Vista: The Last of the Windows?

Dennis Faas's picture

Excited about the pending release of Vista for Home users?

Well, prepare yourself for this one: there's much speculation that Microsoft's new operating system could be the last based on Windows, with future operating systems branching out into incremental updates instead of massive, periodic releases.

Why would Microsoft decapitate an ongoing software project that reaps millions upon millions of dollars? Heck, it's something (almost) everyone needs; one might even consider Windows the oxygen of the computer world.

The answer? For one, it costs Microsoft almost as much to create an operating system like Vista as it brings in. In a recent interview, CEO Steve Ballmer couldn't estimate how much the company had sunk into developing Vista. While we're pretty sure they're making a pretty profit, it's certainly an exceptionally large gamble. Imagine employing thousands of workers for five years creating software people don't really want. Do you dream about your next dental appointment? (Source:

Reportedly, Microsoft is leaning towards steady, web-based updates of its systems in the future. According to tech predictors Gartner, Microsoft will be at the head of the class in offering this incremental service, which might actually lead to far more stable operating systems. That would certainly be welcome news amidst all of the troubles Vista has faced in the past.

Gartner's other prediction? That malware will strike some 75% of business enterprises before the end of next year. Protecting against this nasty trend certainly sounds like a viable new career opportunity for those 10,000 Microsoft employees who reportedly contributed to Vista's birth. (Source:

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