Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Twilight of Operating Systems?

Steve Crandall sent me a thought provoking pointer this week to a blog post by Benedict Evans.  The gist of the post is that Windows as an OS is declining in influence.  This is backed with some nice analysis and charts.  He contrasts this with the, "exploding sales of the new wave of mobile UNIX devices."  Somehow I do not think that I would call iOS and iPhone and iPad a Unix device.  However I think he is correct in suggesting the diminishing influence of the Windows OS, but I would extend this to all traditional OSes including linux.  Simply I think a much smaller portion of the public will be interacting with an OS that supports command lines, editors and file systems and more will be interacting with information appliances (old school term but still relevant).  Increasingly more folks are puzzled by a dos woot t-shirt I wear and I think this is indicative of the trend Evans discussed.  However I think the same could be said for classic unix prompts, $ or #.  Folks are interacting more with apps than OSs.  Within a decade, the number of folks who can work with OSs may approach 1970s levels.  This of course is good and bad but I am beginning to feel like the old auto mechanic bemoaning the days of strictly mechanical cars that could be repaired without use of logic probes!  I would be interested in your thoughts.

On other fronts my quadcopter has passed all the checkout tests and should be ready for first flight this week, I just have to pad some wire/frame interfaces so that the wires do not fray.   I will regale you with video when that happy event occurs.  Later

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