Predictions have been made that the operating system will be much less important in the future as users become more dependent on the browser.
Amrit Williams, CTO of BigFix technology at IBM, told SC Magazine that he believed in the future the operating system will be much less important as it will be supplied through the cloud and ‘we will be more dependent on the browser'.
He said: “This is bad for Microsoft, but there will be a hyper visor for the PC. We are held prisoner to the operating system and often problems are related to the operating system. We will have a world without secrets and a secure place, as the problem is that there is a lot of technology and the individual for example, does not want to share.”
Commenting, Jason Huggins, CTO of Sauce Labs, who produced the Selenium open source browser-capability testing software, said that it is still important that the operating system exists but it will be less visible and only developers will have access, as users will not have to deal with folders and directories.
He said that he thought mobile phones and the Apple iPad were a great example in this case, as Microsoft Windows is very easy for people to break, yet the iPad is different and better as it is locked down and the user cannot modify anything.
He said: “The operating system is the engine; and the place where the users interact and add components is the browser. With the iPad and mobile phones there is a clear and obvious distinction between the user and the operating system, while there is a blurry line between the key operating system capabilities and what the user is incapable of doing.
"With Windows when you are intending to do an innocent act by downloading something you can end up breaking the engine, but the iPad is a model where the user is incapable of breaking the system and if you want to change something you can pay a developer to do it and you are only allowed to do so if you know what you are doing.
“As much as some developers are scared about the future of computing, it is good if there is a difference between the operating system and browser, as it is not just the operating system it is applications from the cloud but the same thing applies, you are limiting the damage you can be doing.”