Watch (and listen to) this video while reading this post – it’s the start of the end of the world as some people know it and here at CloudAve we feel fine!
In recent days we’ve heard some pretty exciting CloudOS elated news. First Good OS the other day debuted their product "Cloud" an operating system that boots directly into a browser allowing for lightning quick access to all the important things we do each day (well – the important things for those of us living in the Clouds). Good OS is built inside the Google Chrome browser and looks like a nice lightweight Cloud OS should.
Cloud gives users access to their important web-apps and most importantly is super quick to both boot and shut down, Demo vid below.
More details about Cloud will be released at CES in January but already there is significant excitement building about the product.
Then only a few days later reports surfaced of significant amounts of web traffic originating from Google employees that had it’s operating system information deliberately concealed to the outside world.
Google has always said that Android, the OS already released for mobile devices, is not limited to mobiles – one can’t help but think that this blocked traffic is a massive test of an extended and full size device ready Android OS. This combined with the announcement of the release of Google Native Client heralds the coming promise of a browser/OS that can harness all the power a device has to offer.
The tide is turning for traditional operating systems. I posted over a year ago questioning the future need for the operating system as we know it. As I said (admittedly somewhat simplistically) back then;
…what is an operating system? It runs a few drivers that control some peripheral stuff. It launches the web browser that allows me to do whatever it is I want to do. But what else?
Seems like a hell of a lot of disk space, code and processing speed for very little actual use. And if this is the case then there is a serious lack of design over this aspect of the way things work.
So taking a step back from this and looking at the strategic questions facing Microsoft and Google, one can’t help but (yet again) wonder how Microsoft will compete in this new paradigm. In the same way that they’re ultra dependant on Office for revenue and as such there are challenges to moving to a SaaS office productivity model (announcements of future announcements notwithstanding) so to is the traditional OS a significant revenue earner for MS – in a future world where the browser is the OS, where the app is no longer installed and where revenue models have become subscription (and cheap at that) where does this leave the monster from Redmond?