Monthly Archives: June 2008

Rewrite Windows – Yes or No?

An interesting article posted by from New York Times, suggest that best way to resolve all of Microsoft Windows ‘problems’, is to rewrite the software from scratch.

"The best solution to the multiple woes of Windows is starting over. Completely. Now.

Vista is the equivalent, at a minimum, of Windows version 12–preceded by 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, NT, 95, NT 4.0, 98, 2000, ME, and XP. After 6 years of development, the longest interval between versions in the previous 22-year history of Windows, and long enough to permit Apple to bring out three new versions of Mac OS X, Vista was introduced to consumers in January 2007."

Read the entire article here

My Take:

I am sorry, but there is a lot of misinformation and bias in this article. Mac OS X’s heritage upon which it is built is even older than NT itself. Development on NT started in late ’89 when Microsoft hired Dave Cutler, so NT is probably one of the youngest Microkernels next to Linux which was developed around ’91 by Torvald. There is also confusion between the code bases, Windows NT is completely different from Windows 9x/3x/1x. The only similarities they shared were version names and API’s for those legacy applications you speak of. Microsoft does not need to rewrite Windows, they can clean it up, just like they did for example with the release of Windows XP Professional x64 where they removed things like AppleTalk, POSIX compliance and NetBEUI. You must remember just like Linux or Unix, NT was designed in mind to be a portable OS, in fact during its development it was specifically targeted at different platforms such as PowerPC, Alpha, MIPs, the Intel processor it targeted had to be emulated. So I would revise your analysis before dooming Windows. A lot of the work over years has been targeted at componentising much of Windows where vital components like the Network Stack, graphics don’t create lots of dependencies. Rumors are much of the built apps for instance will be optional in Windows 7. Vista’s only regret is, it made necessary architectural changes for the sake of security and took a long time to reach market, but out of it all, there were great benefits that developers still haven’t managed to dig deep into like the new graphics and communication capabilities. As for supporting legacy applications, Microsoft could even move compatibility to a virtualized stack where old apps work normally on newer versions of Windows without a hitch. Nothing is wrong with the NT kernel and its age is not a problem either.


Filed under Windows Vista