Home > Editorial > Red Hat CEO Thinks the Desktop Is Becoming a Legacy ApplicationRed Hat CEO Thinks the Desktop Is Becoming a Legacy Application Submitted by sjvn 2011-08-20 Editorial 84 CommentsIn five years, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst sees the traditional desktop becoming obsolete. About The Author David AdamsFollow me on Twitter @david_adams 84 Comments 2011-08-20 4:27 pm motangWe are already starting to see this happening. Most of us do majority of over day to day things via the browser, on our smart phones, or on our tablets.I think this XKCD comic nailed ithttp://www.xkcd.com/934/ 2011-08-20 4:53 pm reezI think this XKCD comic nailed ithttp://www.xkcd.com/934/Especially the title part. 2011-08-20 8:37 pm 0brad0We are already starting to see this happening. Most of us do majority of over day to day things via the browser, on our smart phones, or on our tablets.Too bad that’s not even close to reality. 2011-08-21 7:15 am AnyOneOrEvery1Is the table main stream now? I mean other than the iPads. What about the rest of the world besides US?I agreed it will one day be obsolete but not within 5 years. 10 years more likely, kind of winding down process. 2011-08-22 12:23 am DelgardeIs the table main stream now? I mean other than the iPads. What about the rest of the world besides US?I agreed it will one day be obsolete but not within 5 years. 10 years more likely, kind of winding down process.Agreed. Tablets are certainly making inroads into laptop sales, just as laptops have done to traditional desktop machines – but they’re still fairly rare in my part of the world (NZ). They’ll probably be more common in five years time, but they’re certainly not going to kill the traditional desktop in that time… 2011-08-21 7:35 am LiquidatorSmartphone is fine for SMS, or emergency access to the Internet. With such a small screen, that’s about it Tablet is fine when you’re not at home or in the office, which means not much of your time. And a notebook is more comfortable than a tablet. For the rest of your time, at home or at work, if you wanna do video authoring, music or audio performance, watch broadcast TV, play video games, etc… Nothing beats the good old desktopâ„¢. That’s my standpoint 😎 2011-08-22 1:14 pm unoengborgIt’s just that the smartphone of tomorrow will not have a small screen. It will not only have a big screen, it will have a keyboard, a scanner, a printer,… atached to it.When you get home or to your office you will place your smartphone in front of it and it will attach to all your pheripals just like your laptop, does today.The smartphone will carry your identity and your local data and be your portal to the cloud. Why should you have a laptop a phone, a tablet all with a mobile internet plan of its own, when you could keep that processing and commuication power in a relatively small portable device.Well, as a matter of fact, I actually hope that the smartphone of tomorrow will have a small screen, the 4 inch plus screens of today are actually a bit too big for carrying around comfortably, and if it was easy to connect to a 12 inch touch screen you could carry, and your large 27 inch screens on your desktop at home it wouldn’t be a problem if the built in screen was just 3.7 inch or something like that. 2011-08-22 1:07 pm bassbeastOh Lord not XKCD. I like those guys but seriously they are hipsters NOT prophets, kay?And sorry but as someone who sells and services PC 6 days a week I gotta call BS. Sure pads sell but ya know what? There is ALWAYS one or more “mission critical” apps where there is NO substitute for the PC. In the home it is PC gaming, transcoding (exploding here after me and a few others started selling Media Tanks), HTPCs (having a single unit control the media for the entire house? nice) and downloading.In the office there is Quickbooks/Quicken (Still the Gods of small business and rightly so), there is a bazillion VB apps from parts control to employee and customer records, Photoshop, PSP (ever try to do touchups on a pad? not fun) and you still can’t beat a PC for call center and customer management.In short the whole “death of the PC” is the classic blind men feeling an elephant and getting it wrong. Allow old hairy to explain things. Wanna know what’s up? its simple for most folks once you hit dual cores PCs became good enough and in a down economy people aren’t tossing working gear with the regularity they once did.The problem is too many OEMs and builders got used to the “toss every 3 years” mantra of the old MHz wars and simply weren’t prepared for the day when PCs became “good enough” for their customers needs. i on the other hand saw the writing on the wall back when the CPUs reached 2.2Ghz and talk began on multicores. I knew then that to survive I would not only have to have sales but a solid support business and always be looking for more roles my customers could do with their PCs.Now I show people how to turn that left over P4 into a nice all in one game center/media center/educational center for the kiddies, how modern triple and quads can take much larger roles like true multitasking such as transcoding while watching a movie or playing a game, and how they can make their lives easier and better by letting the PC do more of the work, everything from how to set up butt simple databases for everything from phone numbers to recipes and how to tie everything together so it “just works” and I’m doing quite well thanks.To say that pads are gonna kill the PC is as foolish as saying some new moped is gonna kill pickup trucks. Sure the moped is cute and stylish but frankly there is only so much you can do with a moped. In my own family we now have SEVEN count them seven PCs, and that doesn’t count laptops which are now up to three or four. with numbers that high it simply makes no sense to buy more, better to find new uses for those we already have. It isn’t that PCs are dying it is simply the fact most have plenty of power and folks aren’t buying new ones without a reason. 2011-08-20 4:28 pm franrant> I’m glad… personally Iâ€™m so fed up with (parts of) the Linux community spending huge amounts of hours reinventing desktops and quibbling about stupid aesthetic and non issue usability issues. Put more resources into Ardour, Inkscape and Cinelerra and polish the hell out of the applications. /rant>Edited 2011-08-20 16:29 UTC 2011-08-20 10:09 pm blitzeInstead of Ardour for Audio I would point you in the direction of Reaper which has Linux native development happening as well.reaper.fmAlso runs OS-X and Win and has more of a chance of being a polished product than anything I can see happening with Linux only Audio Production solutions. 2011-08-20 10:09 pm Stephen!rant> I’m glad… personally Iâ€™m so fed up with (parts of) the Linux community spending huge amounts of hours reinventing desktopsSo, it’s generally more of an issue with third party desktops, than specifically Linux itself. 2011-08-21 2:49 pm sirideDon’t be a tool. You know full well that “Linux” in this case (like almost every other case) refers to the whole distribution, plus the community surrounding it. 2011-08-22 4:31 pm BallmerKnowsBestDon’t be a tool. You know full well that “Linux” in this case (like almost every other case) refers to the whole distribution, plus the community surrounding it.Uh, well…. uh… did you file a bug report? Wait, no… you’re using the wrong distro! Damn, that’s not it, none of the standard talking points are working, I better try some sleight-of-mind misdirection instead:How dare you complain about something that’s Free(tm)?!?!? …unless of course you hate Freedom(tm). You don’t hate Freedom(tm), do you?!?!? 2011-08-22 7:35 pm vitaeWhat’s with you modders? You mod the OP up to 11 because he’s not happy with multimedia apps, and this guy down to -1 for simplifying the discussion? You ought to be responding to these posts if you feel so strongly about it instead of just clicking that button. 2011-08-24 6:51 pm Nth_Man> Put more resources into […] CinelerraIf we try Kdenlive, we can see were I would put more resources. For my uses, it does the work. 2011-08-20 4:50 pm graudeejsThe could will hurt you, and it will hurt you bad one day. 2011-08-20 4:57 pm librayIt is an environment and a market. Much like servers are a market and mobile OS platforms are a market. This just proves that Red Hat sees no way to compete in the desktop market. 2011-08-20 7:08 pm JAlexoidThey’ve been out of the desktop space for quite some time now… This comment is only due to recent developments.Edited 2011-08-20 19:08 UTC 2011-08-20 9:05 pm RichterKuatoWhats happening now is a like what happened to the Command Line Interface and UNIX when Windows came out.At first the core PC users preferred the CLI over the GUI because it was inferior in performance. This changed quickly as many new users crowded them out and the complaints about GUIs performance lessened.In the server Unix dominated but many companies wanted to have access to the booming library of graphical application on Windows 3.0. Solutions like WABI and SoftPC were created to give Unix customers access to that library. But this also created a environment Windows NT could do well in since server apps were now using Windows APIs. This was helped by the familiarity customers on lower-end PCs had with Windows. Also, by Microsoft ending their WISE program which many solutions relied on.In the end the CLI became largely irrelevant while the low end PC sector was able to effect the high-end server sector. 2011-08-20 5:22 pm marcpD’oh, I’m so tired of this “this is coming, you have no choice”, “we are the borg, resistence is futile”!Some lobbies REALLY want to force people to think, that they need to give out all of their private data to some greedy hands. No way, yer old, greedy bastards!Social engineering won’t work on everyone. 2011-08-21 12:16 am flanqueHaha, yeah, its the year of the obsolete desktop.Fear not, anything Red Hat has to say about the desktop must be taken with a grain of salt. 2011-08-20 5:27 pm binarycrusaderWell, that certainly explains why RedHat is supporting GNOME 3, and why it sucks so much on desktop systems… 2011-08-20 11:57 pm SlackerJackIt’s had a positive response over all actually and Redhat have been behind it a lot.I wish Linux users would stop bashing DEs lately, it’s really boring. Don’t like KDE4, don’t like GNOME Shell, oh 2 year later, oh it’s not bad actually, I like it. It’s the same old story, new DE comes out, some Linux user doesn’t like it and uses another DE or asks to fork it.I think Linux desktop is a dead horse and has been flogged so many times, even Microsoft are looking to the Cloud and web applications are not some bubble waiting to pop I don’t think. 2011-08-21 2:27 am binarycrusaderIt’s had a positive response over all actually and Redhat have been behind it a lot. I wish Linux users would stop bashing DEs lately, it’s really boring. Don’t like KDE4, don’t like GNOME Shell, oh 2 year later, oh it’s not bad actually, I like it. It’s the same old story, new DE comes out, some Linux user doesn’t like it and uses another DE or asks to fork it. Maybe some people are like that, but I’m not. I’ve used GNOME since the early 1.x days and I’ve felt it’s got progressively worse, yes, even with 2.x. I don’t use KDE either. I only tolerate GNOME 2.x because it’s what’s installed on my workstation and I spend most of my time in a terminal window. Besides, when Linus Torvalds himself says it’s a pile of crap, perhaps it’s time to listen…Edited 2011-08-21 02:27 UTC 2011-08-21 3:45 am thebluesgnrPerhaps you should have listened when he called GNOME 2 crap, or the one before that. 2011-08-21 6:38 am WereCatf I’ve used GNOME since the early 1.x days and I’ve felt it’s got progressively worse, yes, even with 2.x.I actually liked GNOME 2.x myself a lot. I tried different DEs every now and then out of boredom and curiosity and still always came back.Besides, when Linus Torvalds himself says it’s a pile of crap, perhaps it’s time to listen…Adopting another person’s opinion instead of making your own one, just because the other person is famous, is foolish. 2011-08-21 5:22 pm binarycrusaderBesides, when Linus Torvalds himself says it’s a pile of crap, perhaps it’s time to listen… Adopting another person’s opinion instead of making your own one, just because the other person is famous, is foolish. But I did make my own opinion based on my own use as was clear from my comments, so what was your point exactly? That you should ignore users, especially highly visible ones with valued opinions? Ah, that explains why you like GNOME these days…Edited 2011-08-21 17:23 UTC 2011-08-21 5:39 pm WereCatfAh, that explains why you like GNOME these days…Dear sir, you’ve just failed spectacularly at your ad hominem attack: I don’t use GNOME these days. In fact I’ve ditched Linux entirely. 2011-08-21 6:12 pm binarycrusaderAh, that explains why you like GNOME these days…Dear sir, you’ve just failed spectacularly at your ad hominem attack: I don’t use GNOME these days. In fact I’ve ditched Linux entirely.Dear sir, then you hardly seem qualified to judge whether or not I have a valid view of the pile of crap GNOME has become, or you only prove my point… 2011-08-22 7:58 pm SoulbenderDear sirI’m reasonably sure “Sir” is not the right honorific title in this case.then you hardly seem qualified to judge whether or not I have a valid view of the pile of crap GNOME has becomeYou don’t know that. She could have switched 2 weeks ago due to GNOME’s “crappiness” or it could be 2 years ago. 2011-08-21 6:26 pm matstiAh, that explains why you like GNOME these days…Dear sir, you’ve just failed spectacularly at your ad hominem attack: I don’t use GNOME these days. In fact I’ve ditched Linux entirely.Why?Which OS do you use now? 2011-08-22 1:30 pm unoengborgI really don’t see why we should value Linus oppinion more than anybody elses. He is a good programmer, and he is of course entitled to his oppinion, but he is neither a usability expert nor a typical computer user, in fact he might not even be a typical Linux user.I find the fact that Apple with lots of usability experts on their pay roll, more or less blatantly copied Gnome Shell for ther Command Center in their new OS-X Lion.So my Guess is that Gnome is not all that wrong about their direction. Both Microsoft and Apple tries to create oses that can be used on touch screens such as tablets and tables, Gnome and Linux must evolvle to to meet that brave new world. 2011-08-22 1:42 am DelgardeBesides, when Linus Torvalds himself says it’s a pile of crap, perhaps it’s time to listen…We’re running out of things Linux *hasn’t* called a pile of crap, so I’d not be stressing too much on that one… 2011-08-22 4:18 pm SlackerJackLinus has he own opinion, he’s not a UI designer and I don’t think he’d like desktop designers tell him his kernel is crap. 2011-08-23 1:23 pm tiduxKDE 4.6 is really, really nice. It’s a lot faster than 4.4 on equivalent hardware, they have a native Gtk Oxygen theme that finally makes all your applications look the same, and Activities is finally starting to make some sense. I’ve used GNOME and KDE both since *buntu 8.04, and KDE 4.6 is better than GNOME 2 will ever be at this point. I haven’t tried GNOME 3 yet, and I don’t know if I ever will, but that doesn’t mean it’s universally crap. 2011-08-20 5:38 pm MDGeistI don’t see this happening, especially in the business sector. Mobile computing may be fine for many people, but businesses will need desktops/laptops for far longer. There are many pieces of software that won’t run on tablets or phones, such as, accounting software, payroll, hospital records and so forth. Also, there are still many security concerns that plague portable devices, weather they use 3/4G or wireless.Cloud computing is a relatively new player and it may very well help extend the life of older computers to the point that the power of the desktop won’t matter much.My 2 cents. 2011-08-21 5:57 am shotsmanThe RH guy was talking about the future.So suffix many of your points with the word ‘yet’ and suddenly what he is saying makes a lot of sense.Sure there will be people who need a traditional desktop (me included) but personally I think that the majority of bog standard users will be able to do everything they need without using a traditional desktop.AFAIK, Windows 8(Metro) is going to dumb down the desktop even further and make it look like a giant WP7. If you can use that then you have to ask yourself, do you need a traditional desktop. 2011-08-21 8:25 am jbauerThe RH guy was talking about the future.So suffix many of your points with the word ‘yet’ and suddenly what he is saying makes a lot of sense.That prediction was already made for netbooks.Of course, that was a cool thing to say when Linux was supposed to completely rule the netbook market… 2011-08-22 1:41 pm unoengborgThe RH guy was talking about the future.So suffix many of your points with the word ‘yet’ and suddenly what he is saying makes a lot of sense.That prediction was already made for netbooks.Of course, that was a cool thing to say when Linux was supposed to completely rule the netbook market…The netbook market died because it was too expensive to support both Linux and Windows. The solution was to put Windows on the netbooks, and to make that work the netbooks needed more memory and hard drive. That together with the price of a windows license quickly made these devices too expensive for the consumer, that preferred a low end normal laptop with better performance.To break a dominant OS platform you will need new incompatible hardware, in this case ARM to allow for the new OS to grow without too much competition from Windows. This is how shift from IBM mainframes to PC:s and windowds happened. The shift from x86 to ARM will do the same thing for Android and iOS. 2011-08-22 8:27 pm jbauerThe netbook market died because it was too expensive to support both Linux and Windows. The solution was to put Windows on the netbooks, and to make that work the netbooks needed more memory and hard drive. That together with the price of a windows license quickly made these devices too expensive for the consumer, that preferred a low end normal laptop with better performance.Yeah, and manufactures tend to want to support an operating system that works more often than not and that customer actually find useful. Maybe that had something to do with it too. 2011-08-22 11:10 pm unoengborgThe netbook market died because it was too expensive to support both Linux and Windows. The solution was to put Windows on the netbooks, and to make that work the netbooks needed more memory and hard drive. That together with the price of a windows license quickly made these devices too expensive for the consumer, that preferred a low end normal laptop with better performance.Yeah, and manufactures tend to want to support an operating system that works more often than not and that customer actually find useful. Maybe that had something to do with it too.Yes, they probably do, but the netbooks with Linux I have seen worked just fine, or at least not worse than their Windows siblings, so I doubt that had much to do with it. 2011-08-21 2:46 pm RalphZiggytablet or laptop, doesn’t matter, it’s mobile and they’ll merge. In fact there are already combination tablet/laptops out there. My employer is tearing out traditional desktop pc and putting in either thin clients (that start with browser for access to server running windows apps remotely), or laptops or all-in-one PC doing what thin client does. Traditional desktop workstation in the corporation is a pain in the neck for management. 2011-08-21 4:47 pm BluenoseJakeI work for a University, and like any organization that deals with confidential data, having your employees being able to undock their computers and lose them on the bus will be an unmitigated disaster, look at all the laptops that are lost and stolen now.No, the corporate world will stay with tradition desktops for the foreseeable future, because managing them may be hard, but it makes managing the data easier, and safer. 2011-08-22 6:12 pm phoenixI work for a University, and like any organization that deals with confidential data, having your employees being able to undock their computers and lose them on the bus will be an unmitigated disaster, look at all the laptops that are lost and stolen now.No, the corporate world will stay with tradition desktops for the foreseeable future, because managing them may be hard, but it makes managing the data easier, and safer.Actually, you just gave an example of the perfect use for “cloud computing” or vpns or remote desktop or “web app” or whatever term you want to use for “all data is stored on the server, not on the client”.Corporate/university laptops and desktops should not have local storage (or local storage only for the OS and the apps). Everything should be stored on the server. That way, if a desktop/laptop/palmtop/tablet/phone goes missing, nothing is lost but the hardware.Granted, you also have to make sure that remote usernames and passwords are not stored on the local storage. It’s really too bad that Microsoft makes it so hard to network boot Windows. 2011-08-24 4:38 pm BluenoseJakeNo, I did not give the perfect example of cloud computing, because in Nova Scotia, and most other provinces of Canada, we are required by law to be responsible for our customer’s confidential data, and cloud computing is problematic, because any information that is collected by the organization must not be stored in an other country, or be shared with another organization without express written permission by the client.If you don’t know where your data is, then it is not secure, and it isn’t yours.Everything where I work is on the server, but a lot of our internal apps are web apps, and you can’t trust the cache, or the browser. You can’t keep clients from saving passwords (everybody has too many) so our computers, in the department I look after, are desktops, and will remain desktops.People who need laptops get laptops from a pool, and are cleaned after they are returned. The few people who have full time laptops are not allowed to access confidential info.oh, and network booting Windows isn’t harder than anything else.Any more questions? 2011-08-24 4:47 pm phoenixNo, I did not give the perfect example of cloud computing, because in Nova Scotia, and most other provinces of Canada, we are required by law to be responsible for our customer’s confidential data, and cloud computing is problematic, because any information that is collected by the organization must not be stored in an other country, or be shared with another organization without express written permission by the client.Yes, we have FOIPPA rules in BC as well. If you don’t know where your data is, then it is not secure, and it isn’t yours.Exactly. Which is why you should not have *any* local storage in the client computer. Period. That way, you know exactly where everything is stored — on the server.Everything where I work is on the server, but a lot of our internal apps are web apps, and you can’t trust the cache, or the browser.IOW, not everything is stored on the server. You can’t keep clients from saving passwords (everybody has too many) so our computers, in the department I look after, are desktops, and will remain desktops.Sure, desktops are fine … so long as they are network booted, with no local storage, mounting everything off the server, and storing everything on the server. As soon as you put a local harddrive into a desktop, all bets are off. (Of course, you would also have to disable all USB ports to make it 100% “no local storage”, but that’s a bit harder to do.)People who need laptops get laptops from a pool, and are cleaned after they are returned. The few people who have full time laptops are not allowed to access confidential info.This is where the vpn and remote desktop apps come into play, so that you don’t have to run any critical apps off the laptop. The laptop basically becomes a thin-client. Again, you don’t use the local storage for anything, not even running a web browser.oh, and network booting Windows isn’t harder than anything else.It’s a lot harder to do that Unix. 2011-08-24 5:11 pm BluenoseJakethe web apps are on a local server, storing the data in a local database, so how is that not on our server? The users passwords are never just stored on the server, the ultimate place they are stored is in the users heads, and sometimes, that’s not good enough.RDP is a wonderful thing, but it isn’t an answer for everything, and in this case, if they don’t need access to confidential data, they don’t get it.We have users who work from home, they use vpn and rdp. From a desktop. No reason for anybody traveling to do that.I take data security very seriously. It’s part of my job. People make mistakes, and it’s almost impossible to keep them from compromising their passwords.Storing them in a relatively secure appliance saved on their desktops is more secure than a sticky note in their laptop bag. and users will do that.cloud computing is not nearly as secure as local systems can be made to be, with a good admin. cloud computing is a security nightmare waiting to happen. Look at all the big hacks that have occurred recently.Then you have laws like the patriot act, and others, and I’ll keep my data locally, and off mobile devices, thank you very much. 2011-08-24 5:18 pm phoenixHeh, I think we’re talking past each other. I’m talking about diskless workstations (full PCs, but no local harddrive installed) for the office machines, and using remote access (like VPNs or RDP or whatnot) for mobile systems. Not about out-sourcing servers “to the cloud”. 2011-08-24 5:35 pm BluenoseJakeyou said in your original response that I just described cloud computing, and that’s what I was talking about.Diskless workstations are nice, but with mac spoofing and such, hardly secure. 2011-08-22 1:45 am Delgardetablet or laptop, doesn’t matter, it’s mobile and they’ll merge. In fact there are already combination tablet/laptops out there. My employer is tearing out traditional desktop pc and putting in either thin clients (that start with browser for access to server running windows apps remotely), or laptops or all-in-one PC doing what thin client does. Traditional desktop workstation in the corporation is a pain in the neck for management.It’s a pain, yes – but so are thin clients. That’s been done many times over the years, and every time, the world has moved away from them again. Remember the “network computer” fashion of the ’90s, and the many predictions that the traditional desktop would soon be obsolete? Yeah. 2011-08-22 6:18 pm phoenixYes, “thin-client” computing is stupid, has been tried many times, and has yet to succeed anywhere that requires a GUI (TUI and CLI environments like point-of-sale terminals work well). The local hardware is anemic (since everything is done on the server), the local “OSes” are horrendous (usually just an RDP client, or a web browser, or an X11 server), and the demand on the network and server are huge! Supporting more than 50 thin-clients with a single quad-core server is hard.However, “diskless” computing gives you all the benefits of thin-clients (central management, central storage, central everything), with all the benefits of fat-clients (local CPU, local RAM, local video, local audio, local everything except storage). You don’t need a skookum server, since it’s just a file server. You don’t need a skookum network (10/100 between client and switches; gigabit backbone between switches; bonded/trunked gigabit backbone to the server) since once the clients are booted, only files/apps go across the network.It’s really too bad that Microsoft has made it so hard (almost impossible) to network boot Windows, with user profiles/home directories on network storage.Desktops should be replaceable appliances without any local storage in them to worry about.(Diskless computing works so nicely with Linux-based desktops/servers. We have over 5000 of them in place already, with over 90% of all desktops — staff included — running diskless Linux.) 2011-08-20 6:34 pm RadioHow can we move to cloud computing when large parts of the world have still capped landline/mobile internet contracts, and that even countries with true unlimited internet access -such as France- are beginning to talk about capping too ? 2011-08-21 12:48 pm jessesmithThe above comment is spot on. I live in an area of North America that only recently got high-speed. The connection is semi-fast, but quite flaky and goes down during lightning and snow storms. No one in their right mind is going to rely on web apps or cloud-based services when they’re regularly being knocked off-line. 2011-08-21 2:49 pm RalphZiggynot at all, we’re talking essential applications like business, email, office apps. those can be done even at phone modem speed, low traffic. Just because you can’t watch a video, that’s only your problem, 2011-08-20 7:18 pm Chris_cand lets not forget privacy…At least if your files are local, even with a power cut I can get my nas hard drive plugged into my laptop and keep working.Being reliant totally on external networks just doesn’t add up, some day soon some kiddy scripter is going to do rm -rf on a cloud and possibly its backup….. 2011-08-21 3:40 am danbuterI would laugh my ass off if some hackers wiped one of the big cloud servers, and everyone found out they hadn’t done backups that day. 2011-08-20 9:34 pm sagumUntil they kill off gaming on the desktop there is little chance of the desktop market going away. World of warcraft is just 1 game and it has, in its own right, more then 12million active subscribers. That one game has more then 50% of the subscriber base then all the Xbox live subscriber accounts. There is no getting around it, gamers and hardware go hand in hand and with expensive fast hardware a gimicky X based OS without games just isn’t going to cut it. For the vast majority of desktop app use, a old PC that is several years old can handle it, the rest who need bigger apps such as after effects/photoshop etc will use faster/more up to date hardware and .. yeah you get the idea. While X might work in a terminal service with throw backs to dumb terminals, its not something non-tech aware managers or even semi-tech aware managers will beable to grasp the concept of having a very powerful server over the network using a machine the size of a dvd case and still get work done.Edited 2011-08-20 21:36 UTC 2011-08-20 10:47 pm senshikazewait, gamers are why an “X” based Os won’t take off, but a business manager won’t understand why “X” is good? What mythical gamer manager thinking about terminals and AAA title games are you talking about? I seriously want to work for that company. 2011-08-20 10:54 pm DarkmageThe desktop isn’t going to go anywhere. People who don’t need a desktop won’t have one, but the majority of people will still need a desktop computer. Content creation won’t ever be good enough in a browser. 2011-08-21 11:08 am zimaI wouldn’t be surprised if “majority of people” hasn’t ever even used a desktop computer. At the least, “majority of people” probably doesn’t use them very often. So when it comes to “will still need a desktop computer”… (emphasis mine)OTOH, there are over 5 billion mobile subscribers. Most on so called “dumb phones” or “feature phones” at this point (still, they often are not only the first real means of distance communication, also of internet access), but inexpensive Chinese Androids are coming (or, possibly, their forks of Android; which might be not a bad thing, they might be better optimized for the developing world)……and I won’t be surprised if/when they will eventually take the form of “small tablets” or “large smartphones” (but without the ridiculous premium such models have in developed markets). Less duplication, less waste, less cost (especially important here); and it would finally give real purpose to Bluetooth headsets (and less reasons to get into desktops, for many people) 2011-08-20 11:13 pm RadioGaming is not a good example:http://www.onlive.com/http://www.gaikai.com/In fact, it is one domain where I would embrace the cloud, as it is a non-vital activity, often consumed online, that I would like synchronized and accessible on all my devices – which, given the complexity of drivers and hardware conigurations, would be better served by a server farm. 2011-08-21 6:02 am shotsman12 million subscribers to WOW is a mere drop in the ocean when compared to the 1billion+ other users out there?IMHO, and in general I think that PC gaming with things like WOW is an evolutionary dead end. The likes of MS etc want you to be playing on a console.Don’t you think that WOW won’t be available on a Tablet device by the time the RH Guys prediction comes true (or WOW becomes obsolete and there is another top game to play)?Just because ‘at the moment I can’t see this’ does not mean that in time, it won’t come true. 2011-08-21 6:33 am WereCatfThe likes of MS etc want you to be playing on a console.Of course they want that, that way they’d have a steady stream of income of gamers. But the fact that not everyone likes to play on a damn console still doesn’t go away and thus console gaming has not and will not push PC gaming out of the picture completely.Don’t you think that WOW won’t be available on a Tablet device by the time the RH Guys prediction comes true (or WOW becomes obsolete and there is another top game to play)?Sure, WoW or something similar will probably be available on the tablets then. But the then-current top MMO will not run on tablets, so again the point is moot. 2011-08-21 11:19 am zimaBut the then-current top MMO will not run on tablets, so again the point is moot. How, exactly, do you (seem to) know that?… Reminds me a bit about some not-too-old words of commodorians or amigans about PC gaming. Then there’s how, not a long time ago, it was a sort of “Blizzard would never do a game for consoles” – and now there seem to be some hints that Diablo III (supposedly adopting some MMO elements, and coming out at the time when the WoW craze is waning) might get a first class citizen version for them. A lot can change in this tech world of ours in a decade or so.Edited 2011-08-21 11:20 UTC 2011-08-21 11:45 am WereCatfHow, exactly, do you (seem to) know that?…Maybe I’m just so awesome?No, but seriously though, you can just call it a hunch. Feel free to come back in 5 years and then in 10 years, and I can almost guarantee that desktop computers will still be around and that the most popular MMOs will be on consoles or those desktop computers, not on tablets.The most notable issue with tablets and the like is… the touchscreen; it simply doesn’t suit for gaming as well as mouse+kb, or even a joypad does. And once you start plugging all kinds of external oddities to the tablet you could just as well have a separate device with those connected at all times.. 2011-08-21 1:57 pm zimaAhh, but now you’re grouping desktops and consoles together, while confronting them previously – a bit of a moving target Tablets and consoles might as well blend a bit, possibly – maybe Wii U, however ridiculous it seems at first sight (also to me; but then, Wii also seemed that way), is a first swan of what might be in 10 years… (and I didn’t say the desktop computers won’t be around; they ought to lose mind-share, though)Mouse is also quite limited, it’s geared to one specific type of interaction; it works well because so many games (and their UIs) are build around the simple mechanics of pointing at things. With which touchscreens aren’t bad either, even if in a slightly different way (in some aspects worse, in some other better) – but they are also more conductive to few other types of interaction. Especially if the UI is via slightly nested, scrollable lists – which also always worked better on joypads (unfortunately way too many releases didn’t remember that, trying to transplant “pointing-UIs”), and lessen the need for keyboard (which might be also, perhaps, finally supplemented by voice commands by then). Heck, where adventure games are still thriving, they have mostly just ~such UI (and OTOH maybe the purely “pointing at things” point’n’click ones weren’t so great after all, if they sort of died…)And then, nothing would stop you from just having a bt joypad, etc.…but I can see people very much NOT preferring a waste of “could just as well have a separate device” (though “the hub” might as well be not the tablet per se, but for example an evolved set-top-box of sorts – it seems to be the aim of Xbox division …then there’s Apple TV and particularly how Google just bought a widely used line of set-top-boxes in Motorola, so who knows what might become of Google TV)Overall, you again remind me a bit of “PCs won’t supplant Amiga for gaming” (and remember, they were more different than they look at first sight – for example, joystick was the primary gaming input method before that transition)BTW, are you known from such accurate past predictions of tech landscapes “in a decade”? 2011-08-21 5:59 pm JondiceIf the best games available at the time are played on tablets, I won’t be playing them. 2011-08-22 6:32 am NeolanderIf the best games available at the time are played on tablets, gaming will truly have taken a huge step backwards 2011-08-20 10:43 pm jbauer“Or at least we can only hope so, because we still haven’t got any clue on how to make it work”. 2011-08-20 11:56 pm segedunumBecause they could never build a desktop that anyone wanted to use. Saying that the whole concept is obsolete is a nice excuse for them. 2011-08-21 12:56 am Soulbender…before making your inane comments.What he is saying is perfectly rational. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years most companies use more and more web-based applications, from helpdesk/support systems to basic office apps. There’s no reason to think this will stop any time soon.He’s also not saying that everything will be using a remote cloud, he’s saying many enterprises will run their own cloud infrastructure. So you will NOT be giving out your company secrets to a 3rd party and it will NOT rely on the “internet” to work.VDI fit well into this since it’s not unreasonable to expect that not every user in a company will need a full-fledged PC desktop to do their job. Those who do will use VDI, those who don’t might use a web-based workstation.Finally, he’s not talking about home users or gamers.Of course, this might not happen but it’s not like he’s talking out of his ass. 2011-08-22 11:16 am segedunumYou still need a desktop with hardware support and APIs that underpins that.It’s typical of that whole crap around the virtualisation hype when people were saying you don’t need operating systems any more. Errrrr, a hypervisor needs hardware support. 2011-08-22 11:36 am bouhkoHe’s actually talking about growing maintenance cost on fat desktop. Fat application have a higher maintenance cost because you’ve got the whole release/update process that’s made much easier with web apps.But sure, you’ll still need a “desktop” computer with a web browser to connect to these apps, it’s just that instead of using firefox/thunderbird/openoffice/your file browser, most users will use an all-in-one cloud offering (like Google gmail/docs/calendar).This actually make a LOT of sense for most non-technical entreprise users that usually just use an office suite and some internal apps (that are more and more web-based).But you’ll still need fat client for most resources-heavy apps : programming, cao, photoshop, etc…I mean it’s kind of the same thing as with the commandline interface. In the 80s, it was the only interface everybody used. Now, for 99% of users, it has been replaced with a GUI, but it’s still useful for the techies. 2011-08-22 2:29 pm YaminHe’s actually talking about growing maintenance cost on fat desktop. Fat application have a higher maintenance cost because you’ve got the whole release/update process that’s made much easier with web apps.This is not entirely true. It depends on the application. I would suggest that a number of ‘custom’ and utility applications can be easier to build and maintain than a web app.If you’re building a webapp, you deal with web server issues, scaling issues, permission issues, IT Network, web client restrictions… that you just don’t deal with with a local install.Not a majority , but a fair number… and as long as a few of those exist, you’ll still want to have a desktop like environment to run them. 2011-08-22 6:36 pm phoenixHe’s actually talking about growing maintenance cost on fat desktop. Fat application have a higher maintenance cost because you’ve got the whole release/update process that’s made much easier with web apps.What’s sad is that RedHat has all the tools required to support diskless computing (full-fledged PC on the desk but without any local storage, booting off the network, mounting NFS shares from a central server, but running apps locally). And they want to go off on some “cloud” or “vdi” adventure instead.I guess they feel they can make more money selling skookum servers with lots of RHEL licenses, rather than a small server with a single RHEL license support Fedora diskless stations.But you’ll still need fat client for most resources-heavy apps : programming, cao, photoshop, etc…No, you need a diskless station. No need for local disk, local OS, local apps, etc. 2011-08-21 12:57 am Soulbender(erase double-post)Edited 2011-08-21 00:59 UTC 2011-08-21 3:44 am neticspaceI love my big scree. I love my wired internet connection. And I love using my desktop computer in the comfort of my home.I <3 desktops. 2011-08-21 6:16 am moondevilWell we all know that Red-Hat decided to invest more on the server side than on the desktop a few years ago.I wonder if this statement has anything to do with the new PaaS offering from Red-Hat.https://openshift.redhat.com/app/ 2011-08-21 1:21 pm bnolsena better way to have said this would be to point out that the desktop is essentially a no growth market. In developed nations people aleady have computers, new purchases are replacements, not new ones.The desktop will always be around until someone figures out how to improve on the efficiency of creating content on the desktop. 2011-08-21 4:11 pm shmerlOverstatement. 2011-08-21 6:53 pm dominik.hollerHe assumes that high badwidth (inter)net access will be availible. This will not be true around the whole globe.Here in a german town I try to get high badwidth ( > 8 kByte/s) since 3.5 month, where 6MBit/s are available in theory. 2011-08-22 6:03 pm Gullible JonesThe desktop will be a legacy application… When I can write code on a tablet, type up documents on a tablet, touch up photos on a tablet, and print and scan from a tablet. Using my choice of installed applications, as opposed to this cloud crap that vanishes with your internet connection. And on my choice of operating system, with my choice of interface, and preferably with my choice of ISP.Until then, long live the desktop.P.S. How the hell can anyone type properly on an on-screen keyboard with no tactile feedback? 2011-08-23 2:28 am Jason BourneWhat happens when it rains…All your data hits the floor, unrecoverable!Cloud computing will never be outside its demand where it really shines. Just there, in a tiny corner.I think PCs will do just fine for a long long time.