Vista and the Open Source opportunity

When Microsoft release the newest version of Windows (codenamed Longhorn, now announced as Vista) in 2006, everyone from network admins to home users will be faced with a decision: upgrade their existing operating system to Vista, or be left behind. There will be a colossal marketing push, and no doubt legacy users will be gradually frozen out in an effort to encourage upgrades. Microsoft will actually be spending loys of money and a huge amount of effort encouraging it’s entire user base to ditch Windows XP.

I wonder if many people will take this opportunity to ditch Windows entirely? Maybe, instead of shelling out for Vista, and faced with the prospect of having to install a whole new OS anyway, people will move to a Linux distro instead.

Vista’s release could see Microsoft retain market control. It could also be the tipping point for widespread adoption of open source software. Should the open source community see this as an opportunity and act on it?

— 31 Jul 2005