Vista is courting not just bad press but the worst possible reception in the IT Community – fear and loathing. “But technology professionals worry about more than the time it will take to actually migrate, but the inevitable difficulties resulting from a … painfully slow user learning curve.” Yet Microsoft continues to report burgeoning Vista sales – while Forrester says Linux desktop is simply not going away as corporates look to Linux for relief from the Vista cost and conversion burden.

Now its my belief that in the new year somehow these conflicting directions are going to get reconciled. Unlike home and consumer users that have little or no choice on whether a new PC they buy is loaded with Vista or XP(NO NO NO says Steve to XP); corporate IT has more alternatives available to them. So Mary Jo Foley in her All About Microsoft blog better be right about a)the timing of the Vista Service Pack 1, b)the degree of effective fixes it brings to Vista and c)no debilitating service pack installation problems or secondary bugs generated by the fix. The problem with Vista is that it lowers the horizons for all of Microsofts software as Server, Visual Studio and a bevy of apps await a strong Vista build.

The General OS Delivery Problem

Apple is also having problems with Leopard and there is talk of the difficulties of getting Linux kernel builds a)out the door and b)into the key enterprise distributions from Red Hat, Novell, and now Debian/Ubuntu. Everybody is complaining that the all of the popular OS both for desktop and Server have become too big – behemoths that are very hard to update.

No surprise here and that is because both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs a)have worked industriously to build everything into the operating system to make users depend on their builds and b)killed off the the utility industry that supported their OS
with extensions and real problem solving solutions that might be of interest to a sub segment of their users(everybody wants Instant Messaging, backup utilities, and a web server/browser in their OS – doncha know????).

So surprise surprise – why is Virtualization and Hypervisors starting to gallop off as the new and greatest of OS fantasies. Because VMs and hypervisors allow users to customize and securitize their OS exactly the way they want to – and in a protected, Gated-environ. So which major OS allows users to make the most modifications/customizing for their specific needs ???

Maybe that is not Vista disappearing over the horizon but rather just submerging into a sea bilge of huge memory requirements, ever growing learning curve, and dreadfully slower MTTR-Mean Time To Repair given Vistas huge complexity. Objects and Cairo were never delivered so the basis for efficient change were never established for Windows. Supposedly a MinWin version (read a from-the-ground-up minimalist rewrite of the OS) will supposedly change all that. But not really – as long as Redmond is 90% monopoly shop with zerosum attitude towards OS partners and utility vendors(if we are to win 90% market share – everybody else has to lose). And so expect any Microsoft desktop or server OS to sink under its own sheer weight of bulked up, competition devastating “features”.