Four months ago I blogged “2010 will be the year of the Linux Desktop if things continue on the course they seem to be on now” and they certainly have been. Low-cost Linux computers, like the gPC and Eee PC are hits. Apple sales are doing very well. Meanwhile, Microsoft will miss another Christmas deadline; last year they didn’t release Vista for consumers for Christmas (it wasn’t until the end of January) and this year they won’t release Service Pack 1 in time for Christmas (it won’t be until “the first quarter of 2008”). Not that it would really help that much; SP1 won’t make Vista faster and “Applications that have compatibility issues with Windows Vista today will most likely continue to have the same issues with Windows Vista with SP1″. So maybe Vista will be ready for Christmas 2008. Meanwhile, XP had a temporary stay of execution; it can still be sold preloaded until June 30, 2008. Which to me seems very odd since that will be right around when its SP3 is expected to be released (“in the first half of 2008″) which WILL apparently make XP faster. Had Microsoft pushed XP SP3 for this year they could have still somewhat salvaged this Christmas for Windows PC sales and then worked on Vista SP1 for next Christmas. But whatever; far be it from me to stop them from digging their own grave! O:-)
And oh how history repeats itself!
Just as all but the unlucky or foolish skipped Windows ME which fell between two better Windows releases (2000 and XP), it seems that Vista really is Windows ME 2007. I read today that:
For the vast majority of enterprise IT shops, Vista is NOT – and likely NEVER will be – the right choice for their immediate desktop computing needs.
So what a lot of people who cling to Windows are now hoping for is that the next version of Windows, “7” will be a good one. But its not due out until around 2010.
[Update May 29, 2008: “Microsoft squashed hopes that the next version of Windows will come with a completely new kernel – a new kernel that had been discussed and presented as “micro kernel”. The foundation new operating system, apparently due for launch in early 2010, will be an evolutionary step over the Windows Server 2008 kernel, which is based on the Windows Vista kernel, an executive said in an interview.“]
For Windows XP SP2 users, they have lots of options over the next year which is a good thing for consumers.
* wait for SP3: You may rely on it
* ‘upgrade’ to Vista SP0: Very doubtful
* buy a new PC with Vista SP0: Don’t count on it
* ‘upgrade’ to Vista SP1: Outlook not so good
* buy a new PC with Vista SP1: Reply hazy, try again
* wait for ‘Windows 7’: Better not tell you now
* buy a Mac with OS X: Signs point to yes
* dual-boot with to Linux: Most likely
* switch to Linux: Outlook good
* buy a PC with Linux: Concentrate and ask again
[Update April 13: As per this article, a “relevancy shift from desktop PCs to the Web” is occurring; “Silver and MacDonald mark 2011 as the tipping point where the percentage of OS-agnostic applications meet and exceed OS-specific applications.” By 2010 the writing should be on the wall…]
[Update April 17: an excerpt from this article: “Something’s happening here and it is very clear. Windows is losing its grip on the desktop. It won’t happen overnight. There is, after all, an enormous installed base of Windows PCs out there. Next year, though, if things continue in the way they have been, I’ll be ready to say Windows is collapsing. I think Microsoft has one more shot to get it right with Windows 7. If by April 2009, Windows 7 isn’t in beta, though, I’ll be ready to start writing Windows’ obituary.”]