Speaking at the Emerging Trends conference, a couple of Gartner analysts warned that Windows is in danger of collapsing should Microsoft fail to make radical changes to their operating system. Though that may sound like an overstatement aimed at grabbing some headlines, they do note some important long-term issues that may threaten the software giant's dominant position in the market.

One of the key problems, according to the analysts, is that Microsoft's operating system development times are too long and fail to deliver genuine innovation - you may remember Microsoft had to cut several Vista features in order to have the product out the door by January 2007 after a five year period since the release of XP. Other issues mentioned by Gartner include the complexity of Windows, its large footprint, and the trend towards web-based apps.

That said, Microsoft still holds an overwhelmingly large yet slowly diminishing share of the operating system market and the fact that countless applications come out first or only on Windows further makes it difficult for businesses to shift to an alternative to Windows. The trend, however, should be of concern for Microsoft.