by August 1, 2011 0 comments



The number of applications that are becoming web-enabled is sharply increasing. In fact, nowadays, a lot of apps are being designed from scratch primarily for web-based access. If these two trends continue, then will the choice of end-point OS really matter moving forward?. You’ll just need a feature rich web browser, something that most operating systems anyways provide, and Internet connectivity, if you need to access the apps from anywhere instead of just your local network.

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This is a huge departure from the conventional client/server computing model, which required a large, monolithic OS at the endpoints. The trend is already visible in smartphones and the new, growing segment of tablets. While buying one, you consider factors like price, features, battery life, looks and style, whether it’s 3G ready or not, whether it provides your favorite apps or not, etc. The OS is considered, but only from the point of app availability. You don’t drill into the specific features offered by the OS, so long as it has the apps you need. Plus of course, you use the web browser to access web-based services that are not available as apps. The center of attraction here is the device and the apps it offers, not the OS.

At the desktop and laptop level, quite a few apps are still installed locally on each machine -email client, office suite, and business specific apps. But local installation also brings with it, a plethora of management headaches-backing up data, tuning system performance, resolving system conflicts, updating systems with the latest patches and updates, managing anti-virus software, etc.

If these apps are made web-based, and moved to a central location, it alleviates most of those challenges. Since there’s no local storage, it increases data security. As apps become web-enabled, they can be made accessible from anywhere, which enhances employee productivity. Plus, there’s no security risk with laptop users carrying sensitive data outside the organization.

Seeing all these benefits, organizations are increasingly setting up online workflow systems to automate their business processes. As this trend increases, users would only require web browsers to access their apps, thereby minimizing the need for a feature rich OS.

It would be interesting to see how the various end-point operating systems will deal with this trend. For now, most business apps like ERP/CRM, specialized apps for CAD/CAM, design and DTP, sw development, etc have to run locally. For them, choice of OS is critical.

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