Do they realize they are obsolete? Seriously. The writer, a hack named Randall Stross, claims that Windows is built on an ‘ancient frame.’ He goes on to deride Microsoft’s desire to hold on to legacy compatibility and that they should follow Apple’s decision to screw it’s customers in 2001 by introducing OS X. Can you imagine the outcry if Microsoft did that? Look at what happened with Vista. Vista, which, by the way, is built from the same code base as Windows 2000, hardly an ancient frame. Mature, yes, ancient, no. And don’t try to trace it back to NT 3. The code today bares some resemblence but is sufficiently removed. Once could argue that OS X is also an ‘ancient frame’ since it’s roots go back to the late 1980’s when Next appropriated it’s core from BSD. But, I digress.
Mr. Stross quotes an infamous Gartner Group ‘report’ about Windows imploding as proof that Microsoft needs to rewrite Windows from the ground up and forego legacy support. What he fails to realize is that that is not feasible or practical for Microsoft. The problem is that Microsoft’s success has dictated what it can do in the area of Windows backward compatibility. That Windows works as well as it does on the vast multitude of hardware speaks volumes of the quality of work coming out of Redmond and of the stability of the operating system.
The problems some people experienced with Vista stemmed, mosly, from inadequate driver support or total lack of support by peripheral manufacturers, some of whom did not believe that Microsoft would even release Vista when they did. Vista’s underpinnings had nothing to do with manufacturers dragging their collective feet.
Another thing that Stross fails to point out-or, more likely, does not know, is that much of the kernel and driver code has been re-written out of necessity. The video subsystem is nothing like it was in XP, which, if I recall, was different than Windows 2000. That is why XP video drivers do not work with Vista. Vista’s video drivers no longer reside in ring 0, making the whole system more stable. The video driver can now fail with out bringing the system down.
It’s a shame that writers like Stross perpetuate misleading stories like this-which seems more like he expounding the garbage from Gartner more than coming up with something more legitimate on his own.