Wednesday, April 04, 2007

OS Review

I have always been a Windows admirer, but a newly converted Mac fan, so it is probably time to see the OS world in a more 'objective' way!

Today

Linux

  • It is great as a server - controlled environment and free software without support works just fine.
  • It is not a good home machine OS - at least not yet for the typical person who need driver support for his peripherals and who needs to run PC software.

Mac OS X

  • It is technically & visually the best OS for a home machine OS out there though a bit expensive & have limited peripherals - great usability & innovation. I expect to see the iSync+.mac integration in the next version of Windows!
  • It is good as a server - the unix background gives it the required skills, but it is still not acceptable for many businesses as desktop due to lack of support for Outlook etc.

Windows

  • It is a good OS for a home machine - the sheer volume of software & peripherals is good. Security is more of a challenge as it is a popular target.
  • It is ok as a server - Longhorn server with role specific customization should help, but still far from free to use in server farms.

Future

Windows needs to take a step back and stop adding glut to the OS. It is time to give users an upgrade which lowers the memory & resource usage by half and apply the lessons learned with IIS security to the entire OS.  - 'less is better'

Apple will always be a minority player unless they change it so that it runs on any platform.  It seems the only thing to do to get wide user & peripheral support.

Linux needs a pretty face and improve usability. Please stop expecting an user to download the source and it's myriad dependencies to build the binaries. ie. drivers in binary form is a good start.

Google doesn't have an OS yet, but can be seen a company that can potentially tip the scales due to it's collection of  talent & money. It has to stop relying on chaos theory and have a solid strategy. Where is the second wave after search?

Virtualization

Windows franchise doesn't seem to be at risk in the near term, but virtualization & multi core CPUs might be the biggest threat for Windows in the future.

1. Virtualization in the server world is well understood and should make the application more important than the OS or hardware. eg. webserver, database etc.

2. Virtualization in the PC world is less of a threat, but it is what enables 'Parallels' to give access to Windows apps for Mac users.

But the worst case scenario might be Linux with open source Mac OS UI getting customers and thus developer mindshare for apps & drivers - relegating Windows to the guest OS!

No comments: