Mark Evans asks if Vista is the beginning of the end of Windows, and I think he is asking a very good questions. I’ve mentioned this before, and believe that the new OS is the browser – actually the ‘net because that is where the applications and solutions are.
Operating systems should be “seen and not heard”, to steal a phrase from generations past. An OS only needs to perform a few specific, but important, functions. Namely, an OS is the software needed to interface with the hardware, to provide a stable platform on which to run task-specific applications, and to secure the entire environment from intrusion or compromise. Anything more than that is bloat, simply serving to slow the entire system down.
While there probably is a move by many to the Mac, I believe the true winner in the long run will be Linux. Since many distros are free, the price of entry is right compared to the Mac. Also, the level of sophistication is far enough along to provide the base services that an average user will need. Ease of upgrade or migration still needs to be dealt with and some rough edges in the environments will also need to be smoothed out and polished up.
The real challenge for Microsoft is to, of course, make Windows appear to have value to their customers. To them, this means adding features, making it better looking, and other items including more secure. Yes, I truly believe Microsoft has made great inroads in this area. To be fair, MS has the largest installed base, hence the largest availability of systems to learn how to subvert. The installed base also supports the largest number of applications that were written to the original Win32 API, and if you break that – guess what. So MS has some real hard work patching the system without breaking the API (documented and undocumented).
At any rate, as people discover that they can have all their applications served on the Internet, store all their files on storage services that are always backed up, and everything is accessible from everywhere, the importance of the operating system will be drastically reduced.
Via: Mark Evans – Is Vista the Beginning of the End?