Vista launch to be the last of its kind?

18 Dec 2006

Windows Vista, unveiled worldwide last month to much fanfare, will be the last major release of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. That’s according to the industry analyst firm Gartner, which has forecast that the days of high-profile software launches are coming to an end.

Daryl Plummer, managing vice-president and chief fellow with the firm’s emerging technologies group, made the claim in a ‘Gartner Voice’ podcast, giving his technology predictions for 2007. These forecasts are based on an aggregate of reports and research the firm has conducted throughout the past year.

“We feel that Vista will actually be the last major release of an operating system, meaning the way that operating systems and software in general have been released over the years with major releases that take forever to get out and often have a lot of work behind them,” said Plummer.

Instead, smaller ongoing improvements will be the order of the day, he suggested. “We’ll see more incremental releases coming along. We’ll see different aspects of the system, whether it be file system or interface or communications, that will be released in increments over time as opposed to one massive release.”

Plummer said the forecast was an indication in the market that all software is undergoing change in how it is bought and used. “There’s more of a need to get things out to them in a timely fashion rather than waiting for years to do something, so everything’s being sped up,” he said.

In another prediction, he said that the cost to business of maintaining PCs is set to drop. “We feel over the next five years that the average total cost of ownership of new personal computers over the next five years will actually fall by 50pc,” Plummer said.

Explaining the reason for this, he added: “Now’s the time when organisations are beginning to really understand and manage their PC resources. There’s sort of a maturing of our ability to automate and to manage and to govern the use of these machines and therefore we can do it much more efficiently and at less cost.”

By Gordon Smith