If Microsoft developed a new Windows foundation, say Randall Stross in The New York Times, the company would enjoy advantages that Apple didn’t when it built OS X -- quad-core processing power and virtualization that would let older apps and peripherals "be use indefinitely with little or no performance penalty, making a clean start far easier for customers to accept."
Does Microsoft’s Windows operating system need a new foundation?
A column in the June 29, 2008, issue of the New York Times by Randall Stross points out how bloated Windows has become and then states flatly: “The best solution to the multiple woes of Windows is starting over. Completely. Now.”
He points out that others have said the same thing, including two Gartner analysts, Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald, who recently gave a presentation titled “Windows is Collapsing,” and some Microsoft software engineers who believe that the operating system’s security and performance problems can only be fixed by a complete re-do of Windows.
While the thought of blowing up Windows and starting again might seem a bit extreme, Stross points out that Apple basically did the same thing when it came out in 2001 with Mac OS X, which was based on a modern microkernel design. Of course, there was some pain involved. Mac users had to get new applications that worked with the new operating system. But, he writes, “ It has paid off in countless ways … including some that could never have been anticipated at the time: just pick up an iPhone, built with the same code base.”
If Microsoft made a similarly dramatic move and developed a new Windows foundation, he goes on to say, the company would enjoy advantages that Apple didn’t with OS X -- quad-core processing power and virtualization that would let older apps and peripherals “be use indefinitely with little or no performance penalty, making a clean start far easier for customers to accept.”
Yes, building a new operating systems from the ground up will take years. But he maintains that “a monolithic operating systems like Windows perpetuates an obsolete design.” A new Windows operating systems is crucial to Microsoft’s future. And he makes it clear that Microsoft should start now.
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