Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A fog-shrouded Vista?

The question going through many peoples' minds at the moment is when to upgrade from Windows 2000 or XP to Windows Vista. There's much opportunity for Sturm und Drang here!

Certainly there are lots of goodies in Vista. But my own approach will be to keep using Windows XP Professional as my production system long enough (which could be quite a few some months) for all those third-party software developers out there to update their products to operate under Vista. Meanwhile, I'll be happy enough to run Vista as a secondary non-production system underneath Microsoft Virtual PC (or similar) and go through the painful learning stages without threatening my income-generating production work.

I suspect that some of the lesser players will take a long time to master some of the more esoteric differences in Vista, and some of them will not be up to the task (so I suspect that that some of my favorite tools may never become available in Vista-compatible versions).

You only have to look at Java Software on Vista - Yes, it works to see all the sorts of things that Sun Microsystems had to do to get Java functioning properly under Vista:
People have been wondering lately: How does Java software work on Windows Vista? The short answer is: Java software works great on Vista. In fact, the entire Sun engineering team working on Java Platform Standard Edition has been tuned into Vista and making Java software work on it since it was named after a breed of cattle. ...

Windows Vista is not just XP++; there are fundamentally new things about the system that makes older software break. Is all software broken? Probably not. But the more of the system an application uses, the more likely it is to run into issues in which the system has changed. In our case, Java software is not just a simple Win32 GUI application; it's a runtime platform with deep-rooted needs in the operating system, the networking stack, the security model, the graphics system, etc. If any of these subsystems change significantly, we need to adjust our software accordingly. In the case of Vista, it has been an ongoing process of learning, testing, debugging, filing bugs with Microsoft, fixing our bugs, and repeating the whole process. Since Vista has been a moving platform during the Java Platform Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6) development process, we have been in an ongoing cycle with every new drop of Vista.
When a major player like Sun has had to do so much intricate software engineering work, I shudder to think what some of the minor players will come up with!

No comments:

Post a Comment