It seems to me that Microsoft were the original language developers for microcomputers way back when. In fact I bought the Bascom Compiler from Microsoft when it was just Bill Gates and about 10 staff - all developers of the language that would become QuickBasic and eventually VB (Visual Basic).
Microsoft were early wizards in the computer language game. But they were outdone by Borland. Turbo Pascal and Turbo C took the computer languages crown from Microsoft but then Microsoft bought QDos and entered into a deal with IBM to make PCDOS and MSDOS was born. Windows followed years after MSDOS has developed advanced memory management and we programmers were implementing windows and multitasking in code.
The days of text computing on PCs were pretty much over as soon as Windows 3.0 started to shift. It felt like Microsoft had been very innovative but it was research at Rank Xerox labs in Palo Alto that famously created the graphic/icon based way of working. It was adopted by Apple on its new Mac and Lisa computers.
That was thirty years ago and we are still using a version of Mac and Windows. Not the same creature at all, but wearing similar spots. Evolution yes. Change, no.
Meantime the Unix world was reinvented by Linus Torvalds. Like most truly important events, nobody really cared at first. Now look at it.
On the eve of Windows 7 release we stand again at the point where we all will start to learn to adapt to a new machine. The trouble remains that XP is a hard act to follow. And if many of the new tricks are already there in Linux, many of the old tricks are still not. Windows dominates not just because of MS Office, but of the computer gaming platform that Microsoft hopes will go to the XBox and out of the office.
When a computer operating system attempts social control, usually that is a bad sign. If Windows 7 does not attract the gamers like XP where will the hardware upgrade impetus come from? Perhaps PCs as we know them (the case, the Motherboard, slots) is going to become irrelevant as the need for souped up computers to play games is brushed aside for the cheaper level playing field the XBox affords.
Where does that leave Linux? Pretty much as the Internet operating system. Is the world excited about Windows 7? Well...