Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Dec 2010 18:43 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes What were the big themes this year? Which stories on OSNews were the most popular? We dove into our database (well, Adam did), and compiled a list of 2010's ten most popular stories on OSNews. As a metric, we didn't look at silly things like hits or whatever, but at the only metric that matters on OSNews, the only metric which really indicates what our registered (and thus, loyal) readers loved to argue about this year: number of comments. Yes, that headline is intentionally confusing.
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Member since:

Goog point which warrants further exploration.

The degree of intimacy one is willing to seek with the OS managing the Apps and the Device they are executed on depends on many factors:

1) First experience

For those of us whose first experience on a computer was a mainframe with I/O via a card keypunch and a line printer, the OS will likely always remain the collection of programs and utilities used to manage the hardware resources.

For those of us whose first experience has been an internet linked device, the OS will likely only be its visible expression (the Apps and how they are activated and where the content is stored).

By now, users with the later experience dominate the user base/community even though they are not (and will never be) as vocal as the first generation of computer users.

2) Willingness to explore

The "mass" is essentially a passive consumer of content (music, video) or a node in a social network. What is the proportion of creative and/or curious users enjoying the quest to understand and ultimately control the devices they use? Is-it 1 in 100? 1 in a 1,000? 1 in a 1,000,000?

For the vast majority of users, the Browser IS the OS.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jimmy1971 Member since:

Let me put it another way: if someone's programming experience is limited to contributing to web browser projects, can they rightfully call themselves an "operating systems developer"? Likewise for a 1960's mainframe user who created some punch cards?

Simply put, the interface is not the operating system itself. When you use a browser, you are transferring bits of data between two machines. The browser simply translates that data into text, pictures, audio and video.

To use the well-worn car comparison, a browser is the equivalent of a dashboard, yet nobody ever confuses a dashboard with the engine itself, nor do they ever refer to it as the "visible" engine. Is the dashboard an interface with some potential for interaction with the engine? Sure, but experience with repairing a dashboard doesn't make one an engine mechanic.

The "browser as OS" mantra is just breathless hype to me. (Not that the tech sector is subject to breathless hype...)

Reply Parent Score: 2