Gartner Analysts Predict Doom and Gloom for Microsoft Windows

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

Is the end in sight for Microsoft Windows? Will Linux finally get some market share? Gartner thinks it is possible.

In a presentation at a Gartner-sponsored conference in Las Vegas, analysts Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald said Microsoft is overburdened by nearly two decades of legacy code and not responded to the market and faces serious competition that will make Windows moot unless the software developer acts.

My question is "what serious competition?" Linux, MAC and other OSes have been around, viable and available for some time, yet none have really chipped away at Microsoft’s dominance on the desktop. What’s more, by all accounts, the Windows Server Market is expanding, not contracting!

It seems that Microsoft’s only real competition is itself, users choosing to stick with XP, instead of Vista, network administrators sticking with Windows Server 2003 (or even 2000), and not even entertaining thoughts of switching to Windows Server 2008. The list goes on for many of Microsoft’s products, ranging from MS Office to Small Business Server, people just seem to stick with what works for them, and that may be the real problem here. Let me put it this way, Microsoft’s biggest enemy is common sense! Common sense basically dictates if something works, leave it alone.

Even so, alternatives to Microsoft’s products are still not being considered as viable by most of the mainstream market. Does anyone know why? After all, we can’t chalk it up to quality, especially if you listen to how much people complain about Microsoft’s products and it can’t be a cost issue, Linux for the most part is free and it can’t be because of a lack of applications, there are open source alternatives that with a little bit of work could probably meet anyone’s needs.

Yet we hear very little news of any enterprises, small businesses, non profits (and pretty much any business segment) ditching Microsoft’s products and jumping on the band wagon of alternatives! So it seems that applying Silver and MacDonalds arguments to the market will really have no effect, even though their arguments make a lot of sense (even common sense). It’s going to take a lot more than predictions of gloom and doom to derail the Microsoft juggernaut, but I’ll be dammed if I know what it is! Do you? If so, let me know!

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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