8. The OS that could have been
Anybody can wax lyrical about 'what could have been', at the end of the day GEOS, both Commodore and PC versions, were genuine technical masterpieces in their own right - involving great skill. They stood true to being an affordable OS, that got the most power out of the least hardware. GEOS might not be an Open Source system but just because it's commercial, that does not negate the clear love for engineering that went into it.
Sure GEOS is all but forgotten now, but that doesn't mean it didn't contribute to what helped shape computer usage in the 80s and 90s. Considering that even an OS as popular as GEOS was can fade away, then there is no accuracy or inaccuracy in waxing lyrical that even Microsoft could be entirely forgotten one day in the far future. These things happen.
I love Commodore/GEOS because it represents something that no longer exists in the computer industry anymore. The Commodore 64's hardware is (programatically) beautifully designed. It is possible for one person to know the entirety of the machine, every function, every chip, every quirk. This gave the individual the power to create almost without limits, as shown by the continual modern day upgrades of the C64 and the popular demo and music scene. Today's hardware is just too complex to fully understand the whole system. Only a small percentage of the PC's actual power is ever used because of a rapidly moving platform that solves problems by throwing more hardware in.
Now it's your choice
Alternative operating systems exist because people continue to see value in their choice of what makes a better interface. Because Windows is so prevalent, and frankly 'good enough' but not great as a whole, this only livens the world of alternative operating systems. Pretty much all alternative OSes do something different or better than Windows, something that gives them value and worth to their users.
Be it the Amiga workbench, BeOS tracker, SkyOS's viewer or GEOS's low requirements and killer apps of the day; this review has been written to only provide insight into one more 'alternative' system and not proclaim any religious software / UI / Kernal beliefs. I hope that this article has been interesting, insightful and entertaining and I thank you for reading it. I only hope that you've been able to enjoy it from the comfort of your own chosen operating system ;)