"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Great Beyond

Someone's been to the mountaintop...

Fiji has nothing on Vienna, which is purported to feature a complete overhaul of the OS, including a break in compatibility with "all applications," though hopefully Microsoft will have some Apple-esque transition schemes in place before that time comes. The fresh beginning will give Microsoft more OS-building freedom than it has had in a long time, but right now it sounds like they're a bit too excited about this: Vienna will supposedly do away with the Start Menu, toolbars and menus in favor of some sort of pie-menu interface, WinFS-to-the-core and search, potentially leaving long time users stranded with a brand new interface to learn from the ground up.

The OS will also feature beefy speech support, along with a sandbox mode for running non-managed code without risking your security. Much of this is hearsay so far, and we're really hoping Microsoft doesn't go off the deep end with Vienna, but we're still curious to see what they have up their sleeves after being cooped up so long ironing out Vista bugs.

Remember, when Apple *bought* their "new foundation" code base it was already more than 10 years old and had been in production in such places as Wall Street trading environments. Not to mention that the very core of that new foundation was many years older than that, and had the benefit of so many smart brains in multiple academic and industrial organizations around the world.

So who will Microsoft buy? This is the only viable option, is it not? (Assuming the rumor is true and the goal would be to deliver to production around 2012-2015.)

Update: On a related note, Kurt Cagle's prediction...

I think that Vista will be the denouement of the Gates’ era, and will likely prove the catalyst for some major senior level bloodletting and organizational redefinition. Part of this comes from the question of whether in Microsoft’s efforts to define the next big operating systems they kind of lost sight of the question of whether investing in a new OS was really the best strategy moving forward.


Michael Doherty said...


Anonymous said...

Or... they could do the inevitable and and do what Apple did. After all, as the saying goes, those who don't understand Unix are doomed to reinvent it, badly, and that has been Windows' tendency till now.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.