Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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The End Of All Things
by mrentropy on Sat 15th May 2010 21:59 UTC
mrentropy
Member since:
2010-05-15

That's the way it goes. Everyone runs on essentially the same hardware (Intel or derivative) and we're all running the same OS'. Computer-wise, we're at an evolutionary dead end. Any changes made now are just improvements to the same old thing.

After a generation or two, if the desktops and laptops are still around, someone will get tired of the status quo. They'll become a rebel and start writing a new operating system and maybe the landscape will get a bit more exciting.

I think one of the things that leads to the current state of being is that computers are ubiquitous. Back in the 70s and 80s, home computers were rare, new, and exciting. College hackers, with mountain men clothes and beards (not "nerds," not yet) spent all their time hacking and coding to see what the hardware could do, how to stick as much code in 4K as they could, to see just how far they could push the system. It was a time that let movies like "Tron" and "Wargames" work because so few people really knew how computers worked.

Now, nobody bothers. Buy more ram, a faster video card, or a faster processor. There's no reason to learn assembly when you've got a plethora of languages at your fingertips. And why try and find out what your video card can do when you can just grab a new one in a couple of weeks? Computers have become boring everyday in your face things.

And it's not like anyone gets encouragement to do so. If you post a news story about a new OS today it'll take less than ten minutes for the comments like, "Why bother? We already have Windows, OS X, and/or Linux! You're wasting your time re-inventing the wheel!" to show up.

Phones, on the other hand, have just left the era where they can only handle phone calls. Now they are hand-held computers that are far handier than a portable laptop or netbook. They killed the PDA because they can do everything a Dell Axim can do, plus send and receive calls.

And just as some people were afraid of using computers ("I'll use the typewriter; I don't want to start World War III by accident!"), some people refuse to use "smartphones" because they don't understand them. I know people who willingly have old, ancient, phones because the only thing they do is make and receive phone calls.

The hardware is new and exciting. There's room to move up. The only real difference is that a phones OS is in the hands of the corporation, not the brilliant and anti-social nerd in moms basement.

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