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What Would Life Be Like Without Windows?

Jan 28, 2010, 04:34 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Randall C. Kennedy)

"It's the thought experiment we all like to engage in. What would life be like without Microsoft Windows? To listen to the free open source software crowd, the demise of Windows -- and by extension, Microsoft's hegemony over the PC universe -- would signal a kind of rebirth for information technology. Software would finally be free of the corporate shackles that have stifled innovation and dragged down the best and brightest among us.

"Such thinking is naïve, at best. Rather than freeing IT, the demise of Microsoft would plunge the industry into an apocalyptic tailspin of biblical proportions -- no visions of hippie utopia here. The withdrawal of the Redmond giant's steady hand would cause today's computing landscape to tear itself apart at the seams, with application and device compatibility and interoperability devolving into the kind of Wild West chaos unseen since the days of the DOS big three: Lotus, WordPerfect, and Ashton-Tate.

"And don't believe that the Web will somehow mitigate the impact of Windows' demise. Although Google talks a good story about supplanting traditional compute models with a Web-centric paradigm, the truth is that the folks from Mountain View are no less sinister when it comes to grandiose plans for world domination."

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