I have a feeling that the desktop operating system as we know it is on its last leg. The reason I make such a bold statement is that cloud computing will replace our fat, bloated, virus-riddled, failure-prone desktop with something far more agile and elegant: A lightweight browser-based system. This sounds like good news to me. I've waited for a server-centric world for several years now and the time is almost upon us. In this brave new cloud world, you'll have access to all of your documents, music, data, pictures and applications regardless of the device in your hands.
To see my in-depth analysis of this non-desktop environment, take a look at my recent article at Linux Magazine.
It's time for the traditional desktop operating system to go away. I'm actually surprised that they've lasted this long. Cloud computing will revolutionize the way we compute on a personal and professional basis. Any application you currently use has a web-based equivalent. If you don't believe me, search for it.
The next logical step is, once all applications are transitioned to web-based ones, to transition the access method--formerly known as a desktop--to a simple access method for those applications. This is one reason why I've begun referring to a desktop operating system as a user interface.
If you don't believe in the inevitability of this transition, take a look at what's going on with traditional desktop computing at companies such as Parallels, VMware, Citrix, Virtual Bridges and others with a technology known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Little do most of them know but VDI, itself, is a transitional technology. VDI is transitional because current technology dictates that those virtual desktops are simply the same fat desktop you currently use placed into a file on a remote server.
The only company that is doing something that will last longer than "traditional" VDI is Parallels. They're using a technology known as containers that beats the heck out of all other competing technologies. It works on Windows as well as Linux, Solaris and others. Container technology provides the end user with the best performance available. For comparison, think Terminal Services on Windows. Even Terminal Services doesn't compete that favorably with containers. Parallel's containers offer the highest density of virtual desktops per host.
But the true future of computing is in the Common Computing Environment (CCE) that will work on your mobile phone, netbook, laptop, SmartPad or whatever gadget you decide to tap.
Do you think you'll be able to operate in a non-local desktop world? How do you think this will change computing for you? Write back and let me know.