In time will you OS matter?

I saw this article & it made me go Hmm.
The Google Linux desktop has arrived - Computerworld Blogs
What do you guys think?

I think what this article is saying what has been said for years, that the OS has become a commodity and that it doesn’t make sense anymore to devote billions of dollars to producing an underwhelming product like Vista. Only a few major companies do any development on OSes anymore. MS, Sun come to mind; and perhaps some others like IBM, maintain proprietary enterprise Unix. Apple saw the light way back and moved to a BSD based OS. The only things holding customers to Windows are the desktop apps and sheer inertia, and web based apps are loosening that hold. Cheap handheld devices and Internet access will make office apps on those devices look as silly as telexes in the era of email and IM.

In other news, it’s been mentioned that 2 out of 3 people giving up IE6 go to a non-IE browser. Also IE’s browser share has dipped below 70% for the first time, and Mozilla has gone above 20%.

I guess not. I belong to the thin segment of users who don’t care all that much about strictly technological aspects. An OS was invented that can work off the internet? So what? I’m already sick of “solutions” that are only implemented because “it can be done”. People never ask themselves “why” do it in the first place, they just ask “why not”. A stupid question to ask, “why not”. That way, singing toilet seats were invented. And tomatoes that taste like cardboard. And cloned sheep. And Three Mile Island. And springs that are too polluted to drink anymore. And beaches where you can’t bathe anymore. And nuclear bombs. And mortal germs for biological warfare. The creators obviously never asked themselves what these invention would be used for. Or if they did, they just couldn’t care less. That’s the big flaw of the reasoning behind “why not”. Humanity should revert to asking itself “why yes”.

Now, for the issue at hand, the specific question I’ll be asking is: is it FLOSS? It’s the only question I’m interested in. If it’s not FLOSS, to hell with it. Even if it’s completely bug-free and the shiniest piece of software ever.

And the second question will be: do I need it? I’m sure you’ve already guessed the answer by now.:wink:

Interesting read.

and I do think that if they could get support from computer manufacturers to pre-package their ‘google-os’ that it would be loved by many.

Don’t forget that there are many users who don’t need more from their PC than a web browser (well quite a few are used to outlook for email, but they’d be fine with a webbased email ‘front end’).
My father who by no means is good with computers… hell, I told him hundred times he does not need to search for entire http://www.etc.etc webadresses on google but can simply fill them in the big bar at the top of the browser.
Anyways… he’s doing fine on openSUSE 11.1, all he needs is a firefox icon on the desktop.

I’d estimate the amount of users you could satisfy with an OS plus webapps could be around 60%… and that number will only go up as internet connections get faster allowing the applications to do more.

Biggest problem for pushing microsoft out of the OS market would be getting manufacturers to cooperate in prepacking your OS with PC’s and having enough companies around to set up your internet connection…

  • Sagemta wrote, On 01/03/2009 09:16 AM:
    > What do you guys think?

Google is gathering enormous amounts of data. I don’t trust them. If I have to choose between a free Google OS and a Microsoft OS, I choose MS.


I agree with Uwe %100. Google may be very benevolent toward FOSS, but in my opinion, they’re getting too big. They know too much, and they have too much influence. I have a feeling that the time will come when if someone controls Google, they’ll have a much greater hold on the world than any political leader could. Especially considering how many people keep most of their thinking and decision making skills “off-shore” (either in their television or, maybe, Google) .

I think it will be a long time before the internet is stable enough for people and business to fully trust it to work every day. Not to mention security concerns, and then there are always those pesky fiber seeking backhoes on construction sites.

Agreed. Internet connectivity will always be an issue. To have effective administration in place, organisations need control over software and networks. The internet just alienates and complicates this process, so I can’t see large corporations feeling comfortable with ‘internet apps’.

Re. the comments on Google, I can remember when 10 years ago Google was being mentioned at my local Linux users group as the search engine for Linux users to use.

On the general point, I think the issue is part of a longer trend. In 1975 Gary Kildall broke the mould by producing an OS that worked on more than one type of hardware. The next step would have been applications that run on more than one OS; though these have been around, development has been slowed by MS dominance in the desktop market.

Now that is slackening, the need for applications that will run on more than one OS is becoming more important.

But it is only recently that people have realised what I was taught twenty years ago - the really important thing is data that can be used with more than one application. Unicode and the OASIS formats are steps in that direction but there are many areas in which data is simply not interchangeable.

In the longer term, ensuring that all applications can access data that needs to be shared is going to be far more important than what OS people are using.

If banks allow you to do your banking trough the internet it’s not all that insecure.

Don’t know how the connection is in other countries, but over here the connection from the provider is working 98% of the time (WISH MY ROUTER DID TO!) and if it’s -that- important, a second ‘slow’ line makes a good alternative.
Bit silly really, a cable connection + adsl connection = ~40 euros for a decent connection speed, yet a business DSL connection costs the same… and if the business dsl line falls out you’re just out of luck unless it’s for like days straight, then you might actually get some money back from the provider.

Well I don’t do internet banking, because I don’t trust it.

Connection can vary greatly here in the U.S. I have 2mb dsl at home which isn’t to bad, but a lot of rural areas only have dailup or satellite connections available.

> In other news, it’s been mentioned that 2 out of 3 people giving up IE6
> go to a non-IE browser. Also IE’s browser share has dipped below 70% for
> the first time, and Mozilla has gone above 20%.

And another perspective, since MS decided to stop supporting W2k, if a user
wants more browser features they move to Firefox as there are not releases
of newer IE browsers for W2k…which at last poll was still close to 15% of
MS installed desktops. That’s an easy gain for Firefox.

I don’t trust Google 100% but I do like their products. I use Gmail/Calendar/Contacts via IMAP.

The same can be said for Microsoft (I like .NET and really wish Monodevelop could get to the point of Visual Studio, and Office).

I find it funny that a number of people in the computer club I am a part of see Google as a “new Microsoft” and don’t trust Google. The interesting part is that they have largely been in the industry before Microsoft was as big as it is and so have a frame of reference that I don’t have.

I don’t trust my bank’s online abilities too much but it isn’t because of the internet, but because I have to rely on the capabilities of THEIR techs and developers! For all I know they developed it using High School students to save a buck!

While Google has been “good” to FOSS, they still offer Linux versions (Chrome? SketchUP) later than Windows, if at all. I like being able to pick my pieces to put together. If I like a company/organization/project then I will use it, otherwise I can go with somebody else.

I think the only company I truly trust for Linux is Red Hat. Whether or not I like their distributions is irrelevant, but the company has been on a pretty even keel and resolute to uphold the FOSS standards.

I do have to laugh that about 5+ years ago at a computer club meeting (Danbury Area Computer Society) there was a presenter who said “In 10 years the operating system isn’t going to matter.”

So far, I can see what he said is becoming true!

Matt Asay’s spin on the Linux ‘Desktop’:

Actually, as I’ve written several times before, we don’t need a “Year of the Linux Desktop,” largely because the applications that run on my Mac (and on your Windows PC) already are Linux. Google, Amazon, and a huge swath of the Web are written on to run remotely on Linux, then delivered to your Mac/Windows/Linux PC. This fetish with Linux desktops is outdated.