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Which OS will win in the end? (An Article by GTech)

post #1 of 4
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Essentially the traditional Operating System was used to run hardware, as it still does today, and provide software makers a kernel in which to build applications on. So, which OS will dominate in the future? I believe that the answer to this question lays in a multitude of problems and solutions we face today. I've talked about the "Post PC Era" in a discussion which led the reader to understand that we are indeed moving away from the Big Desktop (eventually), into a world of Mobile Computers, which are already dominating as the standard computer of choice.

Many companies are trying to make smaller computers and Intel is striving hard to come up with super processors which are smaller, much like ARM Processors, which integrate / migrate multiple Motherboard Components onto the Processor to produce a SOC (System On a Chip). To this end, we will be able to compute on smaller computers which provide the balance of the perfect computing environment from a smaller computer. Though I doubt large monitors and computers will fall out of production for many many years to come, and part of that stems from the need of Enterprises and Enthusiasts who still want the most powerful system money can buy.

But then there is the other side of the fence, which would be most of the known world, which cannot afford an Enterprise or Enthusiast Computer, that's precisely why Mobile computers are dominating and are quickly becoming the computer of choice. However, all that aside, you should look at what Mobile computers do, as a side effect, and why Apple & Microsoft want to change how we use and interact with our software and media. Mobile computers, especially mobile phones, blur the lines between a Feature and an Application, where you simply just buy the phone and download apps that you want to add to the phone (for a price).

On the flip side, Apple has integrated a lot of software into their OS, and rather than going to a store to buy a traditional application / software, you simply use the Apple store to purchase these, including media. Micrcosoft / Windows looks like (see my Windows 8 Review) it's set to follow Apple's business model and create their own store and charge for various software "as a service". Though Linux is quickly gaining popularity in much of the Mobile Phone & Tablet Markets, it really never gained a place as a primary OS on a traditional computer, meaning Desktop / Notebooks / Etc, and many believe it never will. I think for basic mobile computers Linux will definitely retain a large portion of the mobile markets as a predominate OS because it's a much more efficient OS when it's coded specifically for smaller mobile devices.

However, anyone who has used Linux knows that there are some missing elements which have never come to Linux, though Apple has done their best to drive Proprietary Software Makers to their OS, nothing is pushing these same Proprietary Software Makers towards Linux, rather Linux is mainly just used as a basic OS or to run a Server, as much of the known internet is ran on Linux. (Over 65%) Now, what is interesting to understand and become aware of is, Windows has led the OS race for many years, but where Apple won is "Innovation", and that's because they were willing to go outside of the realm of "OS" and focus on both Hardware & Software, using "Innovation" as the key guiding factor.

The secret behind Apple's success is two things, first, they produce or use bleeding edge technology, they want the best, and their consumers do too! The second thing is they have a very efficient OS which is very stylish and sexy, that alone has driven many people towards their company. The one thing that Windows has over all other Operating Systems is, that they have a larger selection of proprietary software vendors supplying them the best software on the market, including Microsoft itself (e.g. MS Office etc), also another major factor is, many proprietary games are coded for Windows and not other operating systems, however that is something that might change, also something else is transpiring.

We see a war between the Console & PC, Game makers are currently making games for both, but what will be the future there? I cannot answer that, sorry. However, I'd be inclined to say that Mobile Computers will most likely be the computer of choice for gaming in the future as well. Wouldn't it be cool if you could take your 17" HD Gaming Laptop over to your friends house for a LAN party of say Battlefield 3? (I can hear the gamers now, "Hell yus!") To that end I'd probably say that Windows stands a good chance, in the end, being one of the primary operating systems of choice, due to the fact that most of the games are still coded for Windows, and kids love games a lot, heck even many adults play games, even if they are just browser games of Farm-ville or Angry Birds etc..

Will gaming decide which OS will win in the end? I'd have to say somewhat, because many parents bought their children gaming consoles just so their kids could play games, now they would be more justified to buy them a laptop because of it's learning potential vs just a dumb console which is used basically for media. As we see that Kinect is being integrated into Windows 8, and Microsoft is specifically focused on Touch-Screen computing, we can understand that Microsoft has a very clear vision of the future and is definitely banking on 2 things, gaming, and the integration of HTML5 & the .Net Framework.

Indeed many applications will come from the .Net due to the new Metro Interface found in Windows 8, while Apple Computer Fans will be holding their new shiny toys, Windows Fans will be playing the coolest and latest games on their computers. which ever OS they are using. So where does that leave Linux? Well, like I said before, they are already beginning to dominate in the mobile markets, however, there is one factor that must be considered, and that's the dirty word called "Cost". It cost too much for an Apple Product, the world at large isn't rich, so inventions like the "Rasberry Pi" has taken the internet and world by storm! Another score for Linux I might add!

I believe there will be two genres of computers in the future, the Cheap & Dirty Fix to get online for basic computing (mostly mobile or small form factor computers), and then the Enterprise / Enthusiast computer (which would be larger, like the Desktop or Mainframe Size), with Linux being the primary OS of choice because of cost & because most of the servers are run by Linux. Now, don't get me wrong, Windows will indeed still exist, definitely, Windows 8 strikes to threaten even Apple's & Linux's stake in the mobile markets, definitely, and the All In One Computer will definitely be taking a good long hard look at Windows 8, truly...

However, Linux will dominate because many people can game through browsers via HTLM5 and many Game Designers are taking their games to the Cloud, presenting games and even applications as a service, meaning you have to pay to play. Even Microsoft is $eeing the $ign and following suit. Much of the world would be happy to just own their software & computer and not have to pay for subscriptions, however I fear, that's not the wave of the future. Indeed even Media Corporations are working extremely hard to ensure you will indeed pay to view or listen to content, and that is truly shaping the new computing age of the future.

Therefore we will have basic Linux computers which operate through the Internet & Cloud to access the games, media, and software they want to use, online, while those that need an OS that offers more will most likely pay to use Windows 8, and Apple might very well be left holding the bag, (of apples), because consumers sometime also want the best, and Microsoft Windows is shaping out to be a better choice, especially if you love gaming.

Though there is no clear and present answer to the future of which Proprietary OS will dominate for sure, though I'd greatly lead others to believe that Windows will win the proprietary race, while Linux will dominate most of the known world as the OS of choice because it's free and open source, which will lead to a greater collaboration of coders who will work hard towards building a better OS than anything Apple & Microsoft can build.

Please share your opinions and thoughts below, but please stay on topic...

I'm not saying anything I have written is "True" &/or accurate, I'll let you the readers be my critics, thanks for reading!

GTech
Edited by _GTech - 3/21/12 at 11:00am
The Rock
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The Rock
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post #2 of 4
This looks an interesting read - I'll have a gander when I get time smile.gif
post #3 of 4
Interesting thoughts, but I have to say that I hope you're wrong to some extent. I think mobile devices have their place, but I don't need my home PC to be mobile. I don't like laptop keyboards, touchpads, and smaller screens. Sure, I could connect all the stuff I want to use, but by the time I do that, what's the point? And usually there is a compromise in computing power compared to a similarly priced desktop.

I also have no interest in cloud gaming because I don't want to put up with the input lag and video compression, not to mention the loss of any ability to customize the game. Can they even do 60fps yet? But even if mainstream PC gaming were to go away, I think there will at least be a place for consoles, if only because the big manufacturers have properties they use to sell hardware. For example, I don't see Nintendo putting Mario and Zelda games on the web for any hardware to run.

Regarding not going to a store to buy software though, aren't we already there? I can't remember the last time I bought a software application in a retail store. It's even been a few years since I bought a PC game on a disc that wasn't a legacy product. The only thing I've bought on disc in the last few years is Windows itself, and I could even buy that digitally if I wanted the retail version as opposed to the OEM version.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Believe me I am 100% pro-desktop myself, truly...

Indeed I hate mobile computers, they are just throw away junk to me...

Nevertheless SirDrexl, yes, many people don't actually buy software in a store, however, when I'm at a store I tend to browse just because my wife is shopping.. biggrin.gif

Anyway, there are still many people who have yet to adopt the new Informational Age, nor the world called "The Internet" in full yet...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. thumb.gif
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