Microsoft, Google, Apple, who will win in 2015


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Hi everybody
The operating Systems war between the big three seems very much to be hotting up as we roll into 2015 with Microsoft unveiling yet another new upgrade to its Windows system (Windows 10). Against that the Google operating system continues to gain large-scale support with great numbers of schools and colleges turning to that system for their students through the Chromebook laptops. Apple still retains a considerable hold in the laptop market and arguably quality superiority in the tablet market through its I.O.S system.

I feel that no one can deny that 2014 was another great year for Google by winning wholesale acceptance of its radical thinking in cloud and online technology and incorporating that into its Chromebooks. Microsoft After initially alleging that the Google O.S was not even a true operating system at the start of the year eventually placed free online versions of Word and Excel on the Google Play Store in November, which was quite some turnaround even with their record.

However, Microsoft have now belatedly but wholeheartedly joined the cloud online parity and with initial media acceptance that Windows 10 could at last be the game changer the company has so long looked for in its fortunes. No one I feel should bet against them revising their fortunes and coming out tops in 2015.

I have never been an Apple person and therefore have never owned or worked with any of their products. That stated I do realise that they are a strong company with a committed worldwide customer base which always looks for the quality inevitably found in its products. I have no knowledge of their plans for 2015 but I would certainly expect Apple to come up with major developments in the face of the increased competition for its ground.

The above must leave software developers (especially gaming software developers) with the dilemma of where to place their resources with the view to the best future success. Google has promised the complete integration of android into its operating system this year which will undoubtedly bring forward much raised specifications for Chromebooks as “heavier” games are produced for the Google/android market. Already we are seeing the first desktops running the Google operating system in high Street stores and online.

Microsoft with Windows 10 which reports suggest may be made freely available to users could by that act place themselves once more in an unassailable position as the “technology giants” of 2015. Perhaps there will be renewed interest in the Windows system on all levels if Microsoft for once demonstrates the ingenuity and marketing ability it once was so famous for.

For companies like N3V these must be interesting if not nervous times. Should the future main effort be placed in its flagship product T:ANE running on Windows or should more resources be diverted to Google/android and Apple I.O.S development.

Thoughts anyone?
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Hi Antony and Everybody
I note you dont mention Linux anywhere in your thoughts.

The Google operating system has at its base Linux which I beleave Google have helped finance and developed further in the last few years. Doubtless the more tech minded than myself on the forum can advise further perhaps.

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I wonder if the trend will have less to do with particular operating systems and more to do with how those operating systems are integrated into the cloud. Will all the 'heavy lifting' be done online with local devices being clients just for input and output?

Who knows, I certainly don't :)
I wonder if the trend will have less to do with particular operating systems and more to do with how those operating systems are integrated into the cloud. Will all the 'heavy lifting' be done online with local devices being clients just for input and output?

Who knows, I certainly don't :)

This seems to be the case with everything going back to the computer room. For mobile devices this is a win-win situation because it gives people access to their data no matter where they are. For desktops this is a convenience for offsite storage and for running some applications. The trend, however, seems to be force all applications to the cloud, and to enforce some kind of DRM. This technology has existed for some time as terminal-server connections. Companies such as Citrix, Tivoli Networks, and Microsoft have done this for years, however, the graphics capabilities were never there. When the sales and marketing geeks came up with a new name, it became SAAS or software as a service. This has worked well for big corporations, and now more recently been forced upon the consumers as these companies have run out of corporate customers. On the consumer end, Adobe and Microsoft have lead the way with their popular software suites. The CS Suite from Adobe is no longer available as a disk install. The software is 100% download and cannot be run without a network connection. Microsoft's Office 365 works similar, and more recently they have created a mobile server connection for these applications, which allows all devices to use the O365 suite using a terminal-server type connection with no application installed on the local device.

For graphics-intensive programs, this has been a slower adoption process, however, as networks and computers have become faster, companies such as NVidia have recently introduced their mobile gaming platforms like the NVidia Shield. The Shield is a 'Droid' based tablet device that connects back to the host-PC and allows the user to play their games remotely. At home I have done this using Microsoft's own remote desktop, which is a terminal server session connection to the host. It actually runs TS12 quite well using this method even when connected using a less powerful machine. The DELL XPS18 tablet, even with its Intel integrated graphics chip loaded up TS12 on its display via the terminal connection. Even in Driver the frame rates are reasonable, making this a viable option for those who don't want to be stuck at their desk and want to use TS12 elsewhere in their house, or perhaps remotely. I have note tried this with TANE yet, and will give this a try once it is released.

What's interesting is the computing industry has gone full circle yet again as newcomers think up ideas and rebrand old ones. In the 1970s when computers were first made available to the corporate end-users, terminals were created as the need increased and it was getting too expensive to have restricted access by computer staff. With the development of teletype terminals, punch cards were no longer used, and much later on there were video terminals, which by the mid-1980s were quite common. Companies purchased client-access licenses on a per-seat basis for use of the software. As personal computers developed, the terminals went away as people were able to do their own work, besides who needed mainframes anyway. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, companies such as Novell and Microsoft, and even Apple started the road for workgroups, with local file sharing and small servers instead of the mainframes. Today we're back to clients accessing remote mainframes and big datacenters again using small end-user clients, albeit with beefed up networks and processing power.

How far will this go? I don't know to be honest. Probably some day there won't even be any local storage for a PC, as can be seen with mobile computing now. The term PC here means generically a personal computer, and perhaps these could be called PCDs instead, or Personal Computing Devices. There will be no OS-specific drivers or installs required and the end-user will simply subscribe to the software provider they want to use, or perhaps pay a one-time usage fee to use the program ad-hoc rather than on an on-going basis.

Hi everybody.
John, many thanks for your excellent comprehensive overview of the cloud/online developments and debate which surrounds it. Thanks also to amigacooke for his contribution to the thread in which I totally agree with his statement that it will be the operating system which best integrates cloud online technology within it that will walk away with the accolades in 2015 and beyond.

I believe we are already reaching a point where all the “heavy lifting” within many applications is starting to be carried out online over the providing companies servers with the receiving desktop or laptop merely acting as a client. No part of the applications software is held within the users desktop, laptop or tablet and the work carried out within the application by the user is also stored on the provider’s servers.

As John has stated Adobe now has an online version of its photo shop software active online in the above manner. I believe Adobe was forced into providing this service when several other photo editing application became available on Google Web store and android play store with features comparable to Adobe’s famous software. Other well-known software providers now seem to be rapidly following down the same route.

As far as which operating system best accommodates users in the above, then I feel Google leads the field at the present time. Over the Christmas period I was able to get my hands on my granddaughters new Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5 311) which has just been provided by her high school. On our Virgin 100mps broadband system its Tegra K1 processor and 4 GB RAM effortlessly swept through all the applications we could throw at it all of which were online. That was my first experience with a chromeook and I have to say it was very impressive and “smacked” very much of the future.

It is being reported by the media here in the UK that over 50% of US high schools and colleges have converted to having their students use Google Chromebooks with all their applications and work held online. No doubt many of us on this forum in our younger days “broke our computer teeth” in Microsoft’s early Windows operating system. Could it be that today’s younger generation will learn computer skills through the Google or Apple operating systems and then continue that into their adult life.

Perhaps the more technical minded than myself such as John, amigaooke or others could advise if they believe that such heavy applications as T:ANE or dovetails train simulator could be available on a cloud basis in the near future.

NB:-Mods if you believe this thread is in the wrong section of the forum please move to where you feel it is appropriate, thank you
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I would just hope for more ability of these to get along better, especially trying to find some kind of "common ground" to support a gaming platform that is able to go from one operating system to the other seamless. Doubt that will ever happen.