Life After Windows?

Date July 30, 2008

This isn't particularly related to systems administration, per say, but I think that the people who read this blog might be interested in it.

According to SDTimes, Microsoft is preparing for life after Windows, with an operating system called Midori.

When I first started reading the article, I was intrigued. Windows has been the prevalent operating system of home computers now for almost 15 years. Before Windows, there was DOS. That was a paradigm shift. I'm wondering how extreme the next jump will be. How far will Microsoft push the line?

I was sad when I got to this sentence:
One of Microsoft’s goals is to provide options for Midori applications to co-exist with and interoperate with existing Windows applications, as well as to provide a migration path.

Unfortunately, that requirement might stop them from doing anything terribly exciting. With a decade of legacy code to support, I don't see how the change could be earth shattering.

I'm not a Microsoft hater. I don't use Windows, and I don't particularly like it much, but I respect what it has done for standardizing the personal computer industry, and I'm interested to see if Microsoft can push the bar, and really come up with something good. Time will tell.

  • Michel

    I dont even see myself as a their targetgroup.

    Still no packagesystem and no assurance that i will be able to access my data and use their applications if they or some government decides i shouldnt.

    Also Vista is a good example what backwardscompatibility does to an operating system. Imho they should have done it like apple and run the older applications in kind of a virtual machine. At least i read somewhere that apple did that.

  • Joe

    Bit of a side-rant:

    "but I respect what it has done for standardizing the personal computer industry"

    And the corporate industry as well. Hate Microsoft all you want, but no one else has come close to providing a total, centralized corporate environment. I always mark people as +1 in my book when they see something like this. :)

    Michel: Yes, the first version of OS X provided a virtual machine that ran OS 9. If I remember right, it ran in its own windowed environment.

    They still have support for running PPC executables by way of their Rosetta technology.

  • Matt

    @Michel

    I think what you're referring to, and what I loved, was that Apple realized that people were going to be converting from their G4/G5 processors to the Intel chips they use now, and for that purpose, they created Resetta, which, as far as I've experienced, has worked flawlessly. They did it right.

    If Microsoft is intelligent, they'll do the same sort of thing, so that in the long run, you won't have to worry about being compatible with things wanting VBRUN300.DLL.

    Thanks for the comment :-)

  • Matt

    @joe

    Ah, you beat me by 30 seconds or so ;-)

    You're right, in that Microsoft did the infrastructure-wide platform solution. Apple has a half-hearted, weak (imo) solution with their XServe line, but the tools are limited, the configuration is frustrating, and it's maybe even worse about heterogeneous platform interaction than Microsoft's offering.

    I'd love for there to be a solution on linux with the polish of Active Directory, but I just don't see it happening. Linux, as an ecosphere, doesn't lend itself to unified efforts like that.

    I'm actually in the middle of considering setting up an AD server for single sign-on with all my linux machines, using this seemingly cool piece of technology:
    http://www.likewisesoftware.com/products/likewise_open/index.php

    If it works at all, I'll be sure to post a blog entry about it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Jim

    I'm not sure if Microsoft will ever be able make a jump like they did from DOS to Windows (Or Apple's jump from OS9 to OSX). They have entirely too much of a user base that is rooted in past apps and past user experience. In a way, Microsoft has spoiled it's users in the way that they try to support everything that was ever made for windows. And this is why people have reacted so poorly to Vista.

    Microsoft is finally making some strides in the right direction with the way they are trying to bring the Windows operating system back to a more inherently secure format, though it is at the cost of backwards compatibility. The complaints against Vista were very loud, and they had what 70%+ of hardware that worked in XP working in Vista. In my opinion, if Microsoft is going to overhaul the operating system, they will need to do it the way they introduced NT back in the day. Maintain two separate codebases until they can get the vendors on board and drivers written.

  • Ian

    Matt - "I'd love for there to be a solution on linux with the polish of Active Directory"

    http://www.novell.com/products/edirectory/

    Not to sound like a marketing weenie, but that directory service you're looking for exists. And it has existed, on NetWare first and then cross platform, longer than AD has. Active Directory was probably modeled in part off of eDir(formerly NDS).