It came out in the last few days that Android is the most used operating system to access the internet. So, does this mean that the king of all things operation systems, Windows is dying? Not necessarily, remember that Windows still has over 90% of the desktop market. That is the problem though, a lot more people use mobile to access the internet now, whether this is on a table, a laptop or a mobile phone. It is no great shock to Microsoft, if you look at things, Satya Nadella has been pushing the mobile, cloud-first idea since he became Microsoft CEO.
Whether we like it or not, more people are accessing the internet on the move, and with more software developed for mobile devices, the move towards the cloud will become even stronger. So, it does not matter if you need to use a photo editing app, a word processor or even a spreadsheet program, it can all be done form a mobile application. Most of the social media is done through mobile. So, it is not that the desktop operating systems have done anything poorly but more the way thing generally in technology are going.
I will be honest, I use mainly desktop apps for my day to day work, whether that is productivity or communication. If I am at home even social media is done through desktop apps whether that is Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I find that the desktop gives me more control about the way that information is delivered and what information I do not want to be sent. When I am out and about, I will use social media apps on my phone or apps for two-factor authentication, but that is all.
I have a feeling that I will be a very late adopter of this, I know this will have a more significant impact on my web development rather than teaching in the short-term. Luckily there are plenty of options to help with my responsive web development from the desktop without having five different mobile phones to hand. So how are things going to go? There is already a shift towards online software; I am specifically thinking about the Google suite of productivity apps that push collaboration to the fore. I still use MS Office for most of my productivity and teaching, but I am not so blind that I can’t see the advantages of software being entirely cloud-based.
Microsoft has moved away from being a software company; they will quite happily tell you that data and cloud services are the essential commodity they have and the way things are going it would not be difficult to see why. I can see soon; all computing will be cloud-based. Your operating system will be cloud-based, all your programs will be, and your data will be saved to the cloud. It won’t matter whether you are a Windows, Mac or Linux company as you will have primary workstations with small local storage requirements, connected to the cloud.
The gap is only going to get wider between the people using mobile/cloud-based systems and those with the old tried and tested local files system. As Satya Nadella has realised, you either move with the times, or you get left behind.