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Operating Systems of the Future

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the at-last-nirvana dept.

Technology 436

An anonymous reader writes: "'Imagine computers in a group providing disk storage for their users, transparently swapping files and optimizing their collective performance, all with no central administration.' Computerworld is predicting that over the next 10 years, operating systems will become highly distributed and 'self-healing,' and they'll collaborate with applications, making application programmers' jobs easier."

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First fuck you. (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988060)

Fuck you!

Re:First fuck you. (-1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988071)

you rotten swine.


i must have the hattrick

Hat Trick (-1)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988112)

I think you'll be able to accomplish it...there is still plenty of time in the day.

Re:First fuck you. (-1)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988079)


Re:First fuck you. (-1, Offtopic)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988164)

props to you sir. this has been a bitter day - I got moderated up this morning and now I have been posting at 0 just like a legitimate member of slashbot. then I got 3rd post. Oh the humanity!

Yeah Baby! (-1)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988061)

primeiro borne! primo alberino! erster Pfosten! première distribution! primer poste! Phyrst P05t!

Re:Yeah Baby! (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988195)


Now, what are you going to do LunchLady? Cry like a woman and get some serious dick action to comfort you or get back at the evildoers of the world?

dirty assclowns (-1, Troll)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988064)

come look at my big top!!

Re:dirty assclowns (-1)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988161)

You didn't provide a am I as your typical slashdot reader supposed to learn anything if I can't click a link?

I will comment on your big top's nice! I don't think it will work though. Does it run linux?

Beowulf cluster (2, Funny)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988075)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these 'future' computers!

Oh, wait...

Why not mod "funny" instead of "offtopic" (0, Offtopic)

tfurrows (541222) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988252)

Does everything have to be on topic around here? The beowulf thing is a standing joke and I find it humorous.

Please mod parent up.

OT: Why it is no longer humorous at all (1, Offtopic)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988365)

Does everything have to be on topic around here? The beowulf thing is a standing joke and I find it humorous.

It was humorous the first time. Moderately amusing the next 100 times perhaps. Now it is merely tired, trite, cliched, and asinine ... and above all, about as original as Microsoft "innovation".

And making.... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988082)

sysadmins everywhere kill themselves. This just sounds like trouble waiting to happen.

Imagine (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988090)

The MPAA and RIAA shutting this down, tout suite.

Crazy users and VBS scripts (3, Funny)

satterth (464480) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988093)

What happens when some user click on a VBS script ?

I image great horrors as the whole cluster goes down in a mass emailing.


Amoeba (5, Informative)

oyving (115582) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988100)

Tanenbaums Amoeba [] is way ahead of the game then.

Futurists are stupid (4, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988102)

I'm so sick and tired of what the next 10 years will bring us. Howabout OSes that dont crash? How about hardware that won't lock up your computer? How about open standards, a generally more cautious approach to computing that will allow us to stabilize the developments that occur? Nah .. of course not. Lets take this overly complicated not-so-realiable thing and throw a transparent layer of 'self-healing' autonomy to it. I know thats what I've been looking for ... yet another reason why I have to explain to my boss that computers ain't perfect. I can hear him now: "But they're supposed to heal themselves! Why didn't the OS dial up our energy provider and ask why the power went out?!"

Re:Futurists are stupid (0, Redundant)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988198)

Here here! I'm sick of hearing about computers that can fly and cure cancer. Who's making these predictions? They don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Secret Internal FBI Documents AL GORE IS A TERROR (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988206)

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Re:Futurists are stupid (3, Insightful)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988214)

Most unfortunately, postulating what we could do is much more exciting than perfecting something we already do.

Apparently, the public has a certain tolerance to defects and bugs. A fine exmple is the automobile, with its near-certain breakdowns, despite Tucker proving otherwise [] .

Re:Futurists are stupid (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988334)

I think this is because we've been told that this is the best it will get (or, in MS speak, it doesn't break in the first place.)

Cell phones rarely crash (granted, much simpler in terms of the complexity of their input), but I think this is because, since there is no focus in marketing about their 'stability', makers really do have to make them stable. As long as 'stability' is a marketable selling point, computers will have to be unstable.

Re:Futurists are stupid (2)

DrCode (95839) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988217)

I'm still waiting for those computers that will program themselves, a prediction that was being made in the early 80's. But it's just as well, as a lot of us would be out of a job...

Re:Futurists are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988225)

Howabout OSes that dont crash?

it's called UNIX.

Re:Futurists are stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988227)

Try OS X. Closest thing to tomorrow's OS that's out there. I've not had a "crash" in 7 months.


Re:Futurists are stupid (-1, Flamebait)

dem0thene5 (556546) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988341)

Yeah, I'd really like to shell out that much money for an Apple running FreeBSD with the cornier-than-ever Mac GUI. No thanks. You can keep your shiny little toys.

Re:Futurists are stupid (2)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988362)

Then don't complain about the reliability or lack of reliability.

Original poster complained about stability.
Someone else mentioned Unix.
This poster mentioned OS X, as Unix on commodity hardware.

You reject it; fine, stick with Linux or Windows :P

There aren't exactly many competitors for a desktop Unix boxen, are there?

I already can't find a job (3, Funny)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988276)

Oh great. It's already impossible to find a job with my measly bachelor's degree and now I have self-healing computers to look forward to. I should studied accounting...

Re:Futurists are stupid (3, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988346)

Sadly, reliability doesn't sell. The average computer user wants fast and cheap. Even on slashdot, you see endless dicksize wars over who has the most 'leet, overclocked system running last night's kernel release on the latest CPU, chipset and motherboard. It doesn't have to work reliably if it looks cool doing it.

how long until... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988109)

...we slashdotters see this as complete worthless bullshit because MS Research is spearheading this effort? This is actually quite a novel idea, but the due to the general 3771ism of /., it will be made fun of and dismissed out the wazoo.

easier, doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988110)

anything that has claimed to make programmer's lives easier, has had little to no positive effect. if anything it has made it worse. remember dll's anyone. registries?, etc.

Linux is the operating system of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988114)

You heard it here first. That's where the smart money is: Linux.

Re:Linux is the operating system of the future (-1)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988137)

Fuck off, amateur!

A vision of OS future : tiny reliable components. (5, Interesting)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988115)

IMHO, future operating systems will tend to something like the ErOS operating system [] . This OS is based on multiple tiny extremely reliable components, within a strong capability model to provide a high level of security.
It's definitely a good approach, although ErOS is still quite experimental yet.

NiggerOS, the OS of the BET crowd (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988169)

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MS's next step (0, Offtopic)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988116)

Blackcomb or whatever? Most linux ppl prolly didnt see this video that was out a while ago (before XP was out) since it was wmv. MS really likes this idea of charging you $29.99/mo for your OS livelyhood. They want services everywhere. Notpad service, etc. Right now I am happy using linux with serving and XP in my personal life - but I would suspect that service only OS would push others towards linux.

ha! (1)

burts_here (529713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988117)

if that works I'll eat my qualifications.

Whew (2)

Apreche (239272) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988118)

I thought they were talking about home users before I read the article. The Microsoft farsight thing seems like a good idea, as long as it is large corporations only. Using something like that at home is not good. What happened to Microsoft not working on anything new this month? Speaking of then not working on anything new this month I still haven't seen any patches on windows update. In 11 days of February they haven't solved 1 single problem with windows 2000 or IE? Give me a break.

10 Years Until We Waste Even More CPU (0)

Alt_Cognito (462081) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988119)

It seems that with every layer of utility they build into the OS, we add yet more code which wastes CPU cycles. Thank goodness for fast CPUs!

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988123)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(

Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other []
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

When that happens.... (1)

digitalamish (449285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988125)

I'll be the first to jump into my flying car and whistle all the way to work.
One electron was harmed in the typing of this note, but it deserved it.

As if anyone would trust (2)

GT_Alias (551463) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988141)

Microsoft to build something that obviously requires such a high degree of integration. If they can't build standalone securely, how on earth are they going to build this gigantic interwoven network without creating a hundred gaping holes? Oh wait, I must have forgotten about that Trustworthy computing initiative....

I doubt this will mean the death of the sys admin...someone still has to orchestrate this thing from some sort of central-type position.

Time to cut the cord (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988284)

Who ever said microsoft is going to build this amazing meta-OS? Their relevance ends at notepad and counterstrike and for the most part, those two can be done with wine. Cut the cord...don't automatically think "Microsoft" when somebody says "computer" or "operating system"

Re:Time to cut the cord (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988312)

Brave words. Unfortunately for you, the article discussed, among other things, Microsoft creating one of these new uber-OS.

Al Gore found having SEX with goat! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988142)

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You will be assimilated (4, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988144)

Reading the Microsoft part of the story, I can't help but laugh out loud at what sounds like inspired self-parody on their part. All computers on Earth connected in one vast, organic, interdependent web, with biomechanical implants, cube-shaped ships, and active "healing" capability, to boot.

I imagine my Linux boxen surrounded by a couple of stiff-legged, lumbering, wire-encrusted Borg machines, finally proving that resistance is, indeed, futile, as they make my boxen over in their own image.

And Bill's head, with that little shiny snake-like tail, being clamped onto his body as he assumes command.

Re:You will be assimilated (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988328)

Y'know, the Borg would never act unless they perceived someone to be a threat...

...but Microsoft perceives pretty much everyone as a threat, don't they?

Unrecognizable in 10 years? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988146)

Just like the ls -al commands I was issuing 10 years ago bear no resemblance to the ones I'm writing today.

Re:Unrecognizable in 10 years? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988179)

Yeah, we all use dir now. Anyone ever notice that the 'dir' utility for Unix (which is very similar to the DOS 'dir') blows the shit out of ls?

I mean what the fuck, Linux Lusers can't even get a directory listing working correctly?

And on a totally unrelated topic... (0, Offtopic)

Prisoner Of Gravity (555440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988237)

What the fuck is with that show Farscape? You know the one, with a production budget of approxiately $5.00 and some duct tape?

What kind of butt munch would consider this shite better than Lexx?

Copy the French (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988150)

It seems that anti-semitic violence is up in France. This is an excellent sign. Soon there shall be Nights of Broken Glass.

Linux? (2, Funny)

squant0 (553256) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988153)

I don't ever see M$ doing something good in the future, I mean hey, they have been around since the 70s and look what you get, Winblows. Linux on the otherhand, may not be moving toward self healing, but definitely is moving in a better way than M$. 10 years to do the same thing it took M$ to do in 30? And with the average salary going to developers of linux software being about a dollar a year... 10 years is a long time, I think something cool needs to happen in a year for it to make any kind of impact, I mean the macintosh was revolutionary in the eairly 80s, but 10 years from then, guis were standard. The OS sector needs something revolutionary like the GUI to spur it on into the next few years, not the next 10.

Re:Linux? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988361)

I don't know about you, but I'm a developer on the Linux platform and I definitely get paid more than $1 per year. Maybe you should look for a new job?

Progress... (1)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988165)

Over the past 10 years we've seen some fairly decent progress and increased complexity/"intelligence" in our operating systems. This means we have plenty more experienced OS developers than ever before. However, I must say that I've not seen anything 'self-healing' about any OS - definitely not from Microsoft. I don't believe Linux either, nor Macs.

I think we should concentrate on stability - prevent the problems/mistakes, don't try to auto-band-aid them.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988167)

So I come here today, hoping I wouldn't find any SLOP, but low and behold, there it is: SLOP, SLOP, and more SLOP. Jesus Christ people! Don't you ever get tired of all the SLOP around here?

Why don't you got to a real news website like Kuro5hin! [] There is a lot less SLOP at Kuro5hin than at SLOPdot.

Good day people, and may the SLOP be with you.

BTW, know where I can get some PUSSY?

Obligatory Star Trek Reference (3, Funny)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988168)

I'm looking forward to a time when the computer can be addressed from any point in the ship... um building, knows every bit of data ever publically recorded, remembers my music tastes, keeps a log for me, can run a Holodeck, make me a perfect dinner, and control warp fields... uh... in house heating- with perfection.

Until then, this all sounds like cute window dressing built on top of the next NT kernel.

Duh. (1)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988173)

Not to sound cynical, but isn't this fairly obvious? As distributed computing and peer-to-peer setups become increasingly popular, won't the next logical step be to come up with an efficient means of managing them? This is the kind of thing we talk about in COP 4600. Sure it's exciting, but not exactly news.

Hmmm. (0, Troll)

johnpg (204191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988181)

Has MS considered the possibility of making the operating systems and computers we already have work well in the first place?

As long as... (5, Informative)

BoarderPhreak (234086) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988183)

...This software isn't like Office X from Microsoft on the Mac where it scans your network for anti-piracy measures, but in the process opens up your machine wide to the Internet by opening several ports... Worse yet, not tell anyone about it!

Grumble, grumble...

Re:As long as... (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988212)

Can you throw us a link about that topic? It sounds very interesting...


Links (2)

Pfhor (40220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988267)

MS Notice: in /MS02-002.asp

And a thread talking about it on macintouch:

Re:As long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988246)

Using ipfw is pretty easy. Amazing, huh?

Mod Me Down If I'm Wrong..... (1, Insightful)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988186)

Is it just me or does "such as fault tolerance, self-tuning and robust security" just not sound like a Microsoft product to me...

And... ds /images/story/Farsite.gif

Was it just me or does the notion of a "Centralized file server" NOT sound like distributed computing to you?

Leave it to Microsoft to translate distributed into centralized

Re:Mod Me Down If I'm Wrong..... (1)

agrounds (227704) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988352)

Maybe they are thinking of a "distributed Terminal Server"..?
One can only imagine the vast reworkings of geek-speak they are capable of.

Imagine... (1)

68030 (215387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988201)

Am I the only one disappointed that we have an article about computers starting with the word Imagine that isn't immediatly followed by "a beowulf cluster of these"?

If I wasn't aware of better operating sytems
available I'd be whining about how Windows XP
made a mess of my harddrive while trying to
upgrade from 98se, or how the Win2k drivers
for my soundcard are fidgity and lamenting that
this is still the future.

Hell, if I hadn't gotten hosed by the operating
system blues this would have been "FIRST POST!!!"
because I wouldn't have had to look up my
randomly generated password for slashdot.

Oh woe is me. Someday I will be free of these
infernal machines.

re: "application programmers' jobs easier..." (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988208)

...this won't fly well at all in systems that are required to be audited and validated, for things like pharmaceuticals, where a certain degree of determinism is required...

A nice conspiracy theoretic rant (2, Interesting)

base3 (539820) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988209)

Beware this "distributed storage" push. As the intellectual "property" "industries" gain more and more control of the world's governments, storage will be in the hands of a few large companies, and not under the control of individual users.

Your digital "rights" managed TrustedPCs will connect to a giant virtual disk array via the network, where what you store will be subject to government and corporate monitoring and removal.

Think this is nuts? Where are the 200GB drives? Why is Intuit pushing us to store tax and financial information on their site? Why does Microsoft want to give us an authentication token that's good for retrieving our information "anywhere, anytime."

Why would anyone (other than a legitimate large corporation) have a need for local storage, once the Internet storage product is fast and cheap? I can only imagine one use for local storage--copyright infringement.

Re:A nice conspiracy theoretic rant (1)

sirinek (41507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988317)

They already have 160GB drives. Check

120GB 7200RPM IDE drives are under $200 now.


Hrmmm.... (1)

z84976 (64186) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988216)

Sounds kind of like the model of the old original Sun workstations in the early 80's...

Doesn't Lotus Notes do this already? (1)

lostboy2 (194153) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988226)

(regarding Farsite)

Granted, Lotus Notes is not strictly an OS and has its own limitations, but the idea of encryption, replication and assymmetrical trust relationships is something that Notes can do already.

-- D.

Not new (1)

Ashcrow (469400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988229)

I've heard about things like this in the past. It's not a bad idea except that it pushes for one OS only and networking protocals are not foolproof. Sniffing, injection, resurection of vampire taps, etc..., can chang the home cumputer from personal PC to global war ground.

Scalability problems, anyone? (4, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988231)

The target environment for [Microsoft's] Farsite is an organization in 2006 with 100,000 computers, 10 billion files and 10 petabytes (10,000TB) of data.

Surely there will be major scalability problems with something like this, a la Gnutella [] ?

The potential pitfalls of 100,000 computers trying to access each other across the same network gives me headaches just thinking about it.

Scary (2, Interesting)

amaprotu (527512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988238)

'Self Healing' scares me. I'm not entirely sure why, but I want to be in control of my computer. I'm afraid that with 'self healing' my computer can install things I don't want installed, uninstall things I do want and send all my information to Big Brother.

Now if it was open source, distributed OS with self healing I might be ok, I guess I just object to giving that much control to a large coorporation whos main concern is profits and not my privacy.

Finally... (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988240)

So there is something behind .Net, a giant global filestore ran by taa daa, Bill "G money" Gates and the M$FT hustlers. I gamble that the next thing we'll hear is "An XTC (X-box thin client) in every home, and a chicken in every pot"

Re:Finally... (0, Offtopic)

3am (314579) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988303)

The worlds worst pickup lines are actually:

"The human body is 90% water... and you're making me thirsty"


"If you were a sandwich at mcdonalds, it'd be called the "mcbeautiful""

Re:Finally... (0, Offtopic)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988333)

World's least effective pick-up line "Hey, nice shoes, wanna fuck?"
I heard an anecdote of this working, once. It was at Teikyo-Mary in Davenport IA if you want to go find her.

Personally, I fear the thought of the woman that would go along with this.

Im still waiting.... (1, Redundant)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988243)

Im stil waiting for the flying car promised in the 50's

Or the atomic car promised by ford in the 60's

Or the Artificial intelligence android promised me in the 70's

Or......I get it ....futurists have NO clue what so ever !

All this technolgy only makes it easier to kill each other, steal each other land and money, and pretty much lead more misearble meaningless existences than life was 50 years ago....

Predicting what an OS is going to be like now is hilarious. The systems architecture, may, be the exact same basis the PC has been for 20 years no. I got my first IBM PC in 81, they havent changed as much as you think, open up one of the antiques , youll see ....

So what is a computer going to be like in 10 years ? If you can predict this one way or another. Same or Radically different you could be the next BG....

Horseshit all of it...

OS's will be so smart in 10 years..... (5, Funny)

8string (316088) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988244)

Farsite is just one of several projects at Microsoft Research and other labs around the world that will render operating systems all but unrecognizable in 10 years. Farsite embodies several characteristics--such as fault tolerance, self-tuning and robust security--that will distinguish operating systems of the future.

So, Bill is finally going to release a version of windows that will automatically simulate pressing ctrl-alt-delete when it blue screens.

Many people would say it's MS's customers that have been fault tolerant.

And they're called (3, Funny)

gorilla (36491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988245)

VAX Clusters [] .

Already done (1)

DotComVictim (454236) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988248)

Mango [] software already does this. The file part anyways.

same old story (1)

NCamero (35481) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988250)

They said the same thing when I was in college 10 years ago.

Job Easier... (1)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988251)

Most technological improvements don't make a techies job easier. Because as soon as new technology becomes available to make something easier or less time consuming the entity that employs the techie thinks the techie should be able to accomplish more then the same time frame. So while certain technologies make jobs less mundane I don't think any innovation will make somebodys job easier. Unless of course it replaces the techie's function.

Hmmm... (5, Interesting)

dghcasp (459766) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988253)

Oh, you mean something like Plan 9 [] from Bell Labs?

I predict that there will never be a revolutionary new operating system until we break free of the chains imposed by Posix compliance. Until then, we're stuck with files that have to be streams of bytes, ugo-style permissions, non-wandering processes, incompatable RPC calls, &c.

And the real pain is there have been OS'es that have had simple & elegant solutions to problems that are hard under unix (Aegis, Multics, VMS, TOPS, ...) that were pushed aside by the steamroller that is Unix.

But to be fair, many of the forgotten O/S's are now forgotten because they weren't as general purpose as Unix. Unix is the great compromise. But it's hard to strive for the best when you've already accepted compromise.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988363)

But to be fair, many of the forgotten O/S's are now forgotten because they weren't as general purpose as Unix. Unix is the great compromise. But it's hard to strive for the best when you've already accepted compromise.

OK, you tell the CIO of [mid-sized corp] that he has to junk his $5m worth of Sun boxes because his O/S is a 'compromise'. The enterprise game is a one-shot deal. This isn't "ok, that pc is broken, ship it back to Dell" it's "you spent $500k on a machine that wasn't good enough? go find a new job".

The people that make technology decisions don't care about elegance.

Better get crackin' (2)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988266)

And get all these ideas implemented in the Linux kernel! Now that we know the future, we can be the first ones there!

But seriously, somehow I don't see this in 10 years.

So what's so special? (4, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988269)

Farsite, while ingenious, looks more like a fantastic file storage system than anything else. Is it possible that they've tweaked the UI that most of us are accostomed to the point where any more upgrades are aesthetic, feature or reliability driven, and aren't fundamental improvements on the current desktop analogy?
Will the majority of the computer using populace still be double clicking, dragging and dropping, and 'opening' folders and hard drives 10, 15 years from now?

Could be. Could be.

Freenet (2, Informative)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988271)

Looking at the diagram at the bottom of the article, I was reminded of how Freenet works... so at least in that area it looks a bit redundant. The article seems to describe more of a grouping of many ideas which have been out for a while and adding in a bit of marketing hype. Nothing to impressive, but intresting none the less.

Doesn't that look a lot like Freenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988272)

It does to me

Sure (1)

SunkingvstheChicken (210926) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988280)

And they'll make me breakfast too.

"Is there no place in this world for a man with a 105 IQ?" -- Homer Jay Simpson

Druthers (5, Funny)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988282)

I don't need a self-healing computer nearly as much as I need a self-painting house and a self-mowing lawn. And my wife could sure as heck use a self-fueling car.

The future belongs to Plan 9 (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988288)

Don'cha just love it when people "predict" what's already nearly available? And without even mentioning its existence in the article.

And don'cha just love it when MS "predicts" that they'll "inovate" by duplicating it under the MS banner?

Anybody care to "predict" the havoc that might insue when such OS's gain wide public use? I'd be leery of using such even in my isolated from the internet home network until it was proven to be absolutely secure, something today's less interactive computer nets can't even manage.

I'm happy that people are looking forward to, and researching, the future.

Would it hurt if a few people spent a bit more time making the present work worth a shit?


These guys already do alot of that... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988289)

plan9 (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988304)

isnt this similar to what plan9 is trying to accomplish?

plan 9 from bell labs []

...twixt the cup and the lip (3)

d5w (513456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988310)

There's a good side and a bad side to this, considering the companies working on it. The good news is that whenever the researchers are talking about Byzantine fault tolerance you can translate that as "assume the machines on the network are unsecured Windows PCs". In that sense it's great to hear of Microsoft feeding a reporter that phrase, since it suggests a from-the-ground-up specification that doesn't inherit the security holes of the past and is robust against insecure machines.

The bad side, which is closer to reality, is that a computer company working in an "extend our existing market" mode will find find it irresistable to tie new things tightly to the innards of what already been deployed. That's a great way to ensure that you inherit security flaws from whatever old model you had, however good the theory of your new system is.

nothing will happen in ten years (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988311)

The evolution cycle of operating systems is well over 20 years. So in ten years, things will be just as they are. As the persistence of Unix, including its MacOS X and Linux derivatives, te demise of BeOS show, nobody is interested in revolutionnary OS architectures. They're just useless. Wasted time. Better hardware, network protocols that are universally supported, and more specialized software is wht makes computer do more things than they used to. Nobody wants a new OS architecture.

Microsoft's Plastic Future(tm) (1)

agrounds (227704) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988315)

Imagine a whole world of distributed termimals running WindowsXP with the Fischer-Price Blue and Green Plastic Desktop Theme!! The mind reels, and Martha Stewart drops dead of a massive coronary!

So, in other words, MS invents UNIX (0, Troll)

BravoZuluM (232200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988321)


The Apollo workstations did this in the 80's on a Unix variant. On that system, it was hard to tell where the computer left off and the network and began. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that my user directory and applications were actually on another machine in another building. What was missing however was the self healing aspect, although I think that could have been dealt with.

I remember when the Mac went from 24bit to 32bit. Microsoft was at Windows 3.1 16 bit. Microsoft spent a bunch of time trying to convince people that 32bit was overhyped and that 32 bit didn't matter. Once Windows 95 came out, they completely reversed course and told everyone that your word processors will no longer work as well because they weren't 32 bit.

Microsoft has downplayed the value of Unix for years. They suggest the value of some of Unix'es virtues as irrelevant. Then as they add the feature, it become the greatest thing since sliced bread. I.E. terminal services...

I'm certain that in 10 years when Microsoft "invents" and patents this, there will be a concerted effort to convert us all. Maybe Passport is the first step.


The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2988335)

In the future, ENTIRE CITIES will be built around these things!

Borg Time... (5, Funny)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988344)

Let me see if I've got this straight:

1. /. story about Microsoft getting legal permission to take over your computer, as part of a EULA.

2. ComputerWorld story that includes a line about how Microsft sees the computer of the future as one giant logical system with many small partitions.

Is anyone else joining the dots like I am?

I've been doing this too long (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988345)

'cause I remember stuff like this when I *started* doing IT, in 1990. I'm too young to be crabby and cynical!

Not going to happen. (1)

Mr. Piccolo (18045) | more than 12 years ago | (#2988355)

Guaranteed. They've been predicting this kind of distributed computing is 10 years away for 20 years, at least, and guess what? Still 10 years away!

Time to give up and focus on writing easy-to-use secure systems that DON'T CRASH!
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