The main cause of OS cancer is backwards compatibility, the need
to stay compatible with existing application software. OS
designers are caught between yesterday and tomorrow. Customers
want the benefit of the future, new features, hardware and
software, but without having to jettison their investment in the
past, in their applications.
OS architects dream of a pure rebirth, a pristine architecture
born of their hard won knowledge without having to accommodate the
sins of their fathers. But, in the morning — and in the market —
the dream vanishes and backwards compatibility wins.
Enter the iPhone.