Just read an interesting article over at Technologizer by 28 technology journalist about their perspectives on the future of Windows. Some very interesting ideas and predictions came up, along with some rumors thrown into the mix.
In 1985, almost all PCs sat on desktops, the Internet was a Defense Department research project, and the cell phone revolution had barely gotten underway. It was also the year that Microsoft launched a DOS front-end called Windows 1.0.
Over the past quarter century, Windows has evolved many times, and it will change again in light of Microsoft’s investments in cloud services, mobile platforms, and other new technologies. And as the way people compute and communicate morphs faster than ever, the challenges ahead for Windows are huge.
Read the entire article here
I have also been thinking about Windows and the future lately, with the smash success of Windows 7, you really have to ask. How is Microsoft gonna top that? Knowing the company and using Microsoft products for many years, they always come up with a great surprise, especially under pressure.
I believe Windows will be around for a long time, I can safely predict it will be here still in the next 10 to 20 years simply because Internet ubiquity and the level broadband access needed to have that magical streaming access to things we take for granted like watching a DVD movie without interruption, listening a song on demand, or editing photos or video without glitches don’t exist in a world of ip addresses today, well at least not for the majority.
When you think about the over 6 billion people who live on this planet, its definitely a big enough pie for a lot of the competing technologies, whether its the traditional fat, thin clients, web browser or mobile devices. But to say one will rule them all is just nonsense. I am still using GPRS because my ISP has no interest in supporting a rural area, that means a Chrome OS PC is out of the question and a Windows PC still remains the best choice for compatibility, ease of use and accessing the Internet while still being productive. This is the state of computing for hundreds of millions of people around the world today and will probably remain such a state for decades.
I am not saying we won’t have a fully Internet enabled society, just that we won’t have a fully enabled broadband society, which will still make products such as Windows and Office still important to many. You have to also look at factors such as do businesses really want push all their information into the cloud, do end users want to do that too? I still believe millions of people will still have confidence in having something they can keep off the Internet, and that’s a Windows PC (or even a Linux or Mac PC).
Of course, I do see the Internet shaping future releases of Windows (my personal opinion and nobody else), by of course, offering a smaller footprint, providing a lot of more hybrid, web/local apps that kind of offer the best of both worlds, meaning a Windows that’s less prone to attack, easier to manage, setup and deploy. I see Windows Live being critical to this, just the other day, I pondered, what would Windows look like in 2016, I think its a possibility that there will be a melding of the browser with the desktop. Its possible Microsoft might infuse some of Googles concepts by having a different type of PC that loads a small embedded version of Windows with just the basics. When you log in, it actually loads a Remote Desktop Session of Windows in a IE web browser tab which are setup as separate processes hosted on Microsoft servers. You will still have things like local storage, but the essence of the Windows experience will remain, you can install applications or load streamed ones like (Office 2010). Microsoft will need to bring in partners on this like Adobe, AutoDesk, Intuit, Quark.
So you will have the desktop in the browser and still be able to browse the web in a separate tab. I will need to create a concept of this. Of course, I believe we are years from this, especially since Windows 7 and Windows Live seems to be doing a great job right now and people are giving it a lot of praise. The market has even answered with 90 million licenses sold so far.
Sorry for the bit of hiatus on posting lately, I will be back in full gear soon, been working on some projects at work that took up a lot of my time. 🙂