Microsoft is gearing up to release it’s next operating system.
It will most likely roll out later this year, but a debate is developing about the fate of the two current Microsoft operating systems and the heir to the throne.
Which operating system that is left standing may not seem that important to you now, but it will if the one on your computer is on the losing end of the fight. Microsoft may consider stopping support for it. If that happens, it could become ripe for all manners of malicious activity. Each operating system makes a good case for its survival and marginalization.
Windows XP is the reigning king, top dog and el mero mero when it comes to Windows-based operating system. For the most part, the bugs have been worked out and end users have become quite acquainted with the operating system. This is really the determining factor in operating system adaptation. Whatever is closest to what end users are familiar with has a tendency to fare well.
The problem for Windows Vista was twofold. First, it differed so much from Windows XP that end users felt lost and refused to adopt the new operating system. The second factor is that Windows Vista probably wasn’t fully ready when it was released. It was plagued by bugs and compatibility issues that helped create its reputation of being a subpar operating system.
Fast forward 18 months and Vista has matured into a solid operating system. Once you get used to navigating within Vista, which takes a few sessions, you can unlock much of its potential. The problem for Vista is that all of these improvements may be too little, too late.
The next generation Windows operating system, Windows 7, is stealing some of Vista’s thunder and it hasn’t even been released yet. The buzz around it is positive. This doesn’t bode well for the other two operating systems.
In the final analysis, I think that history will repeat itself.
When all is said and done, like Windows 98 and Millennium Edition before them, XP and Vista will fade to black within three years. So prepare to either embrace Windows 7 or some other platform of operating system.
Quincey Hobbs is a team member at the University of Arizona’s Center for Computing and Information Technology and an instructor at Pima Community College. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.