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Re: Windows' days are numbered

__/ [ Ian Hilliard ] on Saturday 25 March 2006 15:17 \__

> In the April 19th 1965 edition Electronics Magazine, Gordon E. Moore was
> quoted as saying:
>     The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of
>     roughly a factor of two per year ... Certainly over the short term
>     this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the
>     longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although
>     there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for
>     at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per
>     integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000. I believe that
>     such a large circuit can be built on a single wafer.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
> To do this, the devices within an integrated circuit need to become
> smaller. As the devices become smaller, the capacitance between the
> devices becomes smaller.
> As the current needed for a transition between 1 & 0 or 0 & 1 conforms to
> the law: I = C dV/dt. In other words, if the capacitance is smaller it
> takes less current to change the voltage in a given time. Hence, Moore's
> law has meant that CPU will get faster and faster.
> The limit has now been reached. While it is still possible to put more
> devices on a die, the devices now produce an excessive amount of heat. The
> answer is not to increase the speed but to have a massive number of CPU's
> running in parallel. This is were the problem with Windows comes in.
> Windows was never designed as a true multi-processor OS. It was originally
> designed for a simple PC with one CPU, over which it had 100% control. The
> design of the PC hardware is also not conducent to massively parallel CPU
> designs. As Windows is tied to the PC architecture, it is limited in its
> ability to be scaled up to parallel processors. The empirical limit
> appears to be 8 CPU's. This has pretty well stopped Intel and thus AMD
> from releasing any massively parallel CPU's. It has not however stopped
> IBM,Sony Entertainment & Toshiba from developing and releasing the Cell
> Processor.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_processor
> This is the CPU which is being used in the PS3. The OS chosen to run on
> this platform is Linux. IBM may have had something to do with this, but
> the fact that they were able to modify the kernel to work with the Cell
> Processor probably also had something to do with this.
> Once the PS3 ships, Joe Average will start using Linux running on a
> machine faster than he has ever seen before. He will be playing games on
> Linux, writing letters on Linux, surfing the Web on Linux, sending and
> receiving e-mail on Linux, doing his accounts on Linux and not having to
> get a virus scanner and not getting infected with the latest virus du
> jour. It will change the way that the users see computing.
> I doubt if Microsoft will take this lying down. Microsoft will have to
> come up with something different and Intel/AMD will have to start selling
> massively parallel CPU's to compete. Something will have to replace
> Windows, but this something will not be able to run the legacy software,
> except within an emulator.
> If users have to change, the question is whether they will change to
> another very expensive OS, which is new and different or will they change
> to an inexpensive/free OS which is new and different. The latter is the
> most likely scenario. After all, Walmart has grown huge by being cheap.
> If Microsoft is no longer making massive profits, it will no longer be
> able to finance the junkets for government and private CIO's. This will
> further cut into market penitration and profits. In the end, it will
> become a more level market. On the other hand, Microsoft has bought into
> so many other sectors of communications and industry, it is unlikely that
> it will go broke in the near future. It will however need to make money
> out of those other sectors, because it will not have Windows and Office to
> subsidize those other areas of business. It is yet to be seen if Microsoft
> can pull that off.
> Bill Gates has openly admitted that Vista will be the last release of
> Windows. Unless Microsoft is somehow able to get governments to protect
> him, we are about to see some competition come back into the computer
> industry. With competition will come true innovation. The world is
> changing and it is the consumer, who will be the winner.

I have read speculation from experts about Vista being the last from the
Windows family (implying that a code re-write might never serve a purpose).
I am also know aware of Singularity, which is compared tightly with FreeBSD
and Linux /already/ [1]. Can you please cite where Bill Gates made the
statement that you mention above?

Intersting thoughts, all in all.

Best wishes,


[1] http://blogs.zdnet.com/Murphy/index.php?p=459

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