Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The end of the OS?

As Microsoft releases Vista to manufacturing in preparation for its public release in a few months, David Sobotta asks "where is the innovation?", as he rakes over John Dvorak's article in PC Magazine where, as controversial as ever, Dvorak ask whether Vista is a dead end?'s possible that Microsoft is out of ideas, and Apple is out of ideas from which Microsoft can borrow.
Like David, I don't hold Dvorak in high esteem as a technical journalist, I think he's out of touch with what's actually going on but sometimes he makes a good point, and this time he might be right.

Dvorak's arguments that Vista will be the last major version of Microsoft's operating system have a certain ring of truth. However perhaps that's possibly because I agree with him, although for different reasons.

Running with Dvorak's arguement, David talks about the main problem facing Apple right now, the very reason for its current success, Steve Jobs. What happens to Apple when Steve either loses interest in computers, if he hasn't already done so, or since no one lives for ever, up and dies on them? Apple doesn't seem to encourage a culture from which an obvious successor for Steve would organically arise, and like many I'm sure that there is some really worried people in Apple's upper management right now, and of course like Microsoft Vista, you have to wonder where Apple should go from here with OSX?

While there is a growing agreement that out "traditional" view of operating systems might be due for a rethink, nobody really agrees what's next. Well you know what I think, Russell Beattie had it right,
If someone's using a PC to demo the next big thing, then it's not the next big thing... - Russell Beattie
The future is in mobile computing, ubiquitous computing and location based services, and if you're building something that even requires a desktop machine to access you're not looking very far ahead. Whatever happens it's going to be a interesting few years, because we're not just going to go on as before, that certainly isn't one of the options...