Coca-Cola blinked when they introduced “new-Coke”. Rumour has it that M$ will introduce a new version of that other OS to run on x86/amd64 and ARM. It will not be “7″. Perhaps it will be vapourware to further delay GNU/Linux on ARM. Who knows? Who cares? The world wants small cheap computers and does neither want nor need to wait. GNU/Linux runs on ARM today in many millions of installations.
M$ should have stuck with its cash-cows. Now they will have new problems:
- the new version, if it will run well on ARM, will show the world that XP, Vista and “7″ were bug-ridden bloatware,
- “partners” like Intel and retailers who promoted that other OS will feel they were paid to lie to consumers and the consumers will know it,
- competing on price and performance in a highly competitive market will really cut into their margin,
- making copy and paste work, and
- ARM will be endorsed as “good enough” and suck the life out of Atom etc. This will hasten the arrival of ARM on the desktop.
I like it. Even if it turns out to be total vapour, it’s a great story. If it’s a complete re-write and done well, that other OS will crash and burn leaving a huge vacuum of credibility for GNU/Linux to grow. If it’s a port of a cut-down version of that other OS, how will the salesmen promote it? “Try our new low-calorie OS. We threw out all the crapware you have been paying for the last decade. We hope you don’t mind.”