Thu, 17 Jun 2004

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the end of the microsoft desktop era

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With the insane delay of Longhorn and the current reality of the web-dominated Internet, many bloggers are trumpeting the end of an age.

Gone are the days of the Microsoft monopoly on the desktop. Not because they were vanquished by Open Source Software or the eye-candy magic of Apple, but because the desktop itself is in many ways obsolete.

(As an aside: the funny thing is that the Desktop metaphor is a relatively recent concept, as far as computer technology goes, while thin-clients running server-side apps has a much longer pedigree. Witness the very first operating systems, which then lead to UNIX, which spawned technology that respected the client-server relationship like X Window, and which now runs almost all of the Web. The Desktop—which was probably first explicitly commercially implemented by Apple—is, in retrospect, an interregnum in the history of computing. I also conveniently lump the revolutionary 8-bit personal computers with the Desktop metaphor. While these harbingers of the Information Age did not have GUIs, they were nonetheless non-multitasking OSes with no native support for networking.)

Number one on blogdex today is How Microsoft Lost the API War.

Somewhat relatedly, lower down on the list is Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer.

While I agree that Microsoft probably has way too much money to be completely done anytime this century, Windows itself will go the way of the dinosaur, and computing as we know it will cease to exist.

14:09:55 17 Jun 2004 > /computers > permalink > 0 comments

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