Recent advancements in cloud computing, faster internet speeds and processor speeds across all devices have led many to believe that the age of the native operating system is over.
We now live in an age where everything happens on the fly without putting much strain on the devices that initiated such processes.
The software-as-a-service model has created the new “cloud age” where everything is now about the cloud and less about the operating system that brought the cloud into focus in the first place.
This leads us to the question: is this the end of the operating system?
While the younger generation will say “yes!”, it is important to remember that the operating system itself has undergone various transformations to get to this point.
Initiating devices such as hand-held smartphones are getting faster by the day.
Cloud services are becoming more secure as well.
Now, the operating system still plays a major role in initiating the hardware so that it can be used by humans in an intelligible way else we would all be looking at a bunch of zeroes and ones without knowing what next to do about it.
Hence, we need to know the direction in which operating systems are going before a conclusion can be made about the death of the native operating system or its continued survival.
The Operating Systems of Today have Become Slimmer
Gone are the days when all processes must be initiated with the operating system and the internet was just an additional tool for operating systems.
From the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 7 and other variants of different software giants, it has become obvious that it is now that the gilded age of the internet is about to begin.
Operating systems these days are meant basically to talk to the hardware.
The software layers are now being replaced by internet services that take care of everything from video editing (in a few cases) to word processing (in many cases).
This has also led to the rise of the thin OS which loads all additional components from the web.
Google’s Chrome OS is a perfect example of this where everything boots into the google cloud system and is accessible there.
A decade ago this wouldn’t have been possible.
Mobile Systems have become Popular
For the greater part of the age where graphical user interfaces have become the de-facto standard rather than the command line where computers are concerned, mobile phones have interestingly also followed in the same path.
What set the smartphones’ future in good stead was the Open Handset Alliance which Google put in place have made the mobile market to explode exponentially.
This is because many hardware manufacturers can now enter the mobile space at a lower cost than say Samsung or Apple.
These mobile phones naturally run off Google’s Android and the search engine giant is the computing superpower that it is has been able to surpass everyone’s expectations in making the switch from being only involved in search engines but also mobile technology as well.
Hence the switch from “Google Inc.” to “Alphabet Inc.”.
Alphabet Inc knows that many other devices and services are going to need this cloud revolution but they don’t know how yet it will happen.
The truth is that the successful model of the handset alliance will also play out when it comes to other devices and the android still has a future when other hardware starts becoming smart as well.
The Desktop is Still Relevant
Though from the above-described scenarios it may seem that the end of the desktop is near, the truth is that the desktop still holds its own when it comes to specific uses.
In education, the desktop is quite relevant as students still need to learn basic information technology skills.
In the field of media, where heavy-duty jobs such as video editing and sound engineering are concerned, desktops still play a major role one way or the other.
Also, in fields that require computer-aided design (CAD), science fields that require all kind of models and others too numerous to mention.
The only difference is that we are entering an age where we need to be connected to our devices and the mobile devices give us this access on-the-go.
Desktops still rule in many scientific research and development fields and they will do so for at least three decades due to the heavy usage nature of those fields.
In answer to the question, the truth is that the desktop will always have that ubiquitous presence in our lives.
We need the desktop to get things done for almost all the serious stuff which we are involved in.
Where would we be without our desktops today?
What do you think?
Is the desktop dying out?