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Windows Client Collapse?

Last week, I voiced a few concerns over Gartner's analysis of virtualization. The esteemed group argued that PC virtualization will spell the end of "the monolithic, general-purpose operating system" (read: Windows).

I did an analysis of Windows on the desktop and found it almost impossible to kill. Compatibility, OEMs and the economics of Windows PCs will keep the OS large and in charge for years to come. There's simply nothing that can replace it. The Mac, Linux, mobile devices -- all just nibble around the edges of the Microsoft monopoly.

Now, the Gartner gurus have another proclamation: Windows is collapsing due to its sheer size and the only thing that can save it is virtualization (the exact opposite of the company's first prediction). The idea is for Microsoft to write all-new OS code and use a virtual layer to maintain backward compatibility. It sounds interesting in theory, but these kinds of compatibility layers are always way harder to write than you might think.

Don't these analysts even talk to each other or read each other's press releases? And just what is going to replace Windows? The expensive Mac? Linux? Pure Web? Tell me where I'm wrong and Gartner is right by writing [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on April 14, 2008


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