I met with a potential client. They have a very specialized business that involves analyzing data on hard drives. The data can take many forms and so they have a multitude of software tools that assist in compiling information. And like most businesses, they have a Windows-based network. But the primary applications they are using are not Microsoft. They are 3rd party, industry-specific applications that are mission-critical. If their programs are not running properly, they are not able to work and not able to run the business.
I thought I would throw out my two cents on the release of Windows 7. It is tomorrow, October 22. I have been working with it for the past few months and think that it is 90% better overall than Windows Vista. I will not go into the myriad of reasons except to say that it is considerably more compatible with XP and some of the older applications and peripherals than Vista was. Microsoft went so far as to design a copy of Windows XP into Vista so that you can literally run XP inside your Win7 computer simultaneously just in case you have a very antiquated application that absolutely, positively will not work on anything except XP (also for those that are afraid to commit to a newer operating system).
The myth that Microsoft has created is that the Windows operating system needs to keep getting bigger and more functional. With each new release the OS grows bigger with new applications, new graphic interface designs and new utilities. But if you take a look at the cell phone industry, you can see that the PC and the cell phone are converging.
The new cell phones from Blackberry, Apple and Plam are meant to do much more than make phone calls, send and receive messages, and browse the Web. It's a platform, like a PC, that's designed to run a wide variety of sophisticated third-party programs, or apps, from social-networking gateways to games to business tools.
The golden age of PCs was DOS. Why? Because the OS made it very easy to write quick, powerful programs. DOS was a simple single-tasking operating system. It was easy to program on DOS because their were a lot of vendors with competing compilers that made writing applications relatively simple.
With the release of Windows, Microsoft made things much more complicated and then made it so complicated that Microsoft is now one of the ONLY company that can develop sophisticated applications on Windows. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not really very good at programming and does not need to innovate because they don't have any competition.