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Monday, November 7th, 2005, 9:21 am

Windows Fragmented

Longhorn beta
Longhorn beta – old screenshot

MICROSOFT are said to offering too much choice in their upcoming Windows Vista. Some would even say that they are bound to failure due to this strategy. 7 editions of Vista are simply too much and customer confusion is foreseen.

As if a dozen editions/versions of Windows1 was not excessive, Singularity — a research O/S — has recently been introduced by Microsoft. It is probably intended to address the many inherent deficiencies in Windows, primarily security and customisability. Singularity will in fact be built from scratch, which is reminiscent of what was previously said about Vista as words leaked out from Redmond.

If Microsoft pursue a research O/S, then so be it, but researchers are largely not fond of Windows, especially in scientific research domains. Windows is simply too restrictive and insufficiently flexible (unless one pays). The move to Singularity is absurd, in my opinion, as people do not want to completely separate research environments from other activities.

Research involves writing documents and surfing the Web, for example. Having one operating system at home a yet another O/S, which is dedicated to research at work, is utterly confusing and unnecessary. It also support the point regarding confusion in Vista, which will be distributed in 7 editions. To use analogies, it is like having a truck and a motorcycle both for the puspose of transporting one passenger. More so, it is like having completely separate sets of dishes for chicken and ham.

1 Windows ME, 2000, NT, XP Home+Professional are still supported, but only partially and not for long either.

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