Speaking at a Gartner-sponsored conference, two analysts noted that Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system risks becoming a “has-been” if radical changes are not made. In their presentation, they added that the “situation is untenable.”

Excerpt from Computerworld:

[The analysts] said Microsoft has not responded to the market, is overburdened by nearly two decades of legacy code and decisions, and faces serious competition on a whole host of fronts that will make Windows moot unless the software developer acts.

One of the key problems would be Window’s huge code base, which makes it next to impossible to craft meaningful changes in a short amount of time. If anything, the recently released Windows Vista proved this point. If you recall, prior announced functionalities were either bumped back or simply thrown out the window (no pun intended).

In contrast, Apple was able to introduce its iPhone running on OS X, while Microsoft required a different product on handhelds because Vista was simply too large, they argued.

It is ironic that one of Windows’ most touted “features” — its backwards compatibility — is fast proving to be its Achilles heel. I know that some of us aren’t exactly the most ardent of Microsoft fans, but Windows dead? Just how would that affect you?