So I'm helping host an event for Google yesterday - called Atmosphere, it was based in London and had about 300 CIOs present. I was lucky enough to be chairing a couple of panel discussions (and will put YouTube links in here if anyone's interested in what CIOs from Amazon, Jaguar Landrover and elsewhere had to say on the cloud).
One interesting point was when a member of the audience asked what the panel would be doing about Windows 7. The response was unanimous. First they said they wouldn't be doing anything on day one of a release of a new system and no self-respecting CIO would disagree (for what it's worth I found this an entirely reasonable view).
Second, though, after agreeing there might be a place for it in a couple of years, they added that they didn't care about Windows, Macs or anything else any more. The one thing driving these international CIOs is what you can find on the browser - what's useful, what's working, what's productive, if it's stored locally they just don't want to know any more.
This could end up as quite a shock to that nice Mr. Gates and even that nice Mr. Jobs as it starts to filter out to the small business community and then the consumer market. Cynics will say it's thin client all over again. Other critics say that themassive advance in the 1980s and 1990s was that everybody had a personal computer on their desk. But as one of the speakers said yesterday, arguably the big change now is that everyone's going to have their own managed data centre on their desk without having to worry how it's done.
Windows? Mac? Linux? I wonder how long we'll care?