Future Predictions

Submitted by Kelly on Sat, 2006-12-30 21:50.

Kelly's Top 5 Tech Predictions for 2007 (as relevant to SkyOS)

Lots of people in the tech industry like to take a shot at predicting how the future in our industry will unfold over the course of the upcoming year. I'm almost done reading "Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age" by Michael Hiltzik (which gives a very detailed history of Xerox's "PARC" project), and it sort of inspired me to see how well I could do predicting some future courses as they might relate to SkyOS, as well as dropping some hints as to where I know we are already going. ;) Feel free to ridicule me in the comments to this news item. :)

1. SkyOS LiveCD. A SkyOS LiveCD will be made available in the near future. It will include access to some of the most popular/useful applications available in SkyOS, and will give users the ability to run through and generally evaluate the system as a whole. Timeframe: Q1/Q2 of 2007. Likeliness: 9/10.

2. Firefox continues to gain steam, others follow. This is probably a no-brainer, but maybe not? It seems like a lot of people in the tech media seem to think that Internet Explorer 7 is going to start drawing people back to the fold. I think this is bunk. I always tell people that in order for a product to gain marketshare, it has to no only MEET the capabilities of the current champ, but EXCEED them as well (I'm not the only or first one to champion this idea, just to make sure that's known). The reason Firefox took off like a wildfire is because it was better than Internet Explorer. At best, Internet Explorer 7 is as good as Firefox, but the damage has been done. I honestly feel that the web browser market is a good parallel for the desktop market (albeit with some major differences). I think that Apple, the Linux community, and likewise the SkyOS team need to keep in mind that not only do we need to be as good as Windows, we need to be better. That means better reliability, better protection, better experience...just better.

Hopefully other software packages will keep that in mind as well. Thunderbird has made some great in-roads, and OpenOffice is...well, they're trying. :) At the end of the day, if these cross-platform applications can make some headway, it will in turn help other platforms to gain market share as well (obviously). Timeframe: 2007. Likeliness: 10/10 (Firefox), 5/10 (everything else).

3. Windows Vista will neither succeed or fail. As systems like MacOS X and Linux (especially Ubuntu as of late) become more attractive to end-users (due to whatever reasons, price, aesthetic appeal, killer-apps, etc), Microsoft's grip on the industry will begin to slip. I'm not going to be the average harbinger of doom for Microsoft, and proclaim this year to be "The Year of (insert platform of choice here)", but rather, I think it will be a cumulative effort of many systems that will cause their domination to falter, if ever so slightly. Vista will obviously sell what it needs to, and in that respect it will be successful as Microsoft sometimes defines the word, but I think that the adoption/migration rate will begin to slow, and the reason for this will be users finally starting to look elsewhere.

People often ask if I hope that Linux and MacOS fail, in the hopes that this would somehow help SkyOS's chances of success. Aside from the obvious fact that both these respective projects have demographics that are exponentially larger than ours (and thus, their successes/failures literally have no bearing on what we do), quite the opposite, I hope they continue to gain new grounds. If there were no MacOS or Linux, and SkyOS had to battle against one dominant system on our own, we would not win, bottom line. One dominant system means that particular system controls the industry, both in settings standards, as well as market share. With two systems (enter, say, MacOS), both the controlling parties of that system would have to coerse with one another to stymie any additional competition, which becomes harder (both with the laws and logistics involved). Enter a third party (say Linux), and it becomes very hard for one system to retain control, especially as the other systems begin to pick up market share. The systems begin having to cooperate and adhere to more open standards in order for them to stay in business.

With that in mind, the barrier to entry begins to lower, which makes way for hobby OS's, to become AltOS's, and finally mainstream OS's. So rather than hoping for MacOS X and Linux to fail, quite opposite, I wish them enduring and increasing success in the new year. Timeframe: Q1 2007 and beyond. Likeliness: 7/10.

4. ATI (AMD) will open some specifications. Over the course of the year, I think that some or many of the specifications needed to create drivers and support for ATI's technology will be opened up by AMD. I believe this for two reasons:

- First, AMD is going to be integrating ATI's technology, moving it from a dedicated card, to a chipset or subset of the processor (maybe both). This is to make them more competitive with Intel, who has already opened the specs for much of their graphics technology. This will necessitate that AMD follow suit, in order to become competitive on that front.

- Second, I really feel that AMD will move away from dedicated cards (see previous listing item), which will remove them from such a direct competition with NVIDIA. This is another reason why ATI never opened specs, and with that barrier out of the way, hopefully they will be more inclined to open their specs.

This of course means good things for OS's like Linux and SkyOS, who will hopefully be able to actually support ATI's line of hardware. Who knows, maybe it will even encourage NVIDIA to consider a similar move... Timeframe: Q3 2007 and beyond. Likeliness: 6/10.

5. Finally, SkyOS will be publicly released. After what seems about 30 years worth of work (I'm sure even more to Robert), SkyOS will finally be released to the public. Lots of details are still being worked out on this one (as well as the obvious issues still present in the system), but we're really shooting to make it happen. Timeframe: Q3/Q4 2007. Likeliness: 7/10.

How does that sound? Am I crazy? I know that at least for the SkyOS-specific predictions, they're based on more than my own crazy observations. I guess we'll have to meet back here in 2008 to see how I did. :)





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Well i'm not one for big long comments debating all this.

But i will say that i hope SkyOS does better than Linux.

My opinion of Microsoft

I think everyone has really overblown the "I hate Microsoft" rhetoric. I do not work for Microsoft, although I AM a technician. I really don't agree with what MS has done through the years (EXAMPLE: BeOS) but I still love XP, and rely on various incarnations of Windows to do my job. I respect the users and writers and developers of Alternative operating systems. (I have used Ubuntu, SuSE, DamnSmallLinux, MenuetOS, and even command-line Unix when I performed basic programming on Lucent phone systems. I guess I don't understand the animosity and the hysteria, other than the corporate raider image that MS has earned. People buy a PC with Windows because they want a machine that works. (Sure, virus attacks and the like are never fun, but I hope everyone follows along with this). Adding software or even hardware for that matter, should never have to involve anything more than either clicking the EXE icon or the like. Linux will never be more than an OS aimed at the technically elite. Mind you, I say this with the UTMOST respect, since I enjoy using Ubuntu from time to time...and it's even difficult for me! The common consumer will migrate to Windows because it's what they know. They use it at work, school, and have done so for more than 20 years. Trying to change that amount of imbibed thinking will be a monumental task. I can sit down at ANY MS-DOS machine and tear through it as if it were a calculator. I even had a DOS machine that was SUPERIOR as an Internet PC, and a great gaming machine...and it all fit on an 80 MB HDD....but I can't for the life of me sit and do much advanced stuff on a Linux console without a book. Are there OSes BETTER than Windows? Without question. (I really enjoy Mac OS9.1...but that's just MY opinion) . Sure...we could "fight back" against the OEM, but what good will it do? Honestly? If you could have a decent PC, XP or Vista for the OS, and you could get it for...say...$199...would you? Most would. Couple that with cheap DSL service...and AltOSes don't stand much of a chance.

Windows Vista

Unless people begin to fight back at OEMs making Windows Vista the default installation on their PCs I don't think much will happen.

Microsoft has distinct deals with OEMs to supply Vista so even if Vista is the worst operating system in the history of Microsoft..they will still sell like wildfire.
Especially once the Core 2 Duo and such become more mainstream.

It's nice and all that other OSes (SkyOS, Linux, MacOS) like to take on the Microsoft dominated market but once they gain any foothold Microsoft will start to play dirty (Hint hint the MS Novell deal..anyone remember OS/2?)

Some additional features to integrate?!

As this article was to present some predictions: Anyone of you knows the efforts of KDE team implementing Wikipedia search ability to its desktop environment? IMO this sounds like a very good feature. The desktop is the work space one uses most often I think. Hope this is a thing that people over here would likely discuss. I stumbled upon this on a lightning talk at 23C3-conference in Berlin. I am not using Linux though, but I am observing SkyOS for a long time now and hope that it gets to a point someday that I could use it as a real alternative to Windows.


You couldn't be more wrong on all points! Ever heard the saying "build a better mouse trap" It will sell itself. Weak minded individuals like those from OS/2 sold their souls to the devil. That might be a little harsh nae. Anyway build what works and what People want, .......... That's it It is that simple believe it or not? I don't really care one way or another, That's how America was Built How Microsoft was Built How IBM was Built Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Taiwan, Korea, Nike, the Microwave oven. Do I need to continue? I don't think So. It has nothing to do with business and lawyers and salesmen!!! Only an Idea some knowledge and a shitload of drive and determination, Never sell out!! Fuck the money, Do what is right in your mind stick to what you set out to do! and get it Done!! That's IT.

That's why the more options

That's why the more options there are, the better; especially if the other options begin to band together and create standards that Microsoft has no choice but to adhere to.

wiki api

Currently wikipedia has an old and a new unfinished api for communicating with the site.

Since the old one will be dropped, I think it's better to wait for the new one to get finished.

But once there is a stable API, this should be fairly easy to implement with a little program that can sit on the desktop and a background service handling the wikipedia communications. (a little bit like the weather service)

Wrong Again

Who Cares what Microsoft Thinks they are not even in the picture!! Don't you Get it? It Isn't about Microsoft the second that SkyOS starts down that path they are doooomed...... Thank god I havn't yet seen evidence of that or I would write them off my self, but I havn't, and wont unless SkyOs starts thinking inside the box. Win 95,98,ME,work,office,even Xp, Vista, Not the point, Thats what is out their that is what has to be built on and perfected. If you think they dont allready have the next 10 opperating systems built And ready for the market, Then you don't have a Clue!!

I agree

Another thing though: Look at what Microsoft is doing to RSS.

They simply implement the standard a LITTLE different on Windows and patent the difference.

Now the "new" standard (MS-RSS or whatever) becomes standard on Windows PCs and the other OSes who wish to implement it for interoperability reasons have to pay Microsoft royalties.

It's them abusing their monopoly to get ahead in anything they wish. It's despicable.



None the less, it is what it

None the less, it is what it is. We can't do anything about that at present, so we just work around it.

Again, this is why the more OS's available, the better. If there are 3-4 other OS's that make up say 35% of the market, Microsoft would have no choice but to begin to play fair.

Keep that in mind, as family members begin to get new computers, etc. If they want a polished, top-to-bottom solution, try to get them to look at a Mac. If they know a bit about computers and you can help them, show them Ubuntu. Once SkyOS is released to the public, have them give the LiveCD a shot, and if they like what they see, get that installed for them.

Any increase in market share for ANY platform that is not Windows, helps all of the other platforms at once.


If they want to leverage their monopoly in that manner, then they should be able to within the range of their own products and nothing more. Folks have been griping on Digg about how Windows Live Mail works in a Linux browser compared to how it works in a Windows browser (including Firefox).

Apparently, everytime that Microsoft wants to make services available to the public that use some particular proprietary hook (ActiveX being a prominent example) that's only available on their in-house operating system, everyone wants to gripe about how Microsoft isn't "playing fair" with competing operating systems or browsers.

But why? Are the competitors, who want to offer their own operating systems, browsers or search engines to that same public, being actively prevented from doing so by a preventive measure implemented by Microsoft? One that disables, say, Gmail from rendering properly in Internet Explorer?

Or are they crying like spoiled-rotten brats because they can't do anything that Windows/IE/WindowsLive can do/has done, and have a PR record and advertising blitz of equal bearing to back it up?

Perfect example: Netscape vs. IE. Netscape focused more upon competing against IE for marketshare on Windows rather than upon making a better browser. As a result, it lost out, and has faded into history, succeeded by the Mozilla project, which is more focused upon building a better browser rather than upon gaining marketshare against IE (the Firefox ads are just Mozilla Corporation talking, not the developers).

My challenge to any operating system (closed- or open-source) that seeks to compete effectively with Windows is this: if your product or project wants to compete with it, stop looking at that competition with such obvious envy and focus more upon your goal with equal intensity.

Quit nagging about how its not playing fair when it is providing a service that is meant to be most-fully-experienced by customers of its operating system, and explicitly so (read: *Windows* Live Mail). In fact, provide your own OS/browser-specific webmail service, as long as you don't force or coerce someone else to use it.

Otherwise, step out of the race. You were never meant to compete with Windows in the first place.

Great point.

Great point.

I really think the way for things to go is an OS which isn't divided by distributions. It'd nice and all but when there are so many run by people with so many different ideals (MS Novell deal) it can have the potential to hurt the OS as a whole.

I like the fact that SkyOS is unified and programmed as a dictatorship. There is no long discussion on what feature should be in, if Robert sees something worthwhile he adds it in and that's that. Criticism is high, but who cares unless they pay for the Beta.

My predictions are:

SkyOS will become much more and have a flood of new users due to the fact that they get a hands on LiveCD. That will show them that it's worth the money to see the project prosper.

How exactly is then taking a

How exactly is then taking a standard, editing it to fit their needs then forcing you to use their edited standard not an abuse of monopoly?

They then write a new version of Office or something with this importer and boast "Super MSFORMAT HERE" as a feature to get people to buy it.

It's bull.

How the hell do they "force"

How the hell do they "force" you to use their edited standard, lest it be built - OMG, wait for it! - into *their own product*?

If you're talking about ODF vs. OpenXML, MS is integrating the open components of the former in with their own already proprietary components in order to come up with the latter. If they offer their changes for public scrutiny (which they're not obligated to unless they want their version recognized by non-MS applications), that's fine, and if they would rather keep it closed, that's fine as well (then the formerly parenthetized will not apply). If MS opts to do the latter with OpenXML, they should be fully able to do so, and they should not be asking Novell or Sun to make their applications compatible with MS's formats, period.

The only thing that MS would be "evil" to do is to declare a patent upon ODF itself. Even making OpenXML available as a standard to be adopted by competitors only to pull an incompatibility stunt with it on their own turf later would be acceptable, but also very, very stupid. Novell and Sun would do well as to withdraw OpenXML code from OpenOffice if that ever happened, and MS would be on its merry way.

They force you due to the

They force you due to the fact that they control almost all of the desktop market. They have a larger userbase so in order for anyone else to achieve interoperability with the "new features" they need to adopt the new standard. This puts Microsoft in control of the standards.