The golden age of PCs was DOS. Why? Because the OS made it very easy to write quick, powerful programs. DOS was a simple single-tasking operating system. It was easy to program on DOS because their were a lot of vendors with competing compilers that made writing applications relatively simple.
With the release of Windows, Microsoft made things much more complicated and then made it so complicated that Microsoft is now one of the ONLY company that can develop sophisticated applications on Windows. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not really very good at programming and does not need to innovate because they don’t have any competition.
But, now something very interesting is happening. The Palm Pre phone has a multi-tasking operating. And if they follow the model of Apple’s iPhone, it should be relatively easy to develop applications for it. What this means is that the cell phone industry is now the premier platform for developing new applications. The iPhone has 75,000 inexpensive but solid applications. And if Apple can develop a multi-tasking version of its operating system, we might see a real revolution in mobile computing.
Imagine using your desktop applications in miniature versions from your multi-tasking cell phone using high-speed Internet to access your office contact management, data-entry and accounting systems. Wow. Truly mobile computing. This new open platform could hopefully put some pressure on Microsoft. And as applications increasingly become web-based (also known as Software-as-a-Service) it might be the beginning of the end to Microsoft’s domination of the PC software industry. Are you as excited about the future of cell phone technology as I am?
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