Feeds

Confess about XP Reloaded quick, Gartner tells MS

Windows - a journey without roadmaps...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft should level with us, soon, on whether or not it intends to ship an interim 'XP Reloaded' version of Windows, and if it is getting the green light, it should discuss the timeline and feature sets immediately, says Garter. The research outfit's recently-issued 'First Take' is actually directed at giving upgrade advice for customers still using Windows 2000, and confused by the Reloaded story, but it contains quite a few grisly reminders about the things Microsoft ought to do, but doesn't.

For example, Microsoft was saying in 2001 that it intended to release Longhorn in the second half of 2004. As we've seen since then, the Longhorn date has slipped spectacularly, and Gartner's view that we're not going to see it before 2007 seems all too plausible. At the same time, Microsoft intends to stop selling Windows 2000 through the channel at the end of this month.

If you ask Microsoft when Longhorn is going to ship, Microsoft will tell you it will ship when it's done. And if you listen to Microsoft executives' presentations over a year or two, you'll note that the 12-18 month window in which the company thinks Longhorn might ship moves progressively. So, we have a period of indeterminate length from the demise of Win2k until the arrival of Longhorn, into which - the company indicated in just the last few days - something which might be a retreaded version of XP, might be a marketing campaign or might be a mix of the two is likely to be slipped.

You can see how this kind of thing causes a certain amount of angst among Microsoft's treasured corporate customers. Many of them are still using Windows 2000, for perfectly rational reasons. XP wasn't a massive leap over Win2k, but has sufficient differences to add support costs, so why shift? And if Longhorn were still on target for H2 2004 (not of course that anybody sensible ever believed that one) they'd now be sitting fairly pretty.

Not only does Microsoft seldom issue accurate roadmaps - the company has a history of producing new versions more or less out of the blue, and then finding itself moving the expiry dates around on the lifecycle charts a couple of years later. Quite often this happens just days before a product's previously scheduled expiry, which is really not a whole bunch of help to anyone.

The pity here is that it's almost certainly not the case that Microsoft secretly knows when it's going to ship things and when it's going to kill them. On the contrary, the company is probably telling us more or less what it knows, when it knows it, and if Reloaded really turns out to be a product rather than a marketing programme, then it's probably one that's just popped into somebody in Redmond's head. Or that some maniac in Redmond has just finally managed to sell to the High Command.

So prior to making Gartner and the enterprise customers happy by producing regular and accurate roadmaps, timelines and feature sets, Microsoft really has to consider carefully and deeply why it is that it is unable to do this. And maybe why inserting timeline changes as puffs of white smoke in keynotes is really not a smart idea. ®

Related stories:
Windows Shorthorn is 'dead-on-arrival'

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.