I am performing better during my second semester at NJIT. I expect to earn a B average for my Principles of Operating Systems course which I am taking this spring 2011 semester. In the fall 2011 semester, I will be taking 9.00 credit hours or three courses within my masters degree program. I had to take three bridge courses which are undergraduate courses to prepare me for the masters degree program because my bachelor of arts degree was in English Creative Writing and it is unrelated to my masters degree program.
I will say that Microsoft Windows 8 may introduce cloud computing and appliance features in Windows 8 along with making it be able to run on ARM powered devices such as tablets. The cloud computing feature will make significant portions of the Windows 8 code base available on Microsoft cloud servers. When you purchase Microsoft Windows 8 and install it on your computer, you will get a local kernel and a cloud kernel. The local kernel allows you to use Microsoft Windows 8 when you are not connected to a network or the Internet. The cloud kernel contains the latest version of the Windows 8 kernel and extra features such as the rest of the new features found in Windows 8 such as the ability to restore your computer back to a windows restore point much like turning on an appliance such as a toaster oven. What I mean by this is that you will be able to go back to a previously good configuration with a few clicks of the mouse buttons. The cloud services will enhance Microsoft’s control over its Windows 8 portfolio by verifying the license key and activation status of each and every copy through the cloud when you go connect to a network or the Internet. Microsoft Windows 8 will also feature a lot of improvements and bug fixes in the code base so it should be able to cold boot within under 30 seconds on new computers that are certified to be compatible. This will make Windows 8 much more competitive with Apple Macintosh OS X and GNU/Linux in this important performance metric. Users of Microsoft Windows 8 will also be able to use cloud services such as the Microsoft SkyDrive to upload, save, and synchronize along with collaborate with Microsoft Office documents with fellow co-workers. There will be other new features that will be revealed as we get closer to 2012 and Microsoft begins to leak information about Windows 8.
I will have to say that these features do not constitute major improvements at face value. It is still early to tell what other features will be incorporated into the final shipping version of Microsoft Windows 8.
Linux has been around for 20 years and its adoption into mainstream culture and society has been quite disappointing in my opinion. Except for one fellow classmate who boots Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64 bit in my course at NJIT, I am the only one who uses GNU/Linux and I am the only one who uses OpenSUSE 64 bit on campus. I had a conversation with another classmate who owns an Acer TravelMate notebook PC and he only uses Microsoft Windows 7. He grew up using Microsoft Windows and that is the only operating system that he has ever used his entire life. I found that statement to be particularly sad though I said nothing to him about my private opinions.
Say what you will about Microsoft corporation and Windows, but they sure know how to design an operating system an a panoply of products that meet the needs of most computer users worldwide. Most people have never heard about GNU/Linux or BSD or Solaris. They have no idea about F.O.S.S. They equate freeware software applications with open source products only if it is available to them on the Windows platform. People put up with their computers getting slower over time, becoming infected with viruses, malware, spyware, and rootkits, and they are used to paying high prices for software applications to perform basic functions because that is all they know when using Windows. I used to be one of them.
I wish there was a set of compelling reasons for me to abandon Microsoft Windows altogether. However, both New Jersey Institute of Technology and Polytechnic Institute at New York University require Microsoft Windows in order to complete the requirements of a degree program upon graduation. This means that I will be using Microsoft Windows for the next 7 years. At that time, Microsoft will release Windows 9 to the general public if they stick to their 3 year release cycle. Microsoft Office will reach version 16 at that time. My future employer will probably require me to administer and secure Microsoft Windows unless I specifically choose a job title that requires GNU/Linux distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
Dice.com lists more job vacancies requiring Linux administration skills and experience. With the fact of the matter that the United States economy and job market is still in a frail state of long-term recovery, more businesses are trying to save money on IT costs by switching to Linux. The explosion of Google Android tablets and smartphones also requires people with strong skills with GNU/Linux and IT security backgrounds to protect confidential and private data that is frequently stored and transmitted on these devices.
The future looks bright for me. Listing my skills set with Red Hat, Novell, and Ubuntu GNU/Linux distributions makes me much more marketable. I use Linux for personal reasons, but I rely upon Microsoft Windows for enterprise reasons.
One thing that I will write is my concern regarding Microsoft Windows 8 and its compatibility with alternative operating systems especially with GNU/Linux. The fact of the matter is that Microsoft will make it harder to dual boot both Windows 8 and your choice of GNU/Linux distribution because there will be a local and cloud based kernel. Updates including hot fixes, patches, and service packs will be made available through the cloud kernel that will effect the entire Windows partition. Any decision on the part of the user to perform a system restore to an earlier known good configuration will overwrite the master boot record and it will effect GRUB or GRUB 2 boot loader. Microsoft is designing Windows 8 so that it is the sole and primary operating system that resides on your computer. It will also effect Ubuntu users that choose to install through WUBI because there will be a lot of changes to the Windows kernel that will make it more difficult to run both Windows 8 and Ubuntu vis-a-vis. In fact, Canonical is designing Ubuntu so that you can run it through a web browser in the future and they are moving away from WUBI in the future.
Lastly, I have to write about Apple OS X. My friend is a captain in the US Army and he is stationed at Kadeema air base in Okinawa, Japan. He owns an Apple MacBook. He plans to buy a new Apple MacBook Pro 15" early 2011 model. It costs $1,799.00 USD. You should visit the Apple website to see its paltry set of hardware specifications.
Compare that with a new Hewlett Packard Elitebook 8560w mobile workstation for $1,650.00 USD. I am getting a much better value for the money and I can run SLED 11 SP1 on it along with Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 bit within VMWare Workstation 7. Mine will be much faster, much more secure, and much more durable along with costing a less money than his. Yet, Apple MacBook Pros are selling like hot cakes at Apple stores worldwide. It is amazing. People pay that kind of money just so that they can have the Apple logo emblazoned on their products.
I will not pursue any Apple certifications because I am against their products and the expensive price tags. I think they are a rip off.