I wonder what would happen if Microsoft dropped the Windows NT core, making an about face, like Apple did years ago with BSD and adopted Sun’s “Open Solaris” as the core? No, I am not talking about the movie! Granted I am sure I could write an essay and make some comparisons. What if they took the rock-solid Open Solaris core and built their new Windows 7 upon it, instead of re-inventing the wheel? I doubt that Microsoft would ever consider doing this. Nor will they truly give up on the Windows NT core. MinWin looks promising; however do they have enough time? With the release of Microsoft Vista turning into such a disaster, the next version of Windows will need to be something different. One good reason for moving to a new core would be the ability to concentrate on other areas of their business. Although Windows and Office sales make up a large portion of Microsoft’s revenues, they need to look to the future as these revenue streams slowly erode due to Web 2.0 applications. I have personally tested many different Operating Systems, from Linux to BSD to Amiga (yes they still exist) and other lesser known systems. I have always been amazed on the boot time, applications installed and innovation. This is not to say that Microsoft has not done much over the years.
In some ways, Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc., made a smart move years ago by adopting a BSD core. Plugged in with NeXT, it allowed them to concentrate on other areas and develop their core business, and diversify. Microsoft is a large company with a lot of smart people, however they cannot continue with business as usual. Sun’s Open Solaris may not be the best choice for Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft first needs to focus their energy. Sun has lately shown expressions of a desperate company. Yes, they have Java, SPARC and Solaris, but business is slowly dwindling on the server hardware side. It would definitely be a benefit to Jonathan Schwartz the CEO of Sun. The reality is that the popularity of Linux is adversely affecting Sun Microsystems. This could explain the move towards open source along with there moves in other areas?
The fact is however that Microsoft is being attacked on all sides and history waits for no one. Microsoft executives have some hard choices to make, however they better make them soon. With everything slowly moving to the web and more and more non-Microsoft based devices they are slowly becoming irrelevant. What are Microsoft’s choices? Do they need to refocus? Are they just fine? What will Microsoft look like in 2-3 years? What will the technology trends be? Only time will tell, unfortunately time is not a luxury for Microsoft.