One that fits Gartner's bill is Browsium's Ion, the follow-on to the company's earlier Unibrows, or the same firm's just-released Catalyst, a browser management tool.
Silver was doubtful that Microsoft would ever repeat the longevity of Windows XP, if only because it's under pressure to pick up the OS release pace, which would make it much less likely that any single edition of Windows would gain the 85%-and-up share that XP accumulated in its salad days of 2006.
"We do think Microsoft will pick up the pace, at least for the next release," Silver said. "We think that will be a 'polishing' release, and come within about two years. It will smooth out all the rough edges of Windows 8. That's when we think a lot of folks will move [from Windows 7]."
Forrester has the same future in mind for Microsoft. On Monday, a colleague of Johnson's, Frank Gillett, predicted the Redmond, Wash. developer will shift to a schedule that, if not annual, will certainly be brisker than the every-three-years its used since 2006.
"In the face of Apple and Google, they have to figure out how to release Windows faster than every three years," Gillett said Tuesday.
Somewhere, XP is laughing.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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