The transformation of Windows over the years has been steady, up until now that is. Bill Gates was a fairly tough nut (although now he’s turned to philanthropy), his successor Steve Ballmer stuck very much to the same model as Bill setup (let’s forget about the developers, developers, developers speech) . Each version of Windows was a paid upgrade.
macOS as it’s now called was also a paid upgrade, and Windows and macOS followed a similar path. However the cost of upgrading the OS got cheaper and eventually given away for free. So this clearly indicates a dramatic change in pricing structure for both Microsoft and Apple, so why this paradigm shift?
Linux needs no introduction, the OS is based on UNIX (the same as macOS) and I’ve been using Linux longer than I care to remember. My first play with Linux was back in the nineties with Red Hat. The installation process at that time was very involved, I was living in a shared house and my house mate called me at work to tell me he’d got the cursor to work, it was a big X, very exciting.
Since those early times Linux is as easy to install as any OS and available in many different distro’s or versions, I use Black Labrador Linux (only because I love Black Labradors).
However the key point to Linux is it is essential free and as its popularity increased Apple and Microsoft started to take note.
The biggest change in the OS landscape has been the adoption of the Cloud. Thus the OS has become almost redundant with the exception of power-apps such as Logic Pro on the Mac or Photoshop on either platform. However most other activities can be achieved in the Cloud, the growth of Chrome OS is a good example (based on the Linux kernel too). So essentially has the OS had its day? I think outside of power-apps it could be argued that we still need an OS to gain access to the cloud, but other than that it has very little value.
Microsoft allowed users to upgrade to Windows 10 for a while, although this offer has expired and a copy of Windows 10 Home Edition costs about £40 and the pro version a little more expensive, but shop around. So leads us to essentially one man who has transformed Windows; Satya Nadella.
The acquisition of several high profile products such as Minecraft, Linkedin and GitHub led by Satya Nadella have totally turned around Microft’s fortunes. Microsoft’s stock has tripled since September 2018. This new vision for Microsoft includes the announcement that Windows 10 will include a Linux kernel in addition to the Windows kernel.
It’s fairly clear Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows. The question is will Windows eventually be replaced by a Windows version of Linux, I really wouldn’t be surprised as I think it may be the future of Windows.
Will is a cloud consultant and journalist with a passion for new innovations in technology.