Feeds

back to article Google versus Facebook: stop your photocopiers

The desktop is dead. Just ask Microsoft and Apple. Or, better yet, ask Facebook and Google. Sure, we still use our desktops and laptops, mostly Windows PCs and Macs. What else would we use to draft our faxes? But the industry has moved on, and the petty squabbles over Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux no longer resonate like they once …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
FAIL

Nope

Anyone who relies on the web for anything of any permanence is a complete and utter fool.

Hmmm.

Thinking about it, maybe that proves you right.

16
3
Stop

What exactly do you consider to be dead?

The desktop is not dead, the space is just becoming more fragmented. Some would argue that this should have happened a long time ago. There is a place for desktop (think developers, analysts, engineers, CAD, GIS) and a place for mobile applications.

While there is a trend for moving social applications to a mobile platform (to be expected) this does not and likely will not supplant the need for a desktop or laptop anytime soon.

If I had to take a guess, I would guess that:

- Apple will work to continue to work to make inroads into the social web and mobile markets using their newfound wealth and will continue to work to leverage their platform and brand to sell the product.

- Google will continue to work to make inroads into the mobile hardware and desktop OS markets and will continue to try to compete with Microsoft in the desktop market. This is a byproduct of the Google culture. They are a company that appears to be continually looking for the "next big thing" rather than focusing on a core strength.

- Microsoft will attempt eventually work to leverage what I view as a huge push within the company to leverage the .NET platform to as an incentive to developers to use the same base software code to access all of their different platforms (think Windows, XBOX, Zune, Windows Phone, Web (many patterns), tablet devices, table devices, and others which haven't been though of yet. They also seem to continue to be working heavily with hardware developers to leverage their platform and still are retaining some top-notch talent (Brian Beckman anyone?). We have yet to see whether this approach can overcome what has become a very negative impression of the company due to past practices.

The real question is: What in the hell is Oracle/Sun doing? Do they still exist? Where is the developer innovation? Where is the next language innovation (Microsoft kind of stole that with the Lambda expression, LINQ, and dynamic typing)? Hello (knock, knock, knock)? Is there anyone with any talent for innovation still left over there? How about an Evil Larry Ellis icon?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Sun/Oracle

...will likely drive people to Linux and then die. Being on the receiving end of price changes since Oracle took the reins, they made our decisions for us.

Microsoft - will likely fall to a shadow of what they are now. So much trouble inside themselves that I can't see a direction coming out of it. They used to have an environment where whatever the customer wanted, was there. No longer. Projects like Money have been killed; this means customers HAVE to shop around, and when they get in to the habit of good, free, open source software, they'll get the hang of not paying for anything beyond the OS. Unless something drastic happens, I can't see anything other than implosion.

Apple - Innovation is at an end. It was with the iPad I first heard reports of people sending them back, not because of failures, not because of restrictions, but because they weren't relevant to their lives. I think that once the dust from the iPad and iPhone 4 settle, only the hardest of fanbois will remain.

Google - I have to admit, I don't know. I don't like how Android competes with their vision of a web-os. Something is going to have to give there and I think Android will win.

The desktop is not dead. We don't have enough reasonably priced network coverage to enable always-on Internet to the degree that people want. When the Internet gets clogged up when a world cup is on, no one wants to be caught being unable to use their applications. Heck, I couldn't even get some web pages when England was playing.

The Internet has a long way to go before the web will kill the desktop, IMHO. It can't guarantee smooth usage, and that's its ultimate problem.

1
0
Grenade

The permanent PC

I would say that anything stored in the Chocolate Factory's bunker is a darn sight safer than something stored with all the torjans on Aunty Mabel's PC.

And you won't need a permanent web connection. You web browser will cache code and content and sync it to a server farm somewhere next time you wander by an access point.

The outcome is by no means a given, but the technology is indeed capable.

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sun/Oracle

> The desktop is not dead. We don't have enough reasonably priced network coverage to enable always-on Internet to the degree that people want.

But the web is moving towards local storage plus opportunistic sync-to-cloud. That's what Android apps do today, and it's what HTML5 is intended to do for web pages.

So "the web" as a platform just means apps built out of Javascript + HTML DOM + CSS; it doesn't necessarily mean a HTTP round trip to the server every time you click on something.Think Google Docs, once it gets its offline mode back again.

Java's failed promise was for applications which would run anywhere. I'd say the web looks more likely to deliver that.

0
0
Badgers

Hmmm....

Pardon me if I sound cranky, but...the desktop isn't dead and it's not going to be any time soon. There are a couple of problems, both with web based services and the hardware that provides access to them. I don't know that either set of problems can be fully overcome.

Although the technologies have changed, the concept of people wanting a real live computer hasn't. The computer has, of course, changed shape as mobile phones, tablets and whatever else have gained processing power and shrunken in size. Even so, the desktop (and laptop) computer with local applications in place still dominate the computing scene because there are just some things that are better at large amounts of entry than others. Unless you had an external keyboard, I dare say that you'd rather not type your great novel on an iPad. All of that is pretty well known.

History also shows that despite repeated attempts, terminals and thin clients that pull their computing resources from afar haven't really been successful after the personal computer made the scene. And for all of the improvements in technology today, I don't see this changing. This also seems to be pretty well known and (I'd dare say) accepted.

If anything, the interoperability of software has improved and the OS has paled in terms of importance. It used to be that I had to buy a certain type of computer and operating system to run a given program. Today the operating system has paled in importance, as it should have. I don't think this has quite as much to do with the web as it does with the advent of software that's of high quality and readily available cross-platform. I finally can reasonably say that a lot of the software I want to use is available on whatever platform I might have.

Maybe I missed something, but I thought that the best thing Microsoft /could/ say about Windows 7 is that "This time, Windows actually works!" Apple said long ago that Mac OS 10.6 was going to be a quality improvement release, paving the way for future generations and giving them the chance to clear out some accumulated junk.

I don't fully trust Google. I don't trust Facebook at all, and refuse to use their services. In fact, I don't fully trust any web based service with all the things I'd normally store locally. Why, then, would I want to entrust the things on my computer, things that I created myself--some of which should ideally or must remain private--to a third party? I don't know what Google does to keep data secure, and I don't place it beyond them to look at the things stored within their network, even if it's only in the course of an employee doing their job. I do know that even the best of web applications developers can't see every possible hole or flaw, and that they are competing against a nearly immeasurable audience of people who will try to pry where they should not to see what secrets the system will give up.

(Whew! Sometimes even a Model M needs a break...)

All of that says nothing about what happens when your connection to the 'net goes down and you need your data.

And *that* is why the desktop computer, with its local storage, applications and memory isn't going anywhere any time soon. Web based services have their use, but I maintain that they are not and can never be a 100% replacement for the full fledged computer and locally installed application. It's more a (sizeable) niche that will appear in the market than a "win".

23
0
FAIL

Your Head In The Cloud

Ah ... no.

The problem with depending on the Web for everything is a matter of trust. Do you really trust these people with your data? With your day-to-day operation? I'm sorry, but I don't. Microsoft, Apple, Google, et al are all cut from the same cloth, willing to sell their own grandmothers (or your privacy) for a buck. I trust nobody but myself to look after my own interests. I keep multiple layers of paranoia between myself and the Web in general, and multinational, multi-billion dollar corporations in particular. And don't get me started on how far any *government* can be trusted.

The bottom line is that desktops and laptops are here to stay, and while the Web has become an integral part of the computing experience, it is merely a component of that experience, after the fashion of a Firefox add-on, and not the center of the computing universe. The industry "leaders" may have moved on, but the users haven't. What we've got now works very well, thank you.

17
0

This is pretty funny

Sorry but you are quite off bases, facebook still struggles to become overly profitable, their bottom line ends up being dangerously low all the time. Not to mention with EU fighting them over privacy, they could be forced to lose even more revenue options. Not to mention while overly popular, and they have bought a few companies out to get to their engineers they don't offer much beyond a database and a user interface to access it. Now granted they have gotten huge off the backs of 3rd party developers which reap the social aspects, but facebook as an individual entity has little more than a CMS where everyone gets their own portal. Nothing new or cutting edge at all.

Now Google has impressive abilities, and while they lost 1 person to facebook oh noes, and Google wants to start its own social aspect, aka like everyone is doing. Doesn't mean facebook / google are the "end all"

Also to claim Windows 7 was not a signifigant update / change in OS is a blinded look, it moved windows OS into full touch screen design. Windows 7 is built from the ground up to be touch screen friendly. That is a pretty big shift, not to mention the back end addition of powershell, and home network are huge pieces of windows 7 that companies are starting to utilize. I won't go into the details, but they are big for work at home people. A new driving trend in business that windows 7 was built to assist / support.

Now I do agree things are going to the web, but Google is just a new player, Apple has shot itself in the foot in regards to web, so we will leave them on the side line, but Google doesn't make web development languages, the make their add on language for chrome, but they don't create the backbone of the web. Now they do provide android developer kit, but once again you can't go and build a standalone webpage with it. So you are forgetting about the open source products, and microsofts web development tools, which as of this week, went even further into simplicity and market appeal with razor and webmatrix. Microsoft has probably spent more money into the web than Google and Facebook will only ever dream about putting towards it.

Lets face it the real battle is going to be Google vs Microsoft and everything else will just be hanging on and picking up the scraps. Now at the current moment there are some front runners Apple, Facebook, etc but being new to their respected areas is starting to show as they run into regulators, privacy advocates, anti-trust cases, etc Google and MS are well / better versed in dealing / working around those issues, and have products to support them if they get shut down on one aspect. Think about what happens to Facebook if Europe officials fine and prevent Facebook from sharing any profile information, cause it may contain information about a person that has never used Facebook, poof Facebook loses profit options for Europe, till they can rebuild their core system, and rework how information is shared. Even at that point it will become significantly difficult to provide the information vendors want to buy.

1
2
Silver badge
Badgers

But

You can't really do real applications with web

the Web apps need a connection.

I don't want to go back to Mainframe + terminal but with connection replaced by unreliable Internet. It is giving up control of your application choice and data to the Cloud owners.

No Thanks.

13
1

Utter nonsense

I totally agree. At the risk of sounding paranoid, i don't want someone else to have final say on my stuff/data/apps.

Not to mention that Internet/digital infrastructure is much too fragile at this point in time for us to rely on it as our main computing platform/OS (from both a hardware and software point of view). If public wifi was omnipresent and the infra rock solid, then perhaps.

But certainly not now.

1
0
Bronze badge

availability

I'll use "the web" as my main "desktop" platform when I can get guaranteed 100% "availability", just as I can guarantee that on local systems. (yes, 100% availability, using multiple systems and redundant storage. Not too hard to do actually, and not all that expensive either.)

But when the connection suddenly drops for no apparent reason for an hour or two, without any explanation or apology from my ISP, then no, I don't see how I can afford to have my business rely on that kind of shoddy service. I have clients who believed the salespeople rather than me, went with a "cloud" based system, and now moan to me several times a week about lost sales and lost time. I just want to shake the idiots and tell them "I told you so" but hey, they're idiots who still have a little money in their wallet, and I've marked the rest as mine.

5
0
Stop

Would have to agree

The desktop is not dead, the space is just becoming more fragmented. Some would argue that this should have happened a long time ago. There is a place for desktop (think developers, analysts, engineers, CAD, GIS) and a place for mobile applications.

While there is a trend for moving social applications to a mobile platform (to be expected) this does not and likely will not anytime soon, supplant the need for a desktop or laptop.

If I had to take a guess, I would guess that:

- Apple will work to continue to work to make inroads into the social web and mobile markets using their newfound wealth and will continue to work to leverage their platform and brand to sell the product.

- Google will continue to work to make inroads into the mobile hardware and desktop OS markets and will continue to try to compete with Microsoft in the desktop market. This is a byproduct of the Google culture. They are a company that appears to be continually looking for the "next big thing" rather than focusing on a core strength.

- Microsoft will attempt eventually work to leverage what I view as a huge push within the company to leverage the .NET platform to as an incentive to developers to use the same base software code to access all of their different platforms (think Windows, XBOX, Zune, Windows Phone, Web (many patterns), tablet devices, table devices, and others which haven't been though of yet. They also seem to continue to be working heavily with hardware developers to leverage their platform and still are retaining some top-notch talent (Brian Beckman anyone?). We have yet to see whether this approach can overcome what has become a very negative impression of the company due to past practices.

The real question is: What in the hell is Oracle/Sun doing? Do they still exist? Where is the developer innovation? Where is the next language innovation (Microsoft kind of stole that with the Lambda expression, LINQ, and dynamic typing)? Hello (knock, knock, knock)? Is there anyone with any talent for innovation still left over there? How about an Evil Larry Ellis icon?

1
0
Silver badge

The Usual Wind...

I'll believe it when it happens. Until then, I will just label you a Linux shill who is attempting to boost Linux and downplay its paucity of usable apps by touting a rapidly-approaching future wherein the only app that a computer needs to run, is a browser.

I was just recently talking with some friends about how dishonest and untrustworthy the tech press is. This article is going to serve as yet another example. Until, as I said, such time as the future you predict actually comes to pass.

5
8
FAIL

Too many design constraints

Sorry, but for all this blow on how the web is THE platform for developing apps; No. No, it's not. I spent 3 years developing an application for the fitness industry that is web-based. From the initial photoshop gorgeous screen designs, we ended up with a working product sure, but the aesthetics and menus systems and just overall look and feel was shiite when compared to how it would have looked as a developed standard application. For my v2.0 and beyond, I'm having my developers move back to an app, then deploy out using an RDP distribution model that has a plugin requirement on the browser, but will then be a TRUE reflection on what I actually envisaged, with no shitty browser security issues OR, more importantly, constraints on what it looks like and it's usability because someone has installed 8 billion browser bars giving me like, 1 inch of usable screen real estate. Web=FAIL for complex, rich applications (and no, Facebook can't be described as that!). Meh.

5
0
Silver badge

On the other hand...

Perhaps the great advances in desktop computing aren't being made because, rather than being stagnant, it is doing what people ask of it. I am staying with XP for now, as I've used Vista and seen (but not physically used) 7. Seems like much the same thing to me. Prettier, but should I spend all that money to upgrade to basically where I am now? Can I watch movies? Can I check my messages? Skype? Read El Reg? Dick around writing stories and software? Yes, yes, and yes. So why upgrade when what I have works?

Likewise for Macs and Linux. The holy war is only half-hearted these days as Macs are sort of the status symbol version of a PC. You can argue all sorts of little points, but it is basically Windows, in that all the stuff in my first paragraph can be done on a Mac. And Ubuntu, doesn't look quite the same as Windows, but it operates like it. Not deep geeky, but the whole desktop metaphor. Hell, if you use OpenOffice and Firefox (etc), then you'd be running the *same* software! From the user end, there is not so much in them these days. I'd say Windows proper slightly has the edge in that companies would be damned-fool to release hardware without a Windows driver (but more and more are realising there's life beyond Windows), and it usually comes preinstalled... But for web, email, communications, spreadsheet and database, if you can use standard stuff and not horribly specialised products, then pretty much any major OS from the last ten years will see you. There's only so far you want to try to improve the user interface before you start to break it.

As for the web being the next big thing - I presume this means Cloud apps and Cloud data? It sounds really cool, it sounds useful, it sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel. But while our online imaginations can look to the Cloud as this sort of ether for stuffing data into, we as people are still very much tied up with physical locations. Export bans on encryption software, patents, trademarks, extradition, biased one-way data suck, and rampant espionage. With all of this going on, you'd be stupid to trust your data to... somewhere. If it has value to you, it should stay where you know exactly where it is and who can access it.

Bootnote: for the majority of people, it might be worth asking do you actually *need* the Cloud? I mean, it's a nifty toy and one up on the Joneses, but does it offer anything that could be had much better/faster/quicker/more reliably with packing a small computer (eeePC or some highish-end PDA) into your bags? I don't need to worry about being able to access my data from wherever I happen to be, because if I should need to, I take my data with me (leaving backups at home). And, you know what? It'll work on a train in a mountainous region where GPRS and WiMax just aren't.

4
1
FAIL

A horse-less carridge!?!

I've got a horse and cart. Why do I need that infernal combustion engine. It won't work in the desert/mountains where there aren't any gas stations. I mean, we'll never be able to travel faster than 30mph anyway, the human body just won't take it...

The wheel?! Who need a 'wheel'? I can simply drag things where I want them or float them on a river, although it's not as convenient as dragging...

1
1
Stop

Holly crap! If the author is telling me

that Facebook should/will become my desktop then I must stop using a computer altogether. As for the web on a mobile device, sorry to disappoint him but my 20+ inch display beats the hell out of the tiny screen of any iWhatever no matter how intelligent may be. Oh, and just to bring the author back on Earth, I can hardly see a developer typing thousands of lines of code, compiling and debugging exclusively on an iPhone.

My advice: keep those herbs but be careful with the dose.

7
0
Pint

I smell bullshit

You know, all this reminds me of touch-screens/3d specs/vhs/blu-ray/etc/etc/...

...in that they were touted to revolutionise blah and we'd all want it and pay massive wonga or whatever for it. What a pile of utter...you know the rest. It is/was all bullshit.

As someone once said, you can have my locally installed OS when you prise it from my cold dead hands.

...and my phone buttons, non-headache inducing television, higher quality tape format, adequate shiny disc format, etcetera, etcetera.

Beer, because I'm just in from the Bankhead Inn, dreaming about the bunker near Inverbervie...trying to convince the other half to at least go and see it. She says 'It'll be filled with ghosts!'. I say 'wise up'.

2
0

Oh, not again.

Yawn, the same stuff over and over again. This kind of talk reminds me of the 'paper-less' office talk of 20-30 years ago. where we were all told that in a few years, there'd be no need for paper and everything would be done on computers. Those predictions were wrong.

I am certainly not going to be holding my breath for the web based OS, thin clients, web clients or whatever the new term is. The computing industry seems to love the 'mainframe' idea, but it just doesn't work so well in practice.

5
0

Meh

Can anyone point me at a web app with the facilities of Photoshop or Gimp, and Inkscape so I can join in this web-centric jamboree?

2
0
Bronze badge
Badgers

Well

http://www.sumopaint.com does a bit. But nothing near even Gimp. useful in a pinch, if you have a photo to work on, but no access to your preferred app. Wouldn't want to do anything complicated on a big image with it though.

The cloud.. No thanks. Insecure, unreliable,and slow. Dumb terminals died out for a reason.

It's a pipe dream for the minimalist hardware crowd. Same ones that think the iPad is the shape of things to come.

Still.. If you subscribe to the idea that if you say something for long enough, it will eventually happen, go for it.

Mine's the one with the honking big desktop beside it, and the 22 inch IPS monitor.

1
0
Stop

Security

"If Apple must get involved every time a developer wants to create or update an app, it simply won't be able to compete with Google's more open approach."

You're kidding, aren't you?

What happens when the first huge wave of Malware is released and there are no constraints on what you can stick on your phone? Surely it's better to have the applications checked carefully by someone who knows what they're doing...?

0
3
Go

The Assumption Here ...

...is that everything worth doing, on a computer of any brand, will soon be done via the internet. That is pure bull hockey. This line is promulgated by those whose incomes are dependent on the constant and inexorable advance of technology. In other words, unless things change often, get "better" and are always in the upgrade mode they're be out of a job. They MUST advance even the silliest of ideas in order to keep life in the field and keep themselves working. That's called a "vested interest" and as such always calls into question the validity and voracity of those who are essentially promoting themselves.

Things are going to change for sure. But don't believe every huckster/self promoter just because

what they say seems to make sense at the moment.

4
0
WTF?

Problem with article

"the petty squabbles over Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux no longer resonate like they once did"

You've obviously never read the comments page on any article about Windows, Mac or Linux...

9
0
Linux

I'm sticking to the Desktop thanks

I utterly hate mobile devices except for making a phone call.

I NEVER want to watch a film or play a game using a screen the size of a swan matchbox ...Not to mention my big clumsy fingers do not gel well with the controls on the mobile devices...

If I were forced to get one it would be some sort of Linux device.

As well as just being crap to do anyone on, is there any mobile device that can run a graphically intensive game like ETQW/Prey etc...

And for the price of most of these devices you could get a pretty powerful desktop.

I was glad to see Canonical’s CEO, Jane Silber (the company behind Ubuntu) saying

"With over 250 million PCs sold a year, the desktop remains a key part of people’s computing experience and a priority for Canonical."

i.e - even if MS, Apple, google (they never were in the desktop market anyway) have abandoned the desktop market Ubuntu are not .

For me I want the mobile market as much as I want to start using my desktop in the cloud - i.e not at all....

4
0
Silver badge

It's the games

I've said it before, Facebook is a mini blog with games. Moreover, it's a web gaming platform that lets you, sort of, play with you're friends. It's popular because people don't have to buy special hardware and pay up for a subscription to the online game space. It's a simple matter of sitting down and playing a few hands of poker, doing a mob hit, whatever and being able to show off to your friends how well you did. So you can compete with your friends in the same friendly way as you did when you were kids from thousands of miles and several timezones away.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong but show me a facebook app, any facebook app, that is, no, even looks like a productivity tool that is more than a to-do list / calendar. I'll wait.

0
0
Unhappy

Boycott Google Chrome

As a Computer Science student and expert Web Developer, I looked into what Google is doing with their Chrome browser.

It's a nightmare for all developers and programmers across the Free Internet and world.

Google's Chrome and its very design is breaking all known and stable internet standards (like JavaScript) for corporate/control reasons.

The goals and vision as stated by Google are not to work with W3C, Mozilla, Microsoft, etc. on standards, but to rewrite the WWW.

With wild claims of a Google platform for "rich interactive applications" that are non-existent or simple/dumb, it's questionable.

Perhaps a corporate power grab, masked in the language of "open source" and media hype, Google's Chrome must be boycotted.

Google is effectively building a G-Browser for a "Google WWW", not the stable Free Internet we all share.

In the end, no smart user will trust a Google "Cloud" server with their privacy or passwords.

7
0
Silver badge

Developments come in waves

No, the personal computer will not die, nor will the web die. Such things always happen in waves. I assume the next "big thing" will be "peer to peer", where you provide services like flickr on a network of distributed nodes.

0
0
FAIL

heh, apple bad, google good?! says how many users?

> If Apple must get involved every time a developer wants to create or update an app, it simply won't be able to compete with Google's more open approach.

I think you'll find it's the other way round in what actually matters, User Experience. Try this instead:

If Google refuse to get involved every time a user encounters some random developer's app, it simply won't be able to compete with Apple's more vetted approach.

ie:

- The huge majority of apps on Google Market are unfit for normal human consumption and will only cause anguish.

- The huge majority of apps on Apple's AppStore are fit for normal human consumption and will usually cause joy.

0
1
Go

desktop = commodity so where is the big money next?

I think the point here is that the desktop is fast becoming a commodity. For many years Microsoft and Apple had sufficient market power in their respective segments that they could make huge margins on their operating system and desktop productivity software. As alternatives become more viable (linux, the cloud, consoles for gaming, etc) these high margins are being challenged. They haven't gone away yet, but I think the leading companies see that this will happen.

Apple's response is the itunes ecosystem - a very successful play so far but will it be too closed to dominate in the long term?

Google's response is to push this trend and undercut their competitors' revenue while growing their core search/advertising business. Facebook is a direct threat to their goal of web ubiquity.

Microsoft's response is to cash in on their existing market position on the desktop - this will last a lot longer than most people thing despite their poor performance and contradictory tactics in many areas.

Facebook's strategy is to dominate online communication including as a competitor to email. Their inroads on email to date though are undermined by their 'open' approach to privacy. Google wave had looked promising in this area but has not delivered.

0
0

I love the cloud but only as a backup/sync.

When I write/clip something to Evernotes it quickly syncs with the web and from there to all my desktops, laptops and even my iPod touch. The same happens when I edit a spreadsheet in my Drop Box folder or manage my mail.

That's what I want. Local copies backed and synchronized via the Web. I also perform backups to external hard drives. Its also nice to be able to access my data anywhere via a web browser.

I won't touch a service that only works when the online portion is up and running properly.

0
0

Absolutely missing the mark and the point...

What your article fails to recognise is what actually drives the market- it isn't consumers, it is businesses. Do you really see the large corporations turning around and saying "guys, screw Windows, we're going to use Facebook!"- it will never happen. They currently demand an awful lot from software houses they purchase from- through feature requests, to support, to bespoke deployment scenarios- they want you to fit around them, not the other way around. Google have never offered that flexibility, and never will- it is an anathema to them (want proof: StreetView performing what can only be considered as espionage), and frankly unless it is supported by micro-transactions I don't see Facebook developers all of sudden designing custom X-Ray software for a HMO, and a market monitoring app for a Trader in New York.

Basically, the corporate world, has and always will drive the direction- users within those organisations drive adoption. Looking at what is in the pipe, I would say the only thing that might die in the next ten years is the independent physical desktop, as Tier 1 Hypervisors are deployed on Clients (such as XenClient), and corporations design central "Gold" VDI images customised to the workers job role and location. It will still mean Windows sells by the bucketload.

As for the Mac- it is bought by people looking for a premium product- not the kind of people who will go to Chrome OS or Facebook.

Also, GMail has been commericalised for a while now- but it's not killing Microsoft Exchange at all. A few big customers, do not an apocalypse herald. I've been in the meeting rooms where decisions against adopting GMail have been decided- it means signing over your infrastructure to a 3rd party, who cannot guarantee 100% availability, and have shown a lack of ethics when it comes to user information. I don't see that opinion changing, and until it does, no one is going to touch the corporate OS, and until they do that, the OS market is going to remain healthy.

The only other point of traction that may come about is the introduction of more Linux based corporate virtual desktops, built for tactical solutions for a particular subset of users (so granularising the OS away from just Windows). That all depends on user acceptance- and I hate to say it, they like Windows because they know it. Be more Windows than Windows on the UI, and you'll win. Try to be different = FAIL.

1
0
Boffin

I declare...

... this "the desktop is dead and the web is the future" to be the 2010's version of the 1950's "we will have robots and flying cars and weekends on the moon".

3
0
Bronze badge

I decare COBOL is dead

More like the latest journos predictions of " of cobol is dead, mainframe is dead, paperless office, windows is dead" , ad nauseum.

Paris, because she knows what really is scr**ed.

1
0

It's not the OS that's the problem

A lot of times it's not the OS that's the problem. Take for instance I wanted a driver for an HP printer scanner. I figured it would be like a 5MB download. Wrong, It was like 300MB. They had so much crap extras and all I wanted was a simple printer driver but they added photo suites and other stuff and also asked to collect personal non identifying information.

Well I installed as little as possible and my PC slowed down by I'm guessing over 1/3 the speed before installing their software. This should be illegal to push software onto someone that has actually paid for just a simple piece of hardware.

It seems no matter what one hardware company does to speed up your computer there is another that just want's to push some crap on me that I don't need that slows down my computer.

Maybe if the hardware vendors just did their job and told the marketers to just do their job and quit trying to act like a software pawn shop everyone would be a lot happier.

Oh btw I got so sick of that GARBAGE HP calls a driver package I just removed it all and literally threw out the printer into the trash and now just copy files to usb stick and print them at work where they require printers. I will also NEVER buy an HP product ever again since I know how much they care about the user experience, whoops I meant MONEY.

2
0
Joke

I'd like Mr Shuttleworth to comment here

"The desktop is dead."

Why do you work for Canonical as COO then?

0
0

We're already there

Many people already perform almost all their computing activities in a web browser - email, calendar, instant messenger, social networking, even photo editing and management, etc. When all these people need is a web browser, then the web basically is their desktop. So in a lot of ways we're already there, despite what the luddites above are saying.

0
1
Silver badge
Coat

Different point of view

It's not about the web, Facebook et. al, it's about a common API to write code to, and to deliver applications.

Providing a framework that is common across all platforms, regardless of the OS, browser, machine type is the Holy Grail for application developers. It costs a lot of money to develop an app to run on multiple architectures.

Unfortunately, it would have been better if this had been integrated into the windowing environment, rather than as a layer that sits on top like the current browser based delivery mechanism. What has happened is a last desperate measure to try to wrest control of the user experience away from Microsoft, Apple, KDE and Gnome developers, by adding an abstraction layer above the windowing environment.

Google realize this, which is why ChromeOS effectively eliminates the windowing environment, and is moving this abstraction layer a couple of rungs down the software ladder.

But, unfortunately again, there is still no consensus. We have different people, (Microsoft with .NET, Google with everything they are doing, Facebook etc) all running in different directions, and not talking to each other. The result of this is that we will be left with the browser, with languages like Java, Flash and Silverlight as the lowest common denominators (ah - scratch Silverlight as Microsoft are making it difficult for the Moonlight developers to keep up!) And this will lead us to the same point, just with more layers in the software stack, still with incompatibilities between major offerings.

Of course, the hardware manufactures and network providers are laughing. As all these extra layers soak up extra CPU cycles, memory and network bandwidth, they see repeating markets for new devices to do effectively the same-old-things. Kerrr-ching!

The web *could* be a valid application deployment method. Google, with their Application Engine which allows local caching of applications and when you are off-line is a very usable technology that reduces the need to go on-line. Similar things can be achieved using Lotus Domino (waaaay before Google even existed) and even AFS or DCE/DFS, so application and data caching is not really new ground.

But using a web deployment method does not dictate having an always-on internet feed. It would be perfectly possible for businesses, and even home devices (think NAS or network media devices) serving applications within a closed network, without going out to the Internet. In theory, you could also have an app server installed on the same system where the application will run, using a loopback or similar internalized network. The advantage would be a common deployment method, the disadvantage will be increased inefficiency.

I admit that this fills me with dread. I want to get off the continual grind of new-is-better, with it's back-door to my wallet, and I really don't want to get to the point where the ISPs can hold my data and computer usage hostage to whatever they want to charge me. I like the idea of a standalone PC with network usage features where I control the access, the available resources, and how the data is used. The current model of a windowing framework that allows native applications suits me just fine, but I'm no longer a typical computer user, if I ever was.

This whole thing is reaching a "Stop the word, I want to get off!" threshold. I'll go and get my coat ready.

1
0
FAIL

"Blah blah blah, what a bore."

Seems a bit rich for a Linux supremo to be going on about how Apple and Microsoft have done nothing for years and are now irrelevant. Oh, and the OS Advocacy wars -- which Linux has always been under-represented in -- are now over. You wish, penguin boy!

1
1
FAIL

Yeah, right

We've heard that story a few times in the last 15-20 years. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it...

0
0
Coat

OI!

>some hapless souls will buy iPhone alternatives

Oi! I've got plenty of hap! (Especially after a curry)

Mine's the one with a couple of rooted Androids in the pocket.

1
0
Badgers

Apple has removed itself from social media

If the new new is Facebook and Google, Apple has driven off the information superhighway. Facebooks apps require Flash.

0
0
Joke

The title is in the Cloud... still downloading...

You will only pry the private Desktop from my dead, cold hands.

Changing slightly the subject... with rethorical questions:

WOW is an online game, right? Riiiight.

So, it is stored and runs in Blizzard's servers, (or trusted 3rd party servers), along with all the necessary tools to make it work for everybody, right? Riiight... (or at least it could've)

To be stored and run from online servers is a definition of cloud-based, right?...

SO, WHY THE HELL does it take 15 whopping gigs of hardware storage in my machine to run most of its beautiful scenery? Because, my dim-sighted cloud-freak fellas, the network is utter CRAP. My hard drives are infinitely faster than my network. The day the network becomes faster and more reliable than my local storage, will be the day I will remotely consider online storage viable. Loads and loads of loading...

It took me 5 straight days to download the game. I bet people would LOVE 5-day waiting just to login in the game.

Some Hollywood director that shall not be named, had all the reasons to edit the biggest box-office ever from a cloud-based service. Did he??? No, he created the largest storage array of the South Hemisphere to do it. (ok, not exactly that, he built his own private network, whatever, sue me).

All these people advertising cloud-based anything are trying to justify YOUR expense in upgrading all of your network infrastructure in order to support it. It is a trillion-dollar profitable market to sell routers and the whatnots, to lay copper and fiber around, and then charging people to use it for little or no maintenance. It is a license to print money. Of course these people want to advocate that sort of use, because instead of just spending in storage, you would also be spending in the network needed to reach your storage, right next to them, where it can be inspected by the FBI and CIA, and most of the other non-affiliated terrorists without your knowledge...

FOOLS.

Mine is the one inside the Faraday cage bunker wardrobe.

0
0
Bronze badge
Megaphone

it's not the desktop, it's operating systems

... or actually the complexity of thereof, built up over the time. This resulted in vast codebases, many millions of lines of code and thousands of interdependencies. It's simply not possible to innovate as much in such environment - few millions lines of new code on top of 70 mln of old one don't make enough of a difference to speak of "revolution".

I do agree, though, that many of the features of common modern OS aren't good match for distributed data processing, which we see more and more often on desktops. "web" is one possible platform of such data processing. If modern OSes don't support distributed computing better, they may become irrelevant - but such an event is decade or more ahead from now. And this gives Linux (BSD?) enough time to reach maturity - on desktop level.

0
0
FAIL

cart before horse

I'm sure this has been said above but if my desktop is dead, how am I gonna access the web???

Cos I need a working desktop to click the browser icon U C

Duh...

0
0
Grenade

Prodigy - Smack My OS Up

Note to Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and etc.:

A faster Prodigy is a shitty Prodigy. AOL much?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.