InfoWorld’s Eric Knorr has made the compelling point that perhaps Microsoft should get out of the Windows business and instead focus on the public cloud. I get that opinion. In the 1990s, I reviewed client operating systems that included Windows 95, Windows NT, OS/2, and about a dozen versions of Unix. In the back of my mind, I thought that was a fool’s errand, that we were focused on the wrong problem.
The past focus on client operating systems, then on mobile operating systems, was perhaps a misplaced effort. Why? For one thing, the complexity of it all — if you support client operating systems, you’re distributing complexity. Ask the people charged with supporting Windows — or any client OS, for that matter. They will most likely tell you that the complexity and difficulty is large.