What's Going On With Operating Systems
Windows 8 is designed around the touchscreen "Tiles" design of Windows7 Mobile. Microsoft have said "this is it, it's not a shell, there will be no 'classic' GUI included".
Ubuntu 11.04 introduced the Unity interface, which combined the Desktop and Netbook versions of Ubuntu into a single distribution. Mark Shuttleworth has said that the 11.10 version of Ubuntu will only come with Unity and will not include the ability to log in using the Gnome2 "Classic" interface.
Apple's current OS X "Lion" comes with a method of launching applications called "launchpad". Launchpad brings up a grid of icons much like the interface of their OS on their mobile devices. Apple being Apple, they can force any interface they like upon their users and may very well consolidate their OS X and iOS interfaces
This is something I already mentioned when I discussed Windows 8 a few months back, and I'm surprised I've not heard it elsewhere. How is it that the three major desktop operating systems are all independently moving in the same direction regarding the future of user interfaces? Coincidence? Natural technological convergence? New World Order?
Is the desktop dead? That's what some are saying when discussing Windows 8. That's a hell of a big one to accept, considering that Microsoft's current business is the desktop. Which leads me to wonder if Windows 8 is going to be an automatic replacement for Windows 7 at all, perhaps both will be sold alongside each other, which admittedly, was a disaster when they were forced to do something similar with Vista and XP. But this is Microsoft, a company who love to give the user choice, so much choice they can hang themselves with it. Maybe Windows 8 will come in a version where a "classic" shell is bolted on top of it, maybe that's the way it will go. Windows 8 at the it's core will be all those tiles and stuff, and desktop users will get a alternative shell.
It's a scary future, with all platforms heading in the same direction. I'm hanging onto XP for dear life!
Posted at 02:30