The future of IT?

  LastChip 19:50 10 Aug 2006

Reading through various articles, blogs and so on, it struck me that there is a common theme that runs through all these source materials.

Microsoft WGA, is almost universally hated and the but of ferocious criticism. DRM will probably go the same way. Microsoft (whether justified or not) is seen as the big bad wolf. Vista is far from consumer ready and has lost much of it's touted innovation along the way. The security aspect of Vista has been criticised both by researchers and Symantec, but one has to recognise the later will become a competitor rather than partner. The fact remains, as at this time, it is not secure. Microsoft also seems to recognise the cash cow it has enjoyed for a couple of decades may be coming to an end. Is this why on-line offerings seem to be coming more prominent?

On the plus side for Microsoft, Windows (generally) is seen as being a simple system to use and one that much of the Worlds population is familiar with. It's multi-media ease of use is ahead of Linux, in particular, something as simple as playing a DVD seems to be alien to Linux distro's, probably due to problems surrounding licence issues. Games simply load in Windows and play, which is all most users want to know. They are not interested in having to get them working.

MAC's I admit to knowing little about, but do undoubtedly have a strong following which is growing. They are prominent here in the UK in publishing houses and heavy users of professional graphics. I understand a MAC's ability to play multi-media is on a par with Windows. The ability to dual boot Windows may grow it's customer base, but here in the UK at least, you have to pay a premium for a MAC. This will put off many potential price conscious users.

Linux is becoming a greater force as each day progresses. For example, I'm currently using the 64 bit edition of SuSE 10.1, which was simplicity itself to install and use out of the box. As previously mentioned though, it does fall down on multi-media. To be acceptable to home users, a simple task like playing a DVD should be automatic, and the Linux folk have to find away around whatever the blockage is. Intel has just announced it will offer open source drivers for 3D graphics. This may open the door for a better multi-media experience, for those using Intel integrated graphics, but I doubt will do much for hard core gamers. Further, where does that leave the AMD/ATI tie-up? Linux does suffer however, from a huge lack of marketing. Most home users don't know what Linux is!

Yet I read that Linux may be offered by Lenovo on some of their machines. click here What struck me about that article was "and to our business partners who want to use Linux".

So is the implication some businesses are ready to make the change? If they do, users will then become familiar with whichever Linux distro they use at work and then the perception must change. Further, universities here in the UK where Computer Science departments have been encouraging the use of Linux, will be releasing graduates that understand what Linux has to offer and in the not too distant future, will become the decision makers of some of those large companies.

IT has changed beyond all recognition in the past ten years. Where is it likely to be in the next ten?

  LastChip 18:03 20 Aug 2006

If no one wants to make some predictions in the near future, I'll close it.

  johndere 18:50 20 Aug 2006

My prediction?
My next PC will have Linux as it's O/S!
As will most of the companies i deal with, the reason an annual saving of over £1 Million in licence fee's.

  silverous 19:16 20 Aug 2006

Linux has been around for a long time, yet still isn't 'mainstream' like Windows. I think in 10 years that is about as likely to change as it has in the last 10.

So what will come along in the next 10 years?

More stable Operating Systems
More secure Operating Systems (at least I hope so)
Easier to use operating systems and software

Home convergence... you won't have a hi-fi, a dvd player, a dvd recorder, games console, telephone etc. I believe that advancements in wireless and other technologies will mean you will just have one box and everything else will be wireless form it. We're getting close already.

Massive increases in storage and network bandwidth - 8mb broadband? That will seem slow. Web pages will download instantly, on-demand films over the internet in Hi Def and with surround sound will be a reality.

More realistic games graphics - we've seen this quite dramatically over the last 10 years, it has to improve in the next 10.

Will we even need a PC? We'll probably just have a 'box' in the house that everything plugs into and all the processing (with the network bandwidth that could be available and massive, cheap storage) could mean (although the privacy crowd won't like this) that you could have everything done 'centrally' e.g. the processing is done elsewhere.

Voting online?

Entirely flat monitors/TV screens (like piece of paper thin) - throughout the home, switching to paintings when not in use - cycling through them. Is that too far for 10 years?

Just a few thoughts.

  Forum Editor 19:34 20 Aug 2006

I've been reading these "Microsoft has had its day, everyone's going to use something else" theories for years and years. I remember the same discussion taking place five years ago, on this very forum.

Imagine yourself as a senior Microsoft business strategist. You're probably one of the brightest minds in your field, and you're paid a very considerable salary, plus an excellent benefit package. Along the corridor are more people like you, all working for the world's largest and most successful software corporation.

Do you imagine that you're all just going to sit there day after day, doing nothing? Of course not, you're planning the future of the business - not just for next year, or the year after that, but for the next five or ten years ahead.

I don't understand why some people think that Microsoft is just going to stand by and watch all these 'Microsoft is finished, Linux is taking over the world' prophesies come true. Exactly the opposite is what's really happening, and MS have many strategies in the pipeline. There are new products, new concepts, and whole new technologies being planned and developed right now, and if you think that Microsoft is anything like finished I invite you to hang around for a few years and watch.

By all means use Linux, it's excellent software, but don't expect it to wipe Microsoft off the map anytime in the next decade, because it just won't happen.

Computing technology will be taking some giant leaps in the future, and frankly we should all worry less about what operating system we use, and more about how we're going to take advantage of what's coming.

  silverous 19:40 20 Aug 2006

"I think in 10 years that is about as likely to change as it has in the last 10."

I meant... i.e. it isn't likely. I'm guessing your post was directed at early posts though FE.

  bremner 19:48 20 Aug 2006

I wonder what impact Intel chips will have in Macs in the next year. Now that we are able to easily dual boot with Windows.

I have a new MacBook and have both XP Pro and OS X Tiger runnning. It is only when you compare the two that you see how good Tiger is.

I currently use Tiger as my O/S of choice and only use the Windows environment when I use an application I can only run in Windows.

It can not be coincidence that Apple are reporting a 12% increase in the last quarter.

I have to use Linux regularly too (Suse 10.1 64 bit) and for me O/S X is far better.

  wiz-king 20:29 20 Aug 2006

A system that does not use wires! or at least just use one lead to daisy-chain all my bits and bobs including mains leads....Ah heaven.

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