Monday, August 28, 2006

Gartner Prescribes Software Appliances to Relieve Windows Bloating

In a recent report covered in techworld, Gartner analysts Brian Gammage, Michael Silver and David Mitchell Smith declared:

""The current, integrated architecture of Microsoft Windows is unsustainable - for enterprises and for Microsoft."

Said another way:

"The era of the bloated, 'one size fits all' operating system must come to an end."

The article goes on to explain how virtualization and software appliances are the future of the enterprise operating system, even for the desktop. Drivers and basic system services will be provided by a streamlined OS that is tightly integrated with the hardware. New applications will arrive as software appliances, with their own tailored operating systems. These software appliances will integrate with the hardware OS via a virtualization layer such as VMware, eliminating all of the conflicts that arise when applications that install natively on the hardware OS begin competing for OS system resources. With software appliances, applications will truly "plug and play."

According to the article:

"Microsoft doesn't agree with this vision, saying it's identified problems with integrating data across partitions and creating a consistent user experience."

Of course they "don't agree with this vision" because it eliminates the innovation stranglehold of the standard operating system that perpetuates Microsoft's monopoly power. The software appliances that carry the value of the application don't even have to run Windows because the virtualization layer makes the OS irrelevant. The power of Microsoft is their abilty to charge more money for their applications because they own ALL the layers from the hardware up through the user interface. When the operating system functions get split between a hardware OS that provides drivers and system management and an application OS that provides system services such as file systems and libraries, the stranglehold is broken.

You may still need a Windows application OS to run Office, but if Microsoft does not tailor it to simply support Office, it will not be competitive. The footprint will be 10X what is required to run Office, and customers will balk at this gross inefficiency foisted on them by Microsoft's unwillingness to abandon the practices that were once so profitable but now are impractical given the changes brought on by virtualization. Customers always win . . . . . eventually.


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