'Windows Breaking' Claim Garners Gartner Controversy

Dennis Faas's picture

Two influential analysts have caused a media storm by claiming Microsoft Windows is in danger of collapsing. The claim came from Michael Silver and Neil McDonald, both vice presidents at Gartner, a prominent and profitable consulting firm.

The VPs cited the increasing complexity of the Windows system, including Vista's 50 million lines of code. Such complexity has made release dates unpredictable and leaves many potential buyers sticking with older versions longer than Microsoft had budgeted. (Source: macdailynews.com)

This causes other problems; it takes too long for technical support departments to become familiar with new editions. The more editions of Windows being used, the tougher it is for software developers to avoid incompatibility problems. (Source: informationweek.com)

They also argued Microsoft is too concerned with producing newer and bigger editions of Windows at the expense of sales in developing markets where budgets are lower and technology needs are simpler.

According to the presentation, Microsoft could also lose out to 'software as a service' models. That's where users access a program via the web and store their data on remote servers rather than installing software on their own machine. That model received a big boost recently when Google made their system available to independent developers of web-based programs.

Naturally, Microsoft disagreed with the presentation arguing that "much of the data presented was based on relatively small sampling of Gartner conference attendees and doesn't align with more rigorous research."

In this writer's opinion, the idea that "Windows is collapsing" seems to be more of a catchy presentation title than a serious possibility. It seems difficult to imagine Windows won't still be widely used in five or even ten years' time.

However, people continue to stick with Windows XP. Microsoft will need to fix that if new editions of Windows are to continue as a core part of its business.

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