Windows 7, la amenaza fantasma

Desde hace menos de un mes diversos sitios de noticias y blogs hablan de Windows 7, el próximo sistema operativo de Microsoft. Y debo decir que los responsables de marketing de la compañía estadounidense han hecho sus deberes.

Lo más llamativo no es que hablen de Windows 7, sino que en muchas de las noticias se hace referencia a Linux como el peligroso rival al que hay que abatir. Y es que la idea de Microsoft es sacar partido de un emergente mercado, el de los ultraportátiles o netbooks, en el que el software libre le ha tomado una clara ventaja y en el que Windows Vista, su flamante sistema operativo de 6.000 millones de dólares, se ha visto relegado a un rol de simple observador, al tiempo que su hermano mayor Windows XP se llevaba el gato al agua como rival de Linux.

Windows 7

Preston Galla, un columnista de Computerworld, etiquetó Windows 7 como el sistema de Microsoft para acabar con Linux, afirmación, desde mi punto de vista, un tanto pretenciosa. No obstante, creo que la compañía estadounidense teme en lo más hondo la labor que está realizando la comunidad open source. Un miedo a perder cuota de mercado donde es realmente poderoso, los ordenadores de sobremesa.

Los ultraportátiles suponen el sector con mayores perspectivas de crecimiento y Linux está presente en el 30% de los netbooks de Acer y Asus, los líderes de este mercado. Pero el origen del temor de Microsoft no reside tanto en ese 30% de cuota, sino en que los usuarios disponen de una alternativa al omnipresente Windows que puede derivar en que se demanden equipos de sobremesa con Linux. Quizá el mercado aún no esté lo suficientemente maduro para que exista una demanda masiva de netbooks con Linux y mucho menos para los equipos de sobremesa, pero lo que nunca tiene que dejar de estar presente es un término: alternativa.

Ahora bien, ¿por qué considero Windows 7 como una amenaza fantasma? En TechRepublic dan ciertas claves que considero relevantes.

En primer lugar, se prevé que Microsoft saque a pasear su enorme y repleta cartera para que Windows 7 no pierda el tren de los ultraportátiles. Pero recordemos que es la misma billetera que utilizó para pavonearse con Windows Vista y los resultados han sido bastante pésimos.

En segundo lugar, Linux y la comunidad de software libre, dependen en gran medida del trabajo de sus desarrolladores y, salvo catástrofe, seguirán haciendo su trabajo con la misma eficacia y desinterés, independientemente del desembolso económico que se realice desde las arcas de Microsoft.

Por lo tanto, Linux cuenta con un camino recorrido que le confiere cierta ventaja respecto a Microsoft e imagino que desde ahora hasta mediados de 2009, fecha prevista para el pomposo lanzamiento de Windows 7, la comunidad open source seguirá trabajando para demostrar porqué desde Redmond temen a los seguidores de Tux.


Alex Celi

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