Maximum Wait for MinWin, Windows 7.0
The circle of life continues at Microsoft. The software giant, desperate to freeze a market, has started evangelizing a “new” version of Windows (called MinWin) that will correct Windows Vista’s bloatware problems. But don’t blame Microsoft for the noise about MinWin and Windows 7.0. Blame the trade press.
MinWin is a tightly written Windows core upon which all desktop and server versions of Windows will be designed. It’s a great concept — similar to the microkernel that IBM was writing for OS/2 and other operating systems a decade ago (actually, maybe that’s a bad example considering the fate of IBM’s OS projects).
Yes, Microsoft needs to address its bloatware problems. It’s time to put Windows on a diet. But MinWin and its desktop operating system personality — Windows 7 — won’t arrive till 2010. Yet CRN is predicting that MinWin could “Soothe Vista Headaches.” Wow. That’s quite a leap of faith.
Let’s review Microsoft’s track record, shall we:
- Windows 4.0 was delayed multiple years and finally arrived as Windows 95 in August 1995.
- Windows NT “Cairo” never made it out the door as a single product release, but certain components arrived incrementally and some components never shipped at all.
- Windows Vista’s shipment slipped and slipped. And when it arrived, it was bloated and there were no killer applications for the new operating system.
Now, we’re supposed to believe that MinWin will be the answer to our problems? Even better — the trade press, rather than Microsoft — is making this prediction three years before Microsoft’s intended ship date.
Frankly, the industry isn’t waiting around for Microsoft to fix its problems this time around. Companies like Tech Data have introduced Macintoshes — yes, Macintoshes — with downgrades to Windows XP preinstalled. And Dell downgraded some of its customer offerings to XP before introducing Ubuntu Linux on a handful of systems. And Apple’s market share continues to rise.
Sure, Windows still dominates the market. But customers aren’t exactly demanding Vista by name.Enter MinWin. To Microsoft’s credit, the company realizes that it needs to get away from bloated Windows releases. But this is a long-range strategy, folks. When the trade press starts predicting that a distant Windows release will correct current Windows problems, it’s time for all of us to demand a reality check.