Forget about Windows Vista! In fact, Microsoft had better not even make Windows Seven, Vista's 32-bit and 64-bit successor planned for 2010. Microsoft's latest operating system will not survive to a new platform being built out of Rich Interactive Applications. And no, this is not about Linux or Mac OS X. The fact of the matter is that both the open source operating system as well as Apple's platform will be victims, much in the same manner as Windows Vista. There are predictions circulating claiming that the Windows platform will be slowly replaced by a cloud operating system; however, an online based platform not like the traditional operating system. Instead of the Application Programming Interfaces structured as an operating system, an extensive collection of RIAs made up by Mash-ups, APIs provided by different providers.
Is this the end of Vista, seven and Windows as we know it? Well, Scott Barnes, Microsoft Developer Evangelist believes that such a scenario is a tad far fetched. "Will RIA replace the next generation(s) of Windows, and I'd argue no. We aren't mature enough to cope with this concept firstly, it's one that will freak the entire world out in a nutshell. Yet there is a fundamental flaw exists, in that RIA needs a runtime, an agent to act on your behalf to glue the various "API cloud" to the client-side pieces that and it will have to present a unified view over the various disparate systems (a balance needs to be struck, Graphics + Performance + Security + Size = ???). This in turn requires an operating system, one way or another you need that bottom platform and it's about how to bolt this as a socket onto such platform," Barnes stated.
While in the future, the borderline between server-side and client-side will become blurred, as the two areas will merge, a larger part of the operating system will move online, or in the cloud, there will still be need for a platform to centralize the various SDKs, APIs and development efforts. "RIA needs an operating system to encourage it's growth. If we evolve and agents of RIA become much smarter and hurdles around trust are overcome, then - maybe - we could potentially see a radical redesign of operating system architecture but overall, one thing an operating system does bring is a consistent platform (even though Apple and Linux are obviously different to Windows, none the less all have a consistent model from which to build)," Barnes stated adding that the main issue is the maturity of the user base. However, Microsoft itself is hard at work building its own Cloud OS – Windows Live. Still, Microsoft sees Windows Live as a web-based extension of the Windows client operating system and not an entity, or an online environment capable of surviving on its own.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Windows Seven, Windows 7, Aticle, API, RIA