"Windows needs to go more modular," says Michael Silver, a Gartner analyst, on Tuesday. "Microsoft needs to be far more nimble with both Windows and Office."
On Monday, Steve Ballmer said that Windows is a "very long-lived platform" which will continue to evolve, drawing in even more features, such as natural language voice recognition. He intimated that Windows would become bigger, not smaller. "We've got a very long list of stuff our engineers want to do, a long list of stuff all of the companies here want us to do," he told reporters Monday. "There are so many areas where we need innovation."
That's not the move Microsoft should be making post-Vista, argues Silver, who is in the camp that holds Web-based applications, and by extension, Web properties like Google, are the future.
"The more Web applications there are, the less important Windows is," Silver says. "It's not that people don't need an OS with Web 2.0 [and its applications], but Web 2.0 is generally OS-agnostic. To access a Web app, you can use a browser and the Mac OS, or a browser and Linux.