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Microsoft maps out migration from Windows



David Worthington
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July 31, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 4)
At the risk of undercutting one of its core product lines, Microsoft is carefully conceptualizing a way to move millions of users away from the existing Windows codebase and onto Midori, a legacy-free operating system that it is currently incubating in its skunk works.


SD Times has viewed internal Microsoft documents that reveal the company’s preference of an orderly replacement strategy rather than breaking sharply with its past.

The company is acutely aware that Windows is installed on the majority of the world’s computers and has a broad legacy of applications and devices—one that carries with it a lot of value.

But heritage comes at a price: Evolving Windows to meet new opportunities is a costly proposition. “Legacy support is a huge anchor on Windows,” remarked Larry O’Brien, an independent analyst and consultant who writes the Windows & .NET Watch column for SD Times.

To read details about Microsoft's post-Windows operating system, click here.

According to the documents, the company plans to create Midori’s “legacy-free bubble,” both at the programming model and at the user level. The models differ in the degree to which Midori and Windows coexist, and virtualization could wind up in the mix.

Microsoft’s desire for legacy support has twin roots: It needs to establish a migration path that offers comfort to its customers, while avoiding the pitfall of users implementing virtualization to run other operating systems that would perform tasks better than Windows can. Such a future runs the risk of relegating Windows to the role of a co-resident installation that executes legacy applications.

Virtualization creates a motivation and need for Microsoft to do something to take back the initiative—and none too soon, said Jeffrey Hammond, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. “It may just be the developer crowd I run with these days … but I see more Macs in developers’ hands [today] than at any time in the last 18 years,” he added.



Related Search Term(s): virtualization, Windows, Microsoft

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