Microsoft will ultimately spend many hundreds of millions of dollars developing and marketing Vista in a bet-the-farm strategy on the new operating system.
Unasked is the question: Does Vista really matter?
The real danger to Microsoft isn’t from another company overcoming it with a rival operating system. It’s from Google, which is taking an end-around, and building applications on top of the Internet, which in essence has become the world’s largest operating system, dwarfing even Windows.
Google’s applications are simple, lean, and elegant — everything from Gmail to the Google Toolbar, Google Maps, Google News, and more. It may ultimately even build Internet-based applications like a word processor. And there is plenty of evidence it may even be launching a national Wi-Fi service, and appears to be building what may be the world’s largest backbone network.
Microsoft, meanwhile, slaves away on Vista, and fumbles every time it tries to create a Web-centric service. Does anyone remember Hailstorm from several years back? Enough said.
Google appears to be proving that in an Internet-centric world, the operating system may not matter. Internet-focused applications do. And so despite all the hype about Vista, what’s really important may be Google applications like blog search and whatever else the company is cooking up in the labs. Vista may be pretty and powerful and useful, but it may be a look backwards, not to the future.
Does Vista Matter, or should Microsoft spend its money on Internet applications? Let me know what you think.