While the open-source crowd gets excited by Linux's growing market share, three companies’re pulling the rug out from under the feet of traditional operating systems. Red Hat’s winning in Linux while IBM cleans up the Unix market. But those’re increasingly yesterday's markets as Microsoft, Google, and VMware create different breeds of operating system, each tuned to the strength of its product portfolio. Between Microsoft SharePoint, Google Chrome OS, and VMware vSphere, we're in for real innovation in what "operating system" means. Microsoft has created a bridge "between personal productivity and line-of-business applications," one that stitches together Microsoft's "desktop" dominance with its cloud ambitions “SharePoint.” While this shift’ll take awhile, leaving traditional vendors plenty of time to make money in traditional operating systems--hey, companies’re still making money in green-screen software--the future of the operating system’s almost certain to look different from vanilla Windows, Linux, or Unix.
More info: CNet