Enjoy Vista, the operating system as you know it is dead

Operating systems will eventually become as unimportant as internet service providers. Rich Internet Applications will mature to the point that they can provide everything an OS does currently.

Kevin Werbach
, a Legal Studies professor at Wharton had a post about Vista which applied to the Rich Internet Application space in a way I hadn't thought of before. The numerous delays of Windows Vista and the subsequent reorganization at MSFT are excellent examples of two things. One, how much time and energy goes into an operating system. Everything is more advanced, more complicated and just takes more time. Two, Microsoft is in big trouble. They have spent an immense amount of both time and resources to make Vista as forward-looking and technologically advanced as possible. They have a slick new interface and a cool way to build applications with XAML and WPF. They've changed the file system and tried to leverage the power of the internet with Vista.

However think about the advancements in the RIA space during Windows XP's lifespan and think about what will happen during the lifespan of Windows Vista. In 6-7 years is it really that hard to imagine nearly all of your applications deployed as web apps? I'm not saying that the operating system is dead, but I am saying that you won't need it to do everything it does today and more importantly, Microsoft won't be able to charge $200-$400 for it.

In many ways, the "move" to web apps could reopen competition in the OS space for the first time since the 1980s. What starts to differentiate Microsoft from other companies if a lot of what you do is on the web and can be deployed nearly anywhere? Not much.  The key is the adoption of web apps by the mainstream. That's where the important of experience comes in, and that's also another blog post entirely, but this means big things for Rich Internet Applications.