Will we be Saying Goodbye to Windows any Time Soon?

Many people feel that Windows is coming to an end, and that any new operating system from Microsoft will be radically different. Still others vehemently deny this, and claim that it’s a “bunch of hooey”. I threw this question out to people on FriendFeed to see what they have to say.

Sounds like MS is going for cloud computing. – Tim via twhirl

This is all bullshit. Anyone who knows Windows and Microsoft well is laughing their asses off at these kinds of headlines. Just isn’t going to happen. At least not anytime in forseable future. – Robert Scoble

i like this nonsense, it’s like thinking of bread without flour – marcantonio severgnini

+1 @Scoble – sebmos

Windows has been closely associated and branded as THE operating system for all needs by MS. It has also become the main cash cow and generator of its revenues during the entire period of its existence. I don’t see how can MS shed off the Windows skin all that easily or in such a short time, especially considering that Vista is just out and it has "Windows" in front of its name. – Hayk Hakobyan

Any future successor "non-Windows" operating system will still be branded as Windows. Precedent is Windows NT. The Windows brand is too important to sideline. – Ian Fogg

These same speculations have been going on for years. Just because Microsoft is branching into developing another breed of OS doesn’t mean they are going to abandon Windows. – Amit Morson

@Ian – More your area than mine, but Windows is many things including a brand, a product, a paradigm, an architecture and a platform. MS might keep any combo of those five things, but you’re right – the brand is the appealing part. – Rob Sterling

"The Cloud" is simply a word for remote services – not a magical mystery future. The reality is that the personal workstation will in some form always be with us. There will always be advantages to having a local (non bandwidth limited) source of computing cycles to enhance the manipulation or presentation of data in a lot of tasks. That workstation will ALWAYS need an OS of some form. – Soulhuntre

Microsoft is aggressively evolving Windows so that it will be capable of supplying that part of the computing chain. Research projects are playgrounds for that. Those folks who claim that the "operating system is dead" are simply not looking at what they are saying from a systems point of view. They are using the term "Operating System" and "PC" to refer to a type of workstation use case… not a technology. – Soulhuntre

Didn’t it already "die" and "everything move online"…like…6 or 7 times already? Each time, people realize that there are places where the internet isn’t accessible, isn’t fast (relative to the desktop), and isn’t private enough. Not to say there isn’t a place for web services (obviously — we’re on one), but this whole "The desktop is dead! Dumb terminals for everyone!" hype is just pendulum swing nonsense. – Robert Fischer

Weather it happens or not is irrelevant Robert. It’s a plan B and a pretty good one imo ๐Ÿ™‚ – DC Crowley

You guys are missing the point here. It’s about virtualization. Right now with free OSes like Linux you can bascially run as many computers as your hardware has memory to support on a single physical machine. There are lots of benefits to this. One being you can literally take your desktop from one computer to another. Window’s licensing won’t allow that. They need to come up with this lightweight OS with flexible licensing to compete. – Lindsay Donaghe

Will it get rid of Windows for most consumers and as the host OS for your machine? Probably not. But it will enable you to use Windows anywhere you want to as long as there’s a virtualization product installed that can run your VM. Ultimately they might end up getting more exposure through that since people will stop caring which OS runs on the hardware… just which OS runs on their personal VMs. – Lindsay Donaghe

Whatever apps don’t end up in the cloud in a few years will end up on your personal VMs. And you’ll be able to take those with you wherever you go (we’ve already got USB drives that are cheap and hold upwards of 16GB). It’s the future. – Lindsay Donaghe

I talked to Microsoft PR yesterday about this. This is an incubation project and will NOT replace Windows. Anyone remember Netdocs? That was supposed to replace Office, too, remember? – Robert Scoble

Just another roll of the dice in Redmond’s labs. – Bill Sodeman

Ina got it right. http://tinyurl.com/6xgqjnjeff

I don’t think it’s dice. It’s generally a good practice to build something from the ground up to learn what’s possible and then take those possibilities into an existing project. If you tried it against an existing codebase you get more "can’t do that" then "How can we make this work." I do it all the time, probably more then I should. – shawn

When PC’s started to become available we [old geeks] flocked away from the dumb terminal en masse. I don’t envision us going back there anytime soon. – Jody Carbone

Over the top headlines definitely get attention. Take note: anyone looking for hits might want to post an article called "Apple sees end of OS X era." There are sure to be some patents or dubious screenshots that you could use. – Loren Heiny

What do you think? Will (or should) Microsoft get completely away from Windows as we know it? Or should they stay with what they have in place, and improve upon it? What does the future of any operating system have in store, and what should we look for?

23 thoughts on “Will we be Saying Goodbye to Windows any Time Soon?”

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  3. honestly i dont see MS going anywhere any time soon! just because they have had a couple bumpy spots in the road doesnt mean they are going to give up .. it probably makes them that much stronger and willing to make the next OS even stronger an more useful .. im sure they will pull something amazing out of thier hat ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Well I don’t think the Windows is the best OS right now, but I don’t see them going out of business anytime soon. I do however think that unless MS gets their act together then a lot more people are going to be flocking to Linux and Mac.

  5. I agree with one of the comments from the Friendfeed post. Windows as we know it now is not the same operating system it once was. If we look at Windows 95 compared to XP and Windows NT compared to XP. Both these OSes are vastly different in some ways but very similar in others. The kernel comes to mind as a large difference. So now if MS were to can the entire back end of XP/Vista and move to a BSD or linux based kernel yet still keep similarities with the GUI… is that still Windows? I might say no, I think most would say yes ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I missed this one on friendfeed. I think we will see a cloud version of windows at some point. Maybe they’ll call it Windows Cirrus or something like that.

  7. I have been a diehard windows user for over a decade and switched to Mac about 18 months ago. In my opinion Windows can’t die soon enough! Enough with the constant updates and the secret background processes’s and let me not forget rootkits and virus’s

  8. I think this is absolutely false, Microsoft will milk money out of Windows OS as long as they can. Look at Microsoft Windows XP and the price tag $90 to $145 around those price tags well you know they are still trying to get tons of dough off of people. Bill is not giving up Windows he will work on it as long as he can.

  9. i feel as though microsoft needs a change. osx just does it for me. sleek, spaces, smart, and speedy. i’m eager for snow leopard. vista just reminded me of the last 10 years- win 95 through X – better colors, icons, and layout with no significant change. myers29er

  10. I think If Microsoft want to return to the days where Windows beat Mac OS, They need to start over, either with the UNIX base or completely new. Think of the world’s biggest computer company making its own kernel ๐Ÿ™‚

    If they do make a new OS or “Midori”, to replace windows, it will certainly be like a similar interface to Windows now. To many people know Windows – and/or cannot adapt to a newer environment. Of course that’s talking about the older generation. Not the new generation of born Computer geeks ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. I don’t think Windows is going anywhere anytime soon. Microsoft is still dragging their feet in a lot of areas, but at the end of the day they’re answering to the call of the corporate users and businesses that depend on the Windows architecture to power their businesses. As a new Mac user, I can admit that there are a lot of things about the Mac OS that are very desirable, however, I’m very often going back to my Windows XP installation via VMWare to get work done for my business. There are a lot of Mac alternatives to the programs that I use on the Windows platform, but the majority of them feel better and are more seamless on Windows for my use.

    I still think it’s all about personal preference. Windows appeals to the corporate atmosphere and a vast majority of home users, and as a result of that I think it will be around for a long time to come even though people know that there are alternatives out there.

  12. Please!!!! A computer world without windows at this point is like the Olympics without Michael Phelps. I know it’s sad to say, but not many of us IT guys would have a job if not for the CRAP that Microsoft continues to put out on the market.

    I always look forward to new MS OS’s and products just to figure out how to fix them, because they never seem to work as they promise.

    http://tinyurl.com/667q8y – case in point.

  13. To about half the people up there from friendfeed…nobody said the OS was dead. The blog post suggests that “Windows” might be dying.

    As for myself, I think they should concentrate more on web technology and not have the OS be their primary focus.

  14. I honestly think that it will die down a little bit. Microsoft will see that they are rapidly losing customers, and will do something about it. Windows will never go away it might not be popular, but its never gonna see its last day. Microsoft is way too big of a company to just disappear. If anything the operating system will get a lot better in the years to come.

  15. Microsoft may have pinned its future on the next version of Windows, and may be wishing it had not. Vista does some things very well, but on the other hand it’s forever coming up with creepy little problems that can’t be figured out and that Microsoft obstinately and obtusely refuses to discuss. As for cloud computing, it should be called cloudy computing because the whole thing depends on a perfectly reliable and perfectly fast network connection, and such a thing doesn’t exist. It might also be called snoop-computing because privacy would be a thing of the past. The fact will always remain that somebody has to tell the CPU what to do, so software is a necessity for the foreseeable future, and therefore software companies are a necessity too. But meanwhile those who created the present computer age are aging and retiring all over the place and the mindset of the industry is changing as they walk away, which is a good thing and a bad thing. One avenue that might open up more and more is scripting, combined with super high-level compiler languages. When home computer users can easily design their own scripts by choosing human-language statements in order to create programs that will do what they want, that will make everyone a programmer. When this can be implemented by voice recognition, then people can simply tell their computers what to do and how to do it, and the computer will do it. This is not as improbable as it sounds, and many of us are already using some of the scripting and macro programs that are already available to automate various computer functions in a personalized way. It works.

  16. From the beginning, Windows was two separate products: WindowsNT and the consumer Windows that booted from DOS. Windows 3.11, Windows 95, 98, and WindowsME came out before the codebase finally merged in Windows2000. If something new comes from Microsoft, we can expect another long, drawn out transition.

  17. i dont think windows is going anywhere,Even MacIntosh people like Myself have Windows XP on a boot camp partition
    I do think Vista will disappear though,Or Possibly with Bill Gates gone now,Apple could take control of Windows and re-do it right.

  18. Windows needs to die they been trying for years to make a stable OS but fail. Windows is nothing but bugs and probs. It takes them forever to come out with a new OS or upgrades. And I have not seen any new software worth a wile to use on Windows. A lot of what Windows is using is out dated. Microsoft is coming out with new apps for Mac before they come out with apps for there Owen OS. Look at MS Office for windows its out dated They have a new MS Office for Mac OS X called MS Office 2008 for Mac. You all just don’t want to amint that Apple’s Mac OS X is starting to take over the market. If they want to continue to make MS Windows they need they to make it more stable and user friendly like Mac OS X. When Apple comes out with a new OS there is a wow factor when user see the Mac OS. But when windows come out with a new OS there. There is not a wow in factor in windows just things people hate about it look at Windows Vista no one like it people run in to too many pros. The one resin I am a huge Apple fan is because they have a much more stable and user friendly OS that just work right out of the box with apps you can actley use that on window you would need to spend 100โ€™s of dollarโ€™s on new apps. All windows really comes with is nothing but trash ware. And the only resin people use Windows is simply because it came to the market first and took over the market be for Mac OS was out in the market. Just because something is poplar dose not mean itโ€™s always good. So people quit trying to make Windows look good. You are trying to make Windows look good that is like saying shit looks good and smells good when you know matter what you try to say about the shit to make it look good it will never look good and smell good know matter how you try to say it. It will always be the same old nasty shit that we all know to hate and not love. Shit has never looked good and never will. So quit trying to cover for Windows. The same concept as shit for Windows itโ€™s not good and never will be. But Mac OS is like candy that we all love to like it just looks good and smells good and its just good right of the Box. So just give it up Windows users. Windows will die sooner or latter know matter how good you try to make it look good or sound. Mac OS is going to replace the Windows Market and it is starting to come true. And that is just my opinion.

  19. Windows may have been off in the last few years, but i think the company has accepted that and is going to make a dramatic improvement in the next few years.

    Look at Apple, they were on the downfall for a while, and now with a new set of products, they are more powerful than ever in the computing industry.

  20. There is no way that computing be become all internet based. There are too many security flaws. Not to mention there is no way that you will ever be able to use a web based application to do things such as video editing, or recording music.

    Although now with net neutrality becoming an issue, you never know what the internet will be like in 10 years.

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