Nov 23, 2007

The End Of Operating Systems As We Know Them.

The end of the Operating System as we know it is at hand.

Well actually, not quite at hand but the blueprint has been laid down and the race is on to see who can make the future happen. I happen to know three entrepreneurs in the valley who are actively working on making this happen.

How pray tell? I'll tell you. Not because I want to share a secret but because so far they no one has discovered a cost effective way to do it...It's pretty well understood that this is the direction we're headed in.

First, let's take a look at the way operating systems have evolved.

Earlier operating systems actually just came on the hardware because the computer age was in it's infancy.

Then came the age of the early computers with the large floppy discs (they were actually floppy). Next came the smaller so called floppy discs with earlier Windows PC's. Then came CD's and of course, here we are today with DVD's.

These models of O.S. were all based on an install process, based on the theory that you would have a piece of hardware called a computer and that this computer could start off as a blank slate.

You could then take your CD's, DVD's etc and install whatever operating system you wanted on this computer and (relatively) tailor the install to your own needs.

The new model is more interesting. It states that all you need is a web enabled terminal and a keyboard. The operating system is hosted by the particular company you choose and all you have to do is log in to your environment with a username and password. This is how you log into Hotmail or Yahoo now.

It makes sense. Nothing for the user to install, all they need to do is pay as they go. If you want office, you pay to add it and download it onto your OS module. If you want games, add them to your profile and there they go.

Also, since this O.S. is now a service as opposed to a stationary piece of software, who needs to take a laptop with them? All you need is your username and password and you can really work globally from any web enabled terminal.

So far, no one has executed this model perfectly. The hardware requirements are well...Googlish but the winners would rule the earth. Think about it. Ability to work from anywhere. To have the SAME EXACT desktop wherever you went.

To have access to all the notes you left in Notepad wherever you are. To have the same desktop background and colors. The same distracting programs that you love and the exact same feel as your "home" computer.

You would have the same exact footprint wherever you were.

My prediction is that Microsoft or Google will do this first. If I had to call it now, I would say Google would be my choice. They are BOLD, wildly innovative and know how to scale the sort of infrastructure required to pull off this madness.

Microsoft could catch up but they are burdened with supporting legacy operating systems. It makes the transition harder.

Anyone who has used a Citrix thin client sees this model coming. I predict this will be here in less than 5 years and will be highly disruptive technology.

I for one, can't wait.

Till next time.

Onuora Amobi

About The Author:

Onuora Amobi is the CEO of Nnigma Inc. and editor of He writes a monthly
article for the website that can be found at is the premier Microsoft windows Vista
information portal. On this site, you can find news, information,
tips, new features and updates about Windows Vista.

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