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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Operating Systems - Recent History, Immediate Future

Dan Gillmor writes,The Tiger OS release and Microsoft hypefest were only the latest engagements in a never-ending campaign for the hearts, minds and wallets of computer users. Excerpts with edits and coments:
Microsoft,now holds a nearly unassailable monopoly on the desktop. However, innovation keeps coming from a variety of quarters. The OS landscape looks similar and different than looked a decade ago. The most serious operating system competition for Microsoft in 1995 came from IBM’s OS/2, which was clearly superior to Windows 95 in many ways. IBM’s biggest problem was itself, as it was betrayed by an astonishing inability to sell a better product either to computer makers - who, to be fair, were being bludgeoned by Microsoft - or to independent software developers, without the support of whom no operating system can be successful in today’s world.
One of the Mac’s biggest advantages in the new century has been the almost total absence of viruses and spyware on the platform in an era when the plague of malware has become a clear danger. At the same time, Mac users, especially in corporate settings, often find themselves marginalised by software vendors and support personnel. Linux may appear to be coming along at a surprisingly fast pace. The open source software community has ardently improved the free operating systems to the point that it’s acceptable on the desktop for at least some uses. It’s not yet up to the proprietary competition for use by average folks, especially home users who want to do anything beyond basic computing applications. The move to the web assumes significance - To the extent that the web is a computing platform in its own right, the system running the individual device loses importance. The trend is real but we are quiet a distance away from total independence of this kind. Personal computers are cheaper than ever, but they remain too unreliable and difficult to use. Only competition - from commercial and non-commercial sources alike - can make a difference. Read all the entries in the comments section to read different perspectives about the Linux readiness or otherwise for the desktop user.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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