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Weblog:   Cisco's IOS vs. my vision of an Internet Operating System
Subject:   Cisco IOS = Internetwork Operating System
Date:   2004-01-04 14:34:54
From:   rallen@cisco.com
I probably should have been a little more explicit, but Cisco's IOS stands for Internetwork (or Internetworking) Operating System although you'll sometimes see it shortened to Internet Operating System. I'm not sure what Cisco has tried to trademark in terms of that phrase, but regardless you'd run into conflict with the acronym (IOS), which is widely attributed to Cisco. My point wasn't necessarily to argue the merits of your use of the term, only that it will lead to confusion (other people have posted similar comments to your blog).


We may be arguing semantics, but Cisco IOS definitely fits the traditional definition of an operating system more so than what you've described. While I agree with what you say in regard to how Internet-based applications will rule the desktop, I don't see them replacing the desktop operating system anytime soon.

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  • Tim O'Reilly photo Cisco IOS = Internetwork Operating System
    2004-01-05 17:14:14  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Sorry, Robbie -- I hope I don't think I was misrepresenting you.

    I am not talking about replacing the desktop operating system, so much as I am talking about building frameworks for consistent access to services that allow us to build applications across multiple devices. As I mentioned earlier, Apple's iTunes is a great example. Exactly what OS does it depend on? On the client front end, it's a Mac app. What does the iTunes music store run on though? How about CDDB's servers? How about the OS for the iPod? The application depends on all these things. It's a cross-platform app at the very core. My point is that as we build more and more of these apps, we aren't going to want to build them all as one-offs, and someone is eventually going to succeed in building the standardized "operating system" layer functionality that simplifies the process of creating such multi-platform applications.

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