The Operating System Deadpool

By  |  Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm

My post on the beginning of the end of the Mac has put me in a mood to contemplate the mortality of operating systems. If anybody out there thinks that, say, Windows will utterly cease to exist in the next decade or two–well, you’re wrong. But assuming that mankind makes it though a few more centuries, the day will come when every operating system currently in use suffers the same sad fate as Pontiac and Mercury, Woolworths, LIFE magazine, and other basic facts of life that eventually went away.

(I do predict, however, that Blondie, Log Cabin Syrup, and Larry King will be around for as long as humanity survives, and possibly longer.)

Anyhow, here’s a silly little poll:


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14 Comments For This Post

  1. PeterJames Says:

    By iOS… do you mean Cisco or iPhone?
    If it’s Cisco… that has my Vote

  2. Steven Fisher Says:

    I voted Linux. Not because I think it has been or will be anything really worth saving, but in the sense that it is incapable of death.

  3. Larry Velázquez Says:

    Tricky question. What if an OS eventually evolves to the point where it would be unrecognizable today, but there is a clear evolutionary path back to a current OS? Does that count as a continuation of the current OS?

  4. Dixon Marshall Says:

    Long live MS-DOS!

  5. Paul Judd Says:

    I picked DOS purely for the reason that certain obsolete technology from the DOS era is still being used today in some capacity and nobody want’s to change things. Certain technologies have a way of sticking around.

  6. Paul Judd Says:

    Oh and for the record, iOS has to refer to the Apple OS. Cisco’s operating system is called IOS (note the uppercase)

  7. Greg Says:

    It’s Linux. Apple and Microsoft may choose to pull the plug on OS X and Windows someday. (Even Microsoft eventually killed DOS). But I can’t imagine how this would work for Linux.

  8. campbell2644 Says:

    Linux will evolve eternally by its very nature. Its future form may not be recognizable to us today.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Linux is doomed to forever aimlessly wander the technology world in a vain effort to be anything and everything for every use. Jack of all trades, master of none. (Particularly desktop use. The twelve or so Linux devs per project who know what they’re doing code-wise are not UI engineers. As long as the neckbeard code patrol writes software for *them*, not *average Joe Sixpack users*, they’ll be lucky to be more than statistical noise in desktop market share.)

  10. David Says:

    Why do tech people insist on calling non-tech computer users “Joe Sixpack?” Hey Anonymous, can you rebuild an engine, remove an appendix, paint a masterpiece, perform on stage or one of the hundreds of tasks that don’t require knowledge of operating system internals?

    Being a techie doesn’t make one any smarter or any less a sixpack than a Doctor.

  11. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    OS X is the core system under both Mac OS X and iOS, so this is a little confusingly written. It’s clearer to say “Mac OS” than “OS X” if you’re talking about the Mac.

  12. drew Says:

    I think that there are two issues; a company killing off an OS, and then the OS dying in the wild. I am sure if I did through my stuff I could turn up a Win95 CD or maybe even a MS-DOS 6.0 diskette or two.

    I am always amazed when I see businesses using a new(ish) Windows machine, and they are running a legacy software app with a DOS interface. They have used it so long, and are so tied into it (“I know how it works”) and have so many records in it that they are unwilling or unable to break free.

  13. Dave Barnes Says:

    z/OS (aka MVS)
    IBM Mainframes.

  14. Paul Web Says:

    My vote goes to Linux.