI on top of that, forming Mac OS X.

  • Microsoft has been taking it on the nose when it comes to security. They need to get acceptance as having a secure OS.

  • Microsoft has been trying to bolster its open source connections in order to gain market acceptance with the industry analysts.

Therefore, can you figure the picture out yet? It's simple! Microsoft will acquire SCO and then build the next version of OS after Vista as a GUI and extra services on top of SCO's Unix. Microsoft certainly won't build it from scratch because Microsoft lacks the capacity for serious innovation -- they simply acquire companies instead.

However, I have bad news for Microsoft. This will backfire. First, the open source community will be very vocal against this. Second, the industry analysts have been trained to have a keen eye for Microsoft's arrogance and its evil strategies of FUD, Vaporware, and Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish -- they won't talk nicely about this new alliance at all.

If I were a CIO or CEO of a large, major company right now, I'd be rethinking my options or getting on a plane to meet the big wigs at Microsoft. Microsoft's mis-steps are going to be costly for corporations around the world. They'll have to go back to actually listening to their customers again -- go figure. If I were major CEO right now, I would seriously be considering moving all my users rapidly in the company to OpenOffice, Firefox, and make everything else in the company run as a web app on Firefox. Then, if the OS market becomes unstable, I could at least switch my employees to Mac OS X, Ubuntu Linux, or anything but Microsoft.

Also, with all the talks of a re-emergence of antitrust litigation added into this mix, Microsoft's future looks extremely uncertain.

So that's what I predict for Microsoft's future.


  • At Fri Dec 29, 09:34:00 PM MST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Patently ludicrous. MSFT will never buy SCO, and it will never build a new OS over a UNIX. They had that chance waaay back when in the day when they owned XENIX, and they elected to make Windows NT instead.

    SCO is a bad investment for anyone. Linux and open-source Solaris have absolutely *killed* any reason for the OS's existence at all, save for a few legacy apps which might be tied to it.

  • At Sun Dec 31, 02:43:00 PM MST , Blogger supermike said...

    "had that chance when they owned XENIX"

    Microsoft owned Xenix and spun off a company called Santa Cruz Operation with this intellectual property rather than integrate it with Windows NT. Caldera then snatched up this failing company after it was floundering for a few years. Ray Noorda, a really cool guy, ran the company and it was going off in a great direction. But then he got Alzheimers and the dopes in the company renamed it to SCO and took it off in this ludicrous direction to try and sue IBM and anyone else using Linux. Microsoft saw this and gave it a little boost.

    Things have changed since the days of Microsoft's XENIX. Every major operating system on the planet runs on some kind of UNIX or Linux architecture. Linux and UNIX are taking over in the server rooms of the world and Microsoft knows it. What's to say that Microsoft can't see the winds of change and abandon the failed NT architecture and go with an architecture built on top of SCO's UNIX?

    (Trivia: Note also that Microsoft used XENIX to boot Windows NT in the very early days. When NT crashed, the OS returned back to XENIX!)

    "SCO is a bad investment for anyone."

    Yep, SCO is a crappy company with lousy products, lousy, evil business strategy, and is in a world of hurt right now. I know that, and you know that, but Microsoft will soon be wanting to *stick* it to Linux in a very cruel, vicious way. The groundwork has been laid for it. SCO is floundering, ready as a takeover target. Microsoft has cut deals with Novell and perhaps they may go further and negotiate a deal where they purchase the UNIX trademark from Novell and snatch up SCO to build the next version of Windows. Allchin, the primary developer for Windows, has already given notice that he's going to quit in a year, and this lays another cornerstone for Microsoft to make the break for another architecture that will make it save face with CIOs and CEOs over their server room plans.

    By doing this, sure, Microsoft will really piss off a lot of Linux advocates and the strategy will backfire eventually. Initially, however, CIOs and CEOs will embrace the strategy wholeheartedly. I've never met a CIO I didn't like -- most have been great big magazine-reading dopes, going with whatever is the latest trend without getting in the trenches to see if that actually makes sense or not. So, the CEOs and CIOs will go with it initially, but then the Linux advocates (like me) will be vocal about it, and Microsoft will get beat up eventually in the press for the move.

    So I believe I see what's about to happen in the future with Microsoft, and I would strongly encourage them to go this route because I'd like to see them get run completely into the ground. I hate that company.


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