Linked by Kroc Camen on Wed 6th Oct 2010 16:37 UTC
Editorial In response to Jean-Louis Glassee's article "The OS Doesn't Matter..." I wrote quite simply: the future of the browser wars is he who integrates with the OS best. This phrase came from my article lambasting Microsoft's use of HTML for their IE9 jump lists, which caused quite a stir. In the wave of ever increasing web browser capability, the operating system is going to matter to web users more than it ever has before.
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But it is declining in relevance
by kaelodest on Wed 6th Oct 2010 18:40 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

I mean to people like us who go to the more technically inclined sites we sort of care about the OS but not that much. If you will succeed in one then you will likely succeed in any environment. But for the consumer I think that they are reacting indifferently to an OS that has failed them and I can qualify that with the question of how many of us have experienced or heard of a windows horror story.
What I see is that people in general want the OS to be helpful and stable and transparent. So that they can get on the Web and watch a video and send some emails. The OS is not something that they want to think about, that is what engineers and technicians do, there is a plain assertion that there is only the two principal OS environments Windows and Unix\Unix-Like. And with the lack of innovation in games, where the market has chosen games that are fun (the Wii) as opposed to expensive but pretty games with low replay value(ridiculous shooters). In the same way that I do not want to think about what embedded SW is in my fuel injectors, I just want to drive. I am not trying to squeeze 15 HP here or there with polished headers or a cold-air intake, but to a car nut that matters. Windows or Mac or Linux, Firefox or Chrome do not matter to most of my family most of the time or even most of my clients and I am ashamed to say this but even some of my tech friends. So I do not think that the OS is dead per se. It will always be there but what I do see is an increasing reliance on the browser. At work many tasks are run on a citrix session in a browser, or as a web app front end to a data store somewhere else. The reasons and benefits are clear you patch an web app in one place or upgrade and add features to all of the users at once.
Look at the plummeting market share of MSIE and that is what only runs on windows. That is where the relevance of windows has gone. That OS and work stay in the office. Because of the emergence of the MacOS in the VIP space, weather they need it or not - if it is just a prestige/vanity item the web app still has to work. Or to reduce two paragraphs into a simple way of looking at it is, if you are not chasing specs and numbers - fastest CPU burliest GPU biggest HDD then all I want is an OS that works, keeps working and stays out of my way. Windows has failed in that space.
Facebook and twitter and who knows what comes next these are what people think is important. And in that context any decent browser should be able to take on the world. That this browser is not Microsoft Internet Explorer, well that is just icing on the cake.

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