Windows is collapsing – Gartner

The Windows operating system (OS) is collapsing under the weight of its own complexity, two analysts from IT advisory Gartner warned this week.

The OS has grown so large that introducing significant improvements is proving too complex even for its creators, said Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald yesterday, speaking at the Gartner IT/Expo and Symposium in Las Vegas.

That explains why the latest incarnation of the OS, Windows Vista, produced only incremental benefits, whereas previous releases such as Windows XP had delivered significant functionality improvement. It also explains why adoption of Vista has so far been underwhelming.

"Most users do not understand the benefits of Windows Vista or do not see Vista as being better enough than Windows XP to make incurring the cost and pain of migration worthwhile,” said Silver and MacDonald.

As businesses make increasing use of virtualisation – greatly increasing the OS instances across the IT infrastructure – they will be looking for lightweight and flexible operating systems, not bloated and immobile systems, the analysts said.

“For Microsoft, its ecosystem and its customers, the situation is untenable,” Silver and MacDonald concluded. "Windows as we know it must be replaced."

Further reading

Hypervision Virtualisation threatens to usurp the classic role of the operating system and reshape the industry.

Wider options on the desktop The front line of IT used to come in a single flavour, but the variety of configurations now possible on the desktop allow organisations to make some strategy choices.

Find more stories in the Desktop & Mobile Briefing Room

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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