The end of Windows?

So what will happen to the desktop OS? Over the last couple of years, blogs and newsgroups have grappled with the idea that a Google OS could be the next logical step towards the complete webtop. This may be some way off; the search giant is only just taking its first steps into the mobile data market with its Android development platform.

However, for most PC users, its the evolution of Windows that is of the most interest and importance to their daily lives. The news that Microsoft is deciding what the computing landscape will look like post-Windows illustrates the impact that the Internet is having on the computing industry as well as its influence on the increasingly mobile nature of work and leisure.

Midori is Microsoft's answer to the increasingly anachronistic Windows approach to desktop operating systems. The evolution of Windows is moving away from its desktop foundation and onto more virtual systems. This is a reaction to the move of Microsoft's core users away from locally installed applications and towards the webtop.

Midori has evolved from Microsoft's Singularity research. As users move across a number of digital devices, the legacy system that Windows still contains is simply inadequate to cope with this kind of migration.

Users want seamless transitions from desktop, to web, to mobile device and back again. It's hoped that Midori will deliver that versatility and provide users with an OS that is able to cope with the demands of a webtop lifestyle.

Accessing data on the move is now a reality for both work and leisure. Whether you want to find out if any of your friends are in the same shopping mall as you (the iPhone's GPS and mapping capabilities allow this kind of personalised tracking) or need to keep track of business emails when you're away from your desk, mobile technology available for you to buy today can deliver all this and more.

Becoming a worker on the move is now practical for everyone, and things are only going to get better for us digital nomads.

First published in PC Plus, Issue 275

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