Windows XP, which is replacing Windows 98 and putting the Microsoft desktop on a single code-base, "will save the industry a huge amount of money," said Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows division at Microsoft, at IT Forum in Copenhagen. "With Windows 98 and Windows 2000, equipment makers need to make two sets of device drivers and application vendors had to create two versions of their applications."
Now, vendors only have to create one version -- that is, if they don't want to support Windows 98 any more -- and this will liberate huge amounts of cash, said Valentine. "This money will be re-invested in innovation," he said.
He declined to give ZDNet UK a figure for this dividend, but elaborated: "It is a significant figure. Think about the number of companies developing for Windows --there are 200,000 ISVs, and huge number of OEMs."
Although he conceded that most software vendors would continue to support existing applications on older versions of Windows, he said: "There will be no new applications on Windows 9x, ad no new machines running it."