Do You Think Windows Will Last?

There’s been an interesting discussion going on over at Geeks surrounding the future of Windows. There are hot tempers on both sides of this coin, so I had to ask some other friends to chime in with what they thought, as well.

As long as it comes with almost every PC you buy..then yes – Dennis Bjørn Petersen

at least until the computing paradigm migrates away from single machines to cloud computing/ubiquitous computing – Victor Ganata

as with everything, widows will eventually cease to exist. But, for the foreseeable future, windows will be the preferred OS for business. Mac OS just doesn’t provide the flexibility and security that corporations seek. – Bob Blunk

Bob: I think you need to clarify that. MacOS doesn’t provide security and flexibility? – Dennis Bjørn Petersen

dennis: he didn’t say OSX doesn’t have any, consider the ease at which you can lock a system or user down with active directory group policies allows an immensely flexible transition of staff between job roles and the securities required per role. Still, a computer system is only as secure and flexible as the user – have a dumb user, you’ll have holes and problems regardless of what OS you throw at them. Also, you’ll find that the overwealming majority of software security holes come from 3rd party apps. – alphaxion

also, something that I *never* see in "anything vs windows" arguements is commentary on corporate network structure and use… can those of you who have extensive knowledge on linux and OSX networking provide comparisons with the active directory integration you get in the windows world. – alphaxion

@victor cloud computing will never take 100% in the corporate world – they’ve been trying to push cloud computing for decades now, from IBM’s centralised servers and MS terminal servers with dumb clients to Suns "the network is the computer" tag line. Some companies will use it, the majority will be very reluctant to allow their precious data to be elsewhere and/or to allow net downtime to cripple their entire office staff. – alphaxion

@alphaxion of course it’ll never be 100%. There are lots of mainframes and servers out there that aren’t connected to the Internet, and maybe aren’t even connected to the corporate intranet because they deem the data to sensitive. But those systems probably aren’t even running Windows in any case, and as technology continues to advance, the dominant paradigm is certain to change – Victor Ganata

I don’t deny that some companies will go for it – just look at services such as message labs anti spam or mail serving and archiving companies. I just don’t think it’s going to be the massive sea change people are making it out to be. My job entails that I keep an eye on this just in case it turns out to be a better solution than in house development and services. We are looking at moving our phone system to the "cloud" so to speak. My experience suggests that it’ll be a few things rather than everything. – alphaxion

What do you think? Where is Windows – and Microsoft – headed?