Listening to alot of podcasts lately who are rating an reviewing the latest in Netbooks, mobile internet techonologies and the like and they seem to all push one notion. The desktop application and even the desktop operating system will soon die if not dead already.
Noticably I can completely understand these people's point of view. With the continuing trend of service such as email, personal information and service moving to the internet rather than managed locally on a PC shows that we are using our home and business systems less and less like computer and more and more like consoles to an array of internet services. The email client is becoming a thing of the past as web-based services like Google's Gmail and Microsoft's Hotmail service become more popular as well as being able to store photos online is slowly lightening the load on photo managemnet software. But to claim the the desktop OS is dead is a rediculous over step and sweeping statement that shows these Technology Ethuisists are so far away from the real world that they forgot that there is so much more going on than just photos and email for example.
Small businesses and companies everywhere have custom or retails software that keep their business running. To claim that there won't soon be an Operating system for these people use is ludicrous. Not only would it be a devistating blow to a company like Microsoft, but would force companies and business everywhere to start spending millions in research and conversion to a new system. Not all business can rely on internet connections to run there business, nor can they be expected to. Enterprises still require nearly every employee to run a PC therefore in most case running software locally load if not running Microsoft Outlook to communicate with the collegues through Exchange server.
Also when sweeping statements are made that the desktop is dead, this is immediately forgetting about any developer or designer in the world. There is no conceivable way that a true hardcore designer is going to ditch their Photoshop, After Effects or even software packages like Visual Studio for some Web 2.0 app. Not only is there a lack of performance in that strategy, but also prohitits productivity.
PC gaming, while suffering from a deline in popularity in recent years, there will always be a need for a desktop operating system to cater for their entertainment and run their games. While mulitplayer games are online they are not solely cloud-based. Games, like World of Warcraft, require you to instant up to six CDs before allowing you to play online.
I totally disagree with the statement that the desktop operating system, especially in terms of Microsoft Windows. It is far to popular for multiple applications to just be scrapped for more online solutions.