A Windows World? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
12/3/2004
10:40 AM
John Foley
John Foley
Features
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

A Windows World?

The battle between Windows and Linux is shaping up, and it's Microsoft's fight to lose

THE FUTURE OF SOFTWARE


>

The Future Of Software homepage

>

Ray Lane: What's In Store For Software Companies

>

Industry In Flux

>

Apps To Die For

>

Industry Leaders Look To Software's Future

>

What's The Next Killer App?

>

Share The Load

>

Get That Team Spirit

>

In The Fast (Growth) Lane

>

A Windows World?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is onstage doing what he does best--revving the audience with the latest advances in Windows; touting the operating system's integration with other Microsoft products, low cost, and improved security; and downplaying Linux. Ballmer exudes confidence, and why not? Despite pressure from his open-source competitor, Windows sales continue their unabated growth.

In what year would you place the above scenario: 2000? 2004? 2010? There's no wrong answer. In the world of computer operating systems, it's easy to imagine a competitive landscape that's not much different several years from now than today, with Windows on top of the market, Linux coming on strong, and Unix holding on. "That's pretty much the makeup of the land," says IDC analyst Al Gillen.

Microsoft has its operating-system road map sketched out through 2007 in the form of its Longhorn release. For the Windows camp, the question isn't what new things are planned but what Microsoft will deliver. Already, features are dropping. The first to go: a next-generation file system dubbed WinFS that was too complex to complete during Longhorn's three-year development cycle.

Linux creator Torvalds doesn't foresee an overhaul of the operating system.

Linux creator Torvalds doesn't foresee an overhaul of the operating system.
That's the thing about operating systems. They take years to develop, making it tough for new entrants to break through. Windows was first released 19 years ago, and Unix goes back 35 years. MVS and VMS have been around more than 20 years, though they've been renamed.

It's a hard market to crack," Linux creator Linus Torvalds says in an E-mail interview. "You need something really quite startlingly different. Either some new and radically improved usage model or hardware base ... or something that just works better. And the latter takes a long time to develop."

New operating systems may emerge, but the battle that's shaping up is between competitors we know. It's Windows versus Linux, and it's Microsoft's fight to lose. Windows server sales accounted for 34% of the worldwide $11.5 billion server market in the third quarter, with revenue climbing 13%, according to research firm IDC. On the desktop, Windows runs on 94% of PCs that ship.

Longhorn represents Windows' next major step forward. "This is going to be a very big release--the biggest release of this decade," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates promised when he demonstrated an early version of Longhorn in October 2003. Though WinFS won't make it in, Longhorn's presentation and communications subsystems are on track, and Microsoft will make them available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, too.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
Commentary
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
Commentary
Diversity in IT: The Business and Moral Reasons
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  6/20/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
Slideshows
Flash Poll