Are Mobile Operating Systems the Future for Desktop Computing?

With the incredible strides being made in the mobile world, one can’t help but to ask whether or not these trimmed-down operating systems may be heading in a direction that could replace what we currently know as a desktop OS. For example, the debate over whether or not Android would make a good netbook OS has been going on since the first iteration of the mobile platform, and what we’ve seen of Apple’s OS X Lion has given us clear signs that they are borrowing greatly from the iOS user interface. With this in mind, are mobile operating systems the future for desktop computing?

It could be argued that one day, possibly in the not so distant future, mobile devices may actually be the form factor of choice for our everyday computing. You could come home and plug your phone in to a dock that links to a larger screen, keyboard, and other input devices. In the case of the Motorola Atrix 4G, your phone can already be plugged in to a laptop body to create a more complete desktop experience. Current limitations for this application include a lacking ability to install full desktop programs. This limitation aside, you are able to run a full instance of Firefox which allows you to handle pretty much everything you would expect through the browser on a larger Windows or OS X system.

There is a possibility, as different platforms continue to merge and become increasingly interconnected, that we may see a more hybrid form of operating system come together. An OS that can be installed completely and seamlessly between different form factors may offer a solution that is best for both worlds. The problem that faced the tablet industry in years prior stemmed from attempting to put a bulky OS with programs intended for a specific platform on a device that really wasn’t supported by the developers. With a hybrid OS, designed specifically with this functionality in mind, you may have a solution that is both more attractive to developers and OEMs.