Future of operating systems

malavon

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Contrary to a few I don't see things as bleak.
IT has always had a tendency to cycle, especially regarding freedom and centralization. OSes are not different in this regard.
In the past we've had mainframes, proprietary Unix systems and eventually mini servers (still huge to today's standards). Yet, I'd wager most of you aren't running AIX right now, or AT&T Unix.
You're on the FreeBSD forums, so I suppose you have at least one FreeBSD system out there. Possibly some Linux systems as well. These OSes were born out of one of the cycle of proprietary systems,
big centralized mainframes from the 90's and before. There has been an age of freedom and decentralization, now there's an age of appropriation and centralization coming. It has already begun.
Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft have pushed towards centralization and proprietary OSes. Clouds, App Stores, "free" software (at the cost of ones soul) and much more has become mainstream.

That doesn't mean the free OSes will all suddenly perish, but they will get less popular and a few will be eventually appropriated into more-or-less proprietary systems. Android is one of these, Mac OS/IOS
another. Linux certainly looks like it may get transformed into one of these entirely as well, but it's hard to predict the future. For all we know eventually one of the BSDs will suffer the same fate.

Many of the great accomplishments in the computer world have been payed for by companies. BSD and Linux systems were inspired by the Unix ancestors. Plasma is inspired by the Windows GUI.
The wave that has started will eventually turn into a wave of freedom and decentralization again. No matter what happens, the good ideas will survive in the form of really free software, the bad ones will
perish along with the OS it came with.

TL/DR: Companies will pay for new ideas, free software will take them over and do it better. Great times ahead! :D
 

toorski

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MS claims that C/C++ are too old, so their C#/F# and .Net framework are the better solutions for future development of new systems.
Why doesn't MS show the world their new, more secured and robust: computer system, OS, WAN protocol and better networked services that can't be broken to, hacked or crashed? Maybe then I get blown away by C#/F# .Net and MSSQL 🤨
Until then I'll stay with C, C++, Perl, Python, Postrgresql and csh, because I'm too old and not too # to learn new things from MS - LOL
 

CraigHB

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Somehow the idea that MS office is being welded to systemd one day in the future is making me grin. Not in a friendly way, mind you.
Haha, that is a scary thought, isn't it. Systemd is coming to get you, hide your valuables.

That is a good point, computing did start out centralized with mainframes and terminals. Now we seem to be going back to that. I think the centralized computing model is going to be here to stay. I hate giving up the control a discrete workstation offers though. And the internet is not perfectly reliable either.

People seem to be willing to put up with service outages these days. As an example I used to hate using cell phones because they had nowhere near the reliability of a land line. Now the unreliability is considered acceptable and most people don't have land lines in their homes. I finally gave mine up as well.
 

OJ

Daemon

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I think the centralized computing model is going to be here to stay.
To me, even the ubiquitous use of popular programs like MS-Word is a form of centralization. Even at this stage of development it's a rare person who has even a foggy idea of what a text file is, and is blissfully unaware of the practical complications they're involving when they insist on sending you a grocery list that's a thousand times more complicated than just a list. This thinking is everywhere now. Sometimes one cannot even participate without buying some product which is not even needed except to play along with the personal peccadilloes of the provider. (Telegram, I'm looking at you.) The bottom line is that commercial interests being forced on us more and more so that those of us with an interest in doing things our own way will be more and more marginalized, and there will be less interaction.

The problem with the way things are going is that everything becomes multiple choice. You don't chose. They chose.

Email software will become multiple choice. A letter to mom? Click "mom", how are you I'm fine (click) miss you (click) ---> click send. Done. Except I'm wondering about the "click" part. The keyboard is being systematically elliminated from popular interfaces, and I suspect that the mouse will go the same way. Those of us who like a hands on approach will be completely left out of the mainstream and will have to fend for ourselves, possibly corralled into our own hidden network running old fashioned, long since non compatible, and frowned upon code.
 

fernandel

Aspiring Daemon

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It is difficult to predict but all depend of users. It is the same as the shoping centers which are closing now because people buying online, IMO also people who are working or worked in this centers. The same with OS but I think minority of the people still don't shoping online but buying in the local stores, including myself, they will use "exotic" OS too. like myself :)- DOS -> OS/2->Linux->FreeBSD!!
Maybe will be illegal to use opensource OS in the future? Looks like the future going this way...
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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Worrying about the future is the passion of those failing to live in the present.
Haha maybe so. Either way I staked my whole PhD on facilitating "digital preservation" and worrying about the future! XD
 

achix

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In the future, what runs in commercial clouds is what survives. I have said to my linux-fanboys here at work that the time will come that we will miss the old microsoft era. What comes with Linux/Cloud will be many times worse.
 

CraigHB

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...when they insist on sending you a grocery list that's a thousand times more complicated than just a list.
That seems to be one of the down sides of technology not only in computing, but consumer devices in general. Things that should be simple can become overly complex. The idea of technology is to free your time and provide a better quality of life. Sometimes it does exactly the opposite.

It's not unusual to see people having a hard time dealing with the technology that's supposed to make things easier. It's actually a big complaint I have when dealing with customer service reps that don't have a good handle on the systems they're using.

I don't think people are becoming more stupid or less skilled, I think the systems are getting too complex for the average person to deal with. I think it's exacerbated by poor engineering which is another complaint I have. The idea of user friendly and intuitive interfaces is becoming obsolete.
 

msplsh

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Why doesn't MS show the world their new, more secured and robust: computer system, OS, WAN protocol and better networked services that can't be broken to, hacked or crashed?
Because rewriting legacy code is a waste of time and money.
 

Crivens

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Keep in mind the diet anomaly. All these magazines which publish one OS... ahm diet after the other. Imagine even one would really work? They would all be out of business. NONE of them will really work.

The same goes for operating systems. Sell one that does everything and be broke the next year.
 

toorski

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"LONDON (Reuters) - Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared. "

The scientists cannot predict weather patterns, in my region, for the upcoming months. How in the world can they detrmine or predict the correct rate of thawing ice in the Arctic or other places?

But, If the accelerated global warming will lead to ultimate meltdown of this planet due to our stupidity, then we deserve what we’ll get - sooner or later. I’d be sad only about the other living things that will melt along with us, because of our sorry-ass progress.

But, if the accelerated global warming will lead to ultimate meltdown of this planet due to natural progression, then that’s fine with me too. There are billions of planetary systems and planets up there in the sky that are boiling hot, and they are doing just fine without us on top of them.

Until then, I’ll try to run FreeBSD as cewl as possible without causing too much damage to the surrounding Eco systems :)

The same goes for operating systems. Sell one that does everything and be broke the next year.
And that’s a fact!
Everything and anything created and made my humans eventually breaks or can be destroyed, either by other humans or the nature. And that’s the nature of things on this planet.
 

Sevendogsbsd

Aspiring Daemon

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I prefer non-mainstream operating systems for my personal use. I also prefer them for enterprise use but in my line of work, I don't get to make those decisions...

I have always been a bit of a rebel and me using an open source OS is my way of veering off the beaten path.
 
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olli@

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Developer

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There is no way to seriously predict technological changes 20 years into the future.

So let me just guess. Over the years, it will be less important what operating system you run. Ultimately, some day, your computer will just be a tool to access cloud services – no more, no less. Nobody will care about the operating system anymore. The trend has already started, and it's going to change the way we use computers considerably. It's the same as car sharing and autonomous driving – these are going to change the way we drive considerably.

Talking about technological progress … I invite you to look at the Wikipedia article “Technological singularity”. Even though it is only a hypothesis, it is very interesting to read. I tend to believe that the singularity will happen, the question is just when. Probably not within 20 years, but who knows … 20 years is a long time for technological advancements. Think about what we had (or did not have) 20 years ago, compared to what we have today. And if you went back 30 or 40 years, it would feel like the stone age. So I don't dare to imagine what kind of technology we will have in 30 or 40 years.

I just hope that, in the decades to come, humanity will use a sufficiently large part of its advancements for making sure that this planet will be worth living on.
 

kpedersen

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Think about what we had (or did not have) 20 years ago, compared to what we have today.
Just looked at my oldest laptop still in use (my ol' trusty T23 Thinkpad from the year 2000) and realized the only thing that has changed in 20 years is that most web browsers now fail to run in 256MB of ram! XD

Other than clang replacing gcc, almost all of my personal software is almost identical! Perhaps I really am in need of a change... ;)
 

PMc

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"LONDON (Reuters) - Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared. "
Yeah, thats the kind of news Reuters will eagerly publish. There was another news recently, but that didn't make it to any newspapers:

Regarding the quality of predictions:
There is none. But much worse, research is no longer scientific. Research is now done to produce findings which are defined before the research is started.
And if those required findings cannot be produced, the whole untertaking will be silently droppend, as in this case - they obviousely didn't dare to ask ROSATOM for one of their ships to go ahead, and instead preferred to just cancel the "research" and put some couple of tens of millions spent into the gully.

(The other question that arises is: what are these scientists actually doing, if with all our satellites and measurements they are not able to gain proper data for the maritime conditions to expect, and instead rely on predictions "being told".)

I do not know what will finally come out of the climate rebalancing - I said that it is nonsense to burn all the fossile reserve fourty years ago, but nobody listened, as there was big money to be made from oil. Now, with "peak oil" having passed in 2012, things look different from an economic perspective.

But one thing I know for certain: the climate story is needed as the replacement for the US-USSR conflict that was in use until 1990: to keep the world in fear and anxiety. Because otherwise people might get a clue that they could manage their own crap even without a repressive government.

Wake up, Neo.
 

CraigHB

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Haha, always find the Matrix references humorous. Anyway, I don't think things have changed all that much in some decades, basically we have better gadgets now. We still do things pretty much the same now as we did then.

The media seems to thrive on the fear and uncertainty of doom. It's what sells. So yeah you do have to take those reports with a grain of salt. Though after a century plus of industrial pollution you have to wonder what impact it's having. Could be worse than we think, or not as bad. I think the Great Pacific Garbage Patch says a lot about it.
 
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OJ

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I'm sorry to be a troll, but the people who think that "technology" has advanced tremendously in the last 20 or 40 years are microfocused on a very small world. A much too small and personalized little world. Technology has barely moved ahead in those years. And I'm saying that as someone who has taken an active interest in computers and digital trends during that time.

It seems like society has redefined "technology" to mostly mean commercial iterations of the same ideas revolved around the concept of digital design. Yes, I see the immense value in that - eg improved optical design and other fields where computing power has made a difference. Computers gave us a historically important turning point, but we've got to look beyond our personal favorite toys and include the wider world of human technical development if we're going to talk history. I'm a big fan of the wheel, but I've long since stopped talking about the marvels that it has brought us. It's time to move on and take a wider view of technology.
 

kpedersen

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I'm sorry to be a troll, but the people who think that "technology" has advanced tremendously in the last 20 or 40 years are microfocused on a very small world. A much too small and personalized little world. Technology has barely moved ahead in those years. And I'm saying that as someone who has taken an active interest in computers and digital trends during that time.
I actually agree. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a little shocked at how little has changed. While yes, I am a little bit of a luddite in that I like the older way of doing things, nothing has truly managed to come and completely change how I use a computer. There has been lots of "stuff" happening in the last 20 years... but nothing that either excites me or has a big impact on my digital life.

This is speaking as a consumer. There have been some very good advances in medical hardware such as CT scanners etc.
It kinda suggests that consumer IT is really just mixing up the same old shite again and again and reselling it to the punters!
 
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Sevendogsbsd

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Agree mostly: consumer grade operating systems have gotten much better in terms of lessening the hoops a user has to jump through to get them running, and keep them running. I remember Windows 3.11 and the memory issues it had: lots of software and configurations out there to manage its memory because the OS was incapable of doing so. As much as I hate saying so, Windows has gotten "better". Man, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth 🤢

Most OS's (open source and proprietary) are stable and easy to install and use nowadays. So those are I think, advancements. Incremental perhaps but I think things are better now than they were in the early 90's.

I have to also remember that I live in tech 24x7 so I am completely comfortable with what other "mainstream" folks might consider rocket science. We all here probably fit in that boat I am guessing...
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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As much as I hate saying so, Windows has gotten "better". Man, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth 🤢
Hehe. In my experience Windows has actually gotten more fiddly. For example the following task I had to do the other day.
  1. Install activation patch failed, Windows defender flagged it up as a "virus".
  2. Disable Windows defender using group policy failed
  3. Disable Windows defender using registry entry failed
  4. Turns out Windows defender now has a "anti-tamper" switch that has no command line equivalent. I switched this and defender could then be disabled
  5. Install activation patch.
Now Windows 3.1 didn't have fake antivirus unlike Windows 10. It didn't even need activation ;)
It seems that unless you do consumer tasks on Windows... it is getting much harder to use for some of the more technical tasks. More hoops to jump through. Microsoft calls this "security" but we know for a fact UNIX is more secure and yet doesn't need this ;)

Edit: For the record, I have hundreds of Windows licenses. In fact, I cannot get Microsoft to stop chucking them at me. However I choose to use an offline activation "patch" because I refuse to interact with any kind of DRM. AFAIK in England this is still legal (for now).
 

Sevendogsbsd

Aspiring Daemon

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Hehe. In my experience Windows has actually gotten more fiddly. For example the following task I had to do the other day.
  1. Install activation patch failed, Windows defender flagged it up as a "virus".
  2. Disable Windows defender using group policy failed
  3. Disable Windows defender using registry entry failed
  4. Turns out Windows defender now has a "anti-tamper" switch that has no command line equivalent. I switched this and defender could then be disabled
  5. Install activation patch.
Now Windows 3.1 didn't have fake antivirus unlike Windows 10. It didn't even need activation ;)
It seems that unless you do consumer tasks on Windows... it is getting much harder to use for some of the more technical tasks. More hoops to jump through. Microsoft calls this "security" but we know for a fact UNIX is more secure and yet doesn't need this ;)

Edit: For the record, I have hundreds of Windows licenses. In fact, I cannot get Microsoft to stop chucking them at me. However I choose to use an offline activation "patch" because I refuse to interact with any kind of DRM. AFAIK in England this is still legal (for now).
I agree: Microsoft has complete botched the patching process for Windows 10. I have to reboot my work laptop up to 3 or 4 times on patch Tuesday because Microsoft has not figured out how to chain updates. All other OS's I have used chain updates together and only have the end user bounce the machine once, if at all. Pretty sad effort for a billion dollar software company if you ask me.

Don't even get me started on how many gotchas there are in the UI...I don't like the DRM either, which is yet another reason why Windows is not my primary OS :)
 

OJ

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Pretty sad effort for a billion dollar software company if you ask me.
If they were a software company they would have fixed many things. They haven't, and they won't. No, it is wrong to call Microsoft a software company. Regardless of the fact that they do indeed produce some software, they have made their money on the management of legal matters and that is their real business. To drive in that point I would suggest that if their software department was closed down they would still remain in business for some time. But if their legal department disappeared, the company would be gone overnight.
 

CraigHB

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Totally agree that Windows is becoming harder to use. You really have to jump through some hoops to manage certain things. Linux may or may not be on a path to implosion, but I think Windows definitely is. Counting on FreeBSD to remain a shelter in the storm.
 

bookwormep

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I have read about "Quantum Computing" and how it has improved encryption/decryption. Some say
that this is 'the future of computing'.
 
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