Not sure nudone - I don't think there will ever be a Windows 9.
The next one will be Metro 2 and the "legacy desktop" will be gone altogether. MS are too wedded to their new 'philosophy' and are proving incredibly deaf to any dissenting comments.
This has nothing to do with what customers want, it is all money - they want a piece of the App market, having seen the cash cow that is Apple.
I think the next step Microsoft (and everybody else) has in mind is to pull the PC out of the equation.
Governments aren't too happy with the incredible power that unlocked and general purpose PCs bring to the masses. Because while most governments see PCs as powerful tools for monitoring the public and money-grubbing (you didn't really think it was about 'liberty' and 'free speech did you?) they now realize they're also the tools that makes the actions of Wikileaks
, and Anonymous
, and sites like Megauploads
possible. And government was never the sort to "take the bad with the good" if the 'bad' wasn't something they themselves were providing.
So rather than a new Windows (or OSX for that matter) I think the next "operating system" will be a box. It will be sleek. And it will be pretty. And it will be provisioned with just enough of a thin client
to give it some brain and allow it to connect to a corporate-owned cloud. And THAT is where your 'personal' computer will actually reside.
Such a bright prospect for the future:
- No more privacy. (You have to be a registered user to gain access - and you will be closely watched.)
- No more anonymity. (Your credit card is on file so everything necessary to know about you is known.)
- No more unauthorized media downloads or torrent games. (Won't the film and recording industry be pleased their multimillion dollar investment in realpolitik paid off so handsomely!)
- No more real choice. (Although the huge app stores with their million-plus titles will go a long way towards masking that.)
- No more fair-use. (Almost everything worth knowing and reading will disappear behind paywalls now that a more regulated "web experience" has been established. Not only good for revenue opportunities - but also for the side-effect of keeping "improper" and "offensive" materials out of the general public's sight. It's perfect! Censorship in everything but name. )
Yup! That's the new "Windows." A client attached to a cloud and billed for on a monthly basis just like every other utility. "Software as a service!" Just a fancy way of closing the circle and bringing us right back to the bad old days when a rented terminal attached to a mainframe owned by IBM or Sperry-Rand was your only choice if you needed some computing power.
But hey! At least the graphics will be stunning. And they'll make sure there are plenty of cool games
available because...well...games are really what it's all about, right? It's so important to keep the "children" occupied and out of trouble so the real "adults" can go do what they do best: hurt people and make money.
Of course there's that little penguin thing muddying up the formula a bit. But it isn't a real threat to the new web order. If it doesn't fade out by itself it can still be easily eliminated. With things like Secure Boot, it may soon make hardware that will run Linux increasingly harder to find.
And with restricted access to the clouds where most people will hang out, refusing to create (or more important - license someone to create) an access client will largely fence out those who still sing the FOSS song.
Then there's always software patents. Maybe Microsoft, and all the other parties to the "new deal," will finally begin to assert their huge patent portfolios against the underfunded GNU/Linux?FOSS world as they've been threatening to do for the last 7 years. "Tie the buggers up in court until they go broke." It's the old wealthy vs poor lynch mob tactic. And it's still very effective.
there's also copyrights and trademarks. Just let the FOSS world try to educate people or protest. A simple DMCA 'slap' campaign will stifle them very quickly. And please children, don't say "But that's illegal!" That's for a court to decide. "So come sue me!" as the Chinese so often say. (Oh! That's right - we
have billions in cash reserves plus an army of attorneys on payroll - and you're just a loose collective of underfunded independent developers with an EFF membership...hee-hee
And of course, if all else fails, governments can always just outlaw Linux outright, Probably in the name of anti-terrorism, fighting kiddie-porn, and national security if the usual formula still holds. Sure, there will be some outrage and grumbling. That's to be expected. But it will be mostly confined to American academics, the usual malcontents, and their Eurotrash
counterparts. (Boy-howdy! You should see
the files the FBI has got on these
However, why be so obvious
when restricting access to the web, eliminating open hardware, and insane IP laws place so many other arrows in the quiver? It looks better killing off FOSS in stages. And most people will never connect the dots anyway. And the ones that do? Just call em' a bunch of conspiracy freaks and pass em' a roll of tinfoil. And be sure to get their names
while you're at it.
Besides, if people really "need" to run Linux, they can always get a copy of RedHat or Suse. At least those guys know how the game is played. They proved that when they showed enough intelligence to knuckle under and cut cross-licensing deals with Microsoft and the other players. So they're already in the app stores. You can run either version of Linux as a service
Sometimes the more things change, the more they become the same. The new frontier has been settled. The original gold rush is mostly over. And it's now time for railroads and the big "land grab" to begin.
If the unrestricted personal computer is being seen as the snake in our new heavily walled garden of paradise, it appears the only way to deal with that snake is to force it to devour it's own tail.
Apple once sounded the clarion call and promised us that "1984 would not be like 1984" if Apple had anything to say about it. And they told the truth. 1984 wasn't anything
like 1984. But 2012 is beginning to look increasingly like it. And if the trend continues, the next twelve years will see this transition completed.
No wonder Microsoft keeps telling us "how excited we are" (they say that about every 15 seconds in their presentations) about Windows 8 and what Metro represents
to the world of operating systems.
Have a nice day!