Monday, April 30, 2007

My Second Major OS Prediction

I spoke with another volunteer, some security big shot from IBM. I talked with him for a long time and he confirmed my suspicion which I call: My Second Major OS Prediction.

This is the prediction: that within 5-10 years, probably closer to 5, online operating systems, manned by hundreds if not thousands of system administrators, will begin to dominate the market and eventually take it over. This has these advantages:
  1. Your files will be able to be accessed anywhere where there is a web browser. This is the ultimate "flash drive."
  2. Your favorite applications will be accessible from anywhere where there is a web browser. Ie.. you can use your favorite word processor anywhere you have the internet.
  3. Thousands of well trained system administrators overseeing large server networks can keep data 100 times more secure than a non-computer savy person just trying to keep is personal computer secure.
  4. Your data will be constantly backed up in several locations, again under the supervision of thousands of system administrators. Your data just won't get lost.
  5. You will not have to buy a faster and faster computer every year. You get a computer that runs a web browser at a sufficient speed and let the server sysadmins worry about upgrading hardware to make the OS run faster.
Now for some speculation: Enter Google OS. Google has admitted to developing a "googlized" version of Ubuntu Linux named Goobuntu. The screenshots of Gooubuntu say: Google OS. Additionally they have hired the chief Linux kernel maintainer, several other open source big wigs and have gone so far as to host Ubuntu 's development conference at the Google headquarters.

I do not believe Google will take over Ubuntu. They will take Ubuntu and turn it into an online Google OS with each major Ubuntu release. Ubuntu has a major release every 2 years with 6 month snapshots along the way. I suspect Google will develop the same release cycle where they build off of Ubuntu, which is open source, and release the finished product as Google OS. It would probably be an OS designed so so that the user has the ultimate "Google Desktop." It also has the advantage that the user will be able to save all his work online and accesses it from any other computer with all the advantages stated above.

Now which Ubuntu cycle will we see the first Google OS spring from? Maybe I will be surprised and find it based off the 2008 major Ubuntu release. I think more realistically you will see Google keep working at providing online applications like Gmail, an Office Suite and other things and the first attempt to release a Google OS will be off the 2010 major Ubuntu release. Then we will see if my prediction holds true.

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