17:55 PM

Gartner predicts hasta la Vista for future Microsoft OSs

Gartner predicts the bleeding obvious: Vista will be the last Windows.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Research firm Gartner Inc. turned soothsayer on Wednesday by predicting that Windows Vista will be the last big release of Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) Windows operating system.

Source: Gartner predicts Vista to be last major Windows - Yahoo! News

Vista runs a web browser, which overlays Vista--paper covers rock...

Bill Gates saw it coming when he crushed Netscape and established Internet Explorer(IE) as market leader. He realized that the browser is the interface-not the OS.

It was the open source community that managed to revive Netscape's role as an alternative to Microsoft. But Microsoft did not give any respect to open source projects, it continually derided Linux for years. It did not see the challenge to IE as credible.

Microsoft could have kept far ahead of the Firefox/Safari/Opera etc, pack by innovating on Internet Explorer when it had the lead. Except MSFT decided to sit on it for about three years until the recent launch of IE7.

The new Internet Explorer 7.0 is good, it supports industry standards such as CSS far better than IE 6, and it has a many good features. If Microsoft had pushed that kind of innovation when it had pole position in the market, it would have taken the open source community a lot longer to catch up and challenge Internet Explorer.

This is the penalty from not innovating from a leadership position. The competitive distance is shortened, and short distances hearten people to challenge the status quo.

If Microsoft had pushed the envelope on IE, it would have cemented its position in owning the most important real estate in the world--the interface into our digital worlds.