I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The operating system on your computer is becoming less and less important. Really. In the next three to four years, I think the desktop OS will become a minimal consideration. Why?
Because most people could care less what OS they are running.
They just want to be able to:
• Do their work.
• Access their documents.
• Read and send email.
• Goof around.
That’s about it.
So how is that happening? Well, obviously the whole Web experience is having a huge impact. Moreover, some things that before were a pain or at least difficult, e.g., using webmail as your only email client, is slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Look at gAttach, which lets you use Gmail as your default email application for Windows. You can email people, attach files, and even use Send To right from your desktop.
At a higher level, we have companies like Citrix and even Microsoft which is making server computing more critical every day to enterprises. Server computing is probably going to be one of the strongest motivators for minimizing the importance of the desktop OS. Really, does it matter if you are running Windows Vista if all of your enterprise applications are available via seamless windows on a Citrix server?
This is good for Linux and open source operating systems in general. If the underlying desktop OS doesn’t matter because application compatibility issues go away, then why not run Linux on all of your desktop systems in a corporate environment?
Naturally, this begs a future blog on how these organizations can manage Linux and other open source OSs in the same way that they can with AD and GPOs.