Dear Microsoft: This is how you can not die

23 Oct 2007

Ahh, Microsoft. Once the proud demigod of the computer industry, now just a pimple on it’s ass.

No amount of Wow can save you from obsolescence.

Since we’re practically neighbors (I’m just across the 520 bridge from you) I’d like to offer some advice:

  • Switch to a POSIX-compliant kernel. It worked for Apple and they’re kicking your ass.
  • Put 500 developers on the WINE project so it mimics the Win16, Win32, and Win64 APIs perfectly.
  • Disallow any in-house developers from implementing non-crucial functions that do the work of awk, sed, grep, and other GNU tools. Write proprietary versions of these tools and make all your developers use that code when parsing, calculating - or just about anything else.
  • Create a share-nothing library system for your code. One task = one program. Always.
  • Remove the 55 million of 65 million lines of code from Vista that have been rendered unnecessary by the above changes.
  • Make WPF and WPF/E rock-solid on this POSIX kernel and use it to outshine OS X Core Effects (you think WPF works well, you’re wrong)
  • Sell this OS as the simplest, stablest, fastest, most feature-complete Windows ever.
  • Stay a threat, earn back some respect.

If you do this you’ll have something like Mac OS X except it’ll run all Windows programs natively and run on all hardware.

Until then, best wishes.

  • Ted said: That would require them to abandon backwards compatibility and support with old applications and drivers. They can't swallow that pill. I've been praying for Sun to do the same thing with Java, but it's become the "pimple on the ass" (to use your analogy) of the programming world.
  • darryl said: as an ex-Seattle native now residing in the Bay, I appreciate your frustration with M$. so many bright and talented engineers that have forgotten why they got in the business in the first place--to make things better, not worse. but that's why I made the move in 1998 and will never look back. that, and the krappy weather!
  • Dadabhai Naoroji said: Windows is already POSIX compliant - Apple is not kicking Microsoft's ass because it is POSIX compliant. Its users couldn't care less about POSIX.
  • Gregg said: Since the IBM PC jr, I have been a Microsoft guy. Apple still has leap years to go in order to capture corporate America but for the first time since I can remember, I'm ready to purchase my first mac. There was a time in my life which I liked features, but now days I just want something that works without hassling me. Vista is a joke.
  • Jack Danger said: Dadabhai: You're right that Vista has a hacked-on POSIX support in the form of Interix. It's a step in the right direction but it's just not there yet. The reason Apple trumps MS isn't POSIX directly - it's just that Apple has the time to work on the details because their apps are already so solid.
  • Jack Danger said: darryl: My company ( is threatening to move me to the Bay. It's a freakin' attractive offer. From what I hear it's all the good parts of Seattle amplified but with better weather.

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