Windows Vista, We Hardly Knew You

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame


With Microsoft accelerating the development and release of Windows 7, will upgrading to Vista become a moot point?

In a recently released road map, Microsoft gave some hints about when to expect the next generation of Windows, currently called Windows 7.  According to the road map, there are apparently three "milestone" builds planned for this year; with the first one (called M1) currently shipping to key partners for code validation. After the milestone builds, a RTM (release to manufacturing) version is expected to appear sometime in the second half of 2009, pretty much a year or more ahead of schedule.

Obviously, one has to ask, is this a sign of Microsoft throwing in the towel on Vista, an operating system that has been met with some derision? With scores of users downgrading to XP and others avoiding upgrading altogether, it would make some sense for Microsoft to bring something new to the table as quickly as possible. But, while many will praise Microsoft for accelerating the release of the next Windows Client, others will wonder what this move will mean for those distributing Vista. Take, for example, the corporate upgrade market, which often moves slowly when it comes to adopting the latest desktop operating systems. Once they realize that another version of Windows is right around the corner (relatively speaking), will those upgrade plans come to a screeching halt?

Perhaps, those upgrade wheels can be greased by pointing out the differences between Vista and its forthcoming replacement. If the features, requirements and other elements such as the interface will be different enough than Vista, perhaps some enthusiasm can still be built for a move to Vista. The problem is that information about Windows 7 is limited at this time. The only thing we know for sure is the fact that M1 is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and Microsoft claims that Windows 7 will be the last Windows OS  available in 32 bit.

It’s interesting that the company is even bothering with a 32-bit version at all, especially when one considers the rapid advances Windows Vista is making in the 64-bit computing market. What’s more, other Microsoft products, such as the next version of Small Business Server (code name Cougar) will only be available as a 64-bit product.

Simply put, having a 32-bit version of Windows 7 makes it a direct challenge to Vista. If we add to that the other anticipated enhancements, why would anyone want to bother with a Vista upgrade at all? Microsoft needs to release a lot more information about the plans for Windows 7, especially if the company wants to avoid damaging the sales of Vista and creating another marketing debacle.  

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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