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How Long Before Operating Systems Are Obsolete?

cloud computingOperating Systems

There’s been a lot of tech news lately that’s got me thinking about the relevance of operating systems as we know them today.

For example, we all know that Windows 7 launched last week, and it’s suppose to be a step up from Windows Vista, and a replacement for Windows XP.

We also got news that Google’s Android OS 2.0 is coming to “The Droid Phone” that Verizon will be selling on November 6th.

AND… finally we got news that Los Angeles County has “gone Google” and it going to switch all of their servers, emails, calendaring, etc… over to Google Apps – the cloud based (internet based) server and emailing system.

So where am I going with this?

I’m saying all of this because it’s got me wondering if, in the not too distant future, we are going to see the traditional operating system disappear from existence?

First, Windows 7

Let me ask you something…. what’s the first thing you do when your turn your computer on?  If you’re like me, I’m going to say that you immediately open a web browser – am I right?

And so with the launch of Windows 7 operating system, if all we are doing when we turn the computer on is going immediately to the web, then what’s the comparative advantage that this new operating system brings?

Does Windows 7 (an operating system for local computer operations) provide you with more utility (actually working value) than say Windows XP?  If you’re just going to the web as soon as the computer boots, what does it really matter what operating system you are using – heck… it could Windows 95 for all I care!

Second, Mobile Operating Systems

The iPhone has captivated the entire world, and it shows us that we can do almost everything on a mobile device that we can do on our desktop computers.

And now with Android 2.0 about to hit mobile phones on November 6th, we are going to have both the iPhone and Droid phones on the market.  These mobile devices are going to evolve rapidly as they fight for your love and affection (and attention).

This rapid development is going to be in the form of applications, mobile web browsing, email and calendar management, etc… Basically, all the things you might now do on your computer or laptop, you will be able to do (probably faster and more effectively) on your mobile device.

And with this evolution of mobile operating systems, I again don’t see where desktop operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, etc…) fit in?

Finally, The Cloud

Here’s the ultimately killer to the operating system, and it’s actually the very essence of mobile operating systems – THE CLOUD!

The cloud is the internet, but accessible anywhere you are with a mobile device.

In fact, Google is creating it’s own operating system – scheduled to be out by next year – that is a browser based operating system.  Meaning, the operating system is built upon the platform of the web – not your local computer!

With “the cloud” expanding and making it easier and faster for you to access the web from anywhere – anytime – and efficiently do everything you normally do on your desktop computer, what’s the purpose of a traditional operating system?

In fact, now that I think about it, all the reasons I just described above more also be the death of laptops as well!

What do you think?

4 replies on “How Long Before Operating Systems Are Obsolete?”

Hi Kelly – thanks so much for commenting! I'm not so sure that laptops the way we know them currently (folding, snapping in place, big screen, keyboard, etc…) will survive – but I think something like a tablet PC, which would be something like an oversized iPhone.

What apps were you referring to specifically that need more screen space than a mobile device provides?

Thanks again Kelly for visiting and commenting!

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