Gartner: Windows is "Collapsing"

Damn. Whoah. And at the same time, yeah.

This is how I reacted when I saw a story which cites a pair of Gartner analysts saying that Windows is “collapsing”. They go on to say that the situation is “untenable” and that Microsoft must make radical changes to the OS or risk becoming old news.

According to the story on ComputerWorld:

In a presentation at a Gartner-sponsored conference in Las Vegas, analysts Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald said Microsoft has not responded to the market, is overburdened by nearly two decades of legacy code and decisions, and faces serious competition on a whole host of fronts that will make Windows moot unless the software developer acts.

Speaking for myself, I have been THOROUGHLY disabused by the Windows Vista fiasco, so much so that I abandoned Windows altogether and am now using all OS X on 3 different Macs. Sure, I still use Windows in a virtual session, but it is XP. What Vista showed me is that Microsoft just doesn’t get it. Vista is a bloated piece of crap, and the Gartner guys correctly point out that it is weighed down by nearly two decades of legacy code.

Microsoft – STOP the legacy support! It will be the death of Windows. Seriously, are they going to release Windows 7 in 2010 and still attempt to support hardware that is 10+ years old?

Microsoft is obviously trying to make Windows all things to everybody, and in the process they are making it too little for almost everybody.

Andy Beal, from Marketing Pilgrim, makes a great point: Is Microsoft Rushing to Acquire Yahoo Before Windows Shatters? Even Arrington over at Techcrunch is echoing this point, saying THIS is why the MicroHoo deal needs to happen. The question is this: If Microsoft loses it’s grip over the desktop environment, do they then need to position themselves quickly to be a leader in the online environment?

And Microsoft hasn’t exactly been a leader online. They are a reactionary company. They see somebody else doing well in a market and they devise a way to take over. Perhaps the Yahoo deal is just Microsoft being Microsoft. Can’t beat ’em – BUY THEM!

My only hope here is that the Microsoft culture does not kill off what we like about Yahoo. The two companies have very different cultures, and I’m really failing to see exactly how Microsoft fits into the equation – except for the fact that they are just rushing to stay relevant in a computing world shifting increasingly to the Internet.


  1. As much as I like apple, i do not want them to take over the desktop environment. I know microsoft will never disappear but I want them to stay a major player for a long time to come and my hopes are for windows 7.

  2. I’m not convinced legacy support is the actual problem. How much code does it take to support old versions of Windows applications? It shouldn’t be that much. Besides, I can’t get some old programs to work anyways so I get new ones.

    The real problem is expecting Windows to support all the new technologies that MS wants a presence in. The amount of support for all sorts of initiatives have grown so large that it become unmanageable. Web, Graphics, Games, Media, Music, etc. Also, they are trying a new security model that is having a rough ride. XP isn’t as secure as Vista, but UAC still requires more polish.

    Apple and Linux has an opportunity in this, but I’m not so sure it will be that significant. Surely, it is very beneficial for Apple, but in terms of marketshare, it is small.

    The next release of Windows will make Vista be a distant memory. Already, people are saying Windows Server 2008 should have been the real version of the Vista with better performance. Maybe there is a sliver lining behind the fiasco.

  3. Wow! Somebody that doesn’t like Vista but doesn’t want support for legacy hardware/software. In the forums, everybody that hates Vista does so because of two things: it doesn’t support older stuff and it doesn’t look like XP. I would like you(David) to define bloated. I really don’t see MS looking much desktop market share anytime soon. Let me guess, most of the people who were at the conference were people in IT who has a bias towards MS already. Unless Apple stops being full of themselves, they won’t even come close to taking over any OS markets and if they do, their OS probably wouldn’t be any better than Windows. Until there is a Linux Distro that the average user is conformable with, it’s not going to take much market share either.

    Also, what I noticed about analysis of all industries: they are half right half the time.

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