According to Paul Harapin, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at VMware, Windows and other large operating systems are already starting to be replaced by virtual appliances running on thin layers of Linux.
“When you go to Cisco and say you want a router and a firewall, they provide you with an appliance,” says Harapin.
"Inside that appliance is probably a bootstrapped Linux operating system that they manage themselves, there's memory and all sorts of devices. If something goes wrong with that appliance, you don't open up the router and try to determine whether it's an OS problem or a memory problem, you simply call Cisco and tell them that's there's a problem with your appliance."
Paul Harapin claims that this scenario is the forerunner of what is to come in the computing environment.
“What that means is they don't need you to buy a large commercial operating system from Microsoft or anybody else,” he says.