Friday, 10 July 2009

The end of the desktop?

Keep an eye on Google over the next few years as I feel the web will be where all the action will be. Even Linux (Ubuntu etc) may not be needed as a free alternative desktop operating system as Google Chrome could be the first large scale free desktop focused operating system that works directly with the Internet as a fully functioning desktop. I have moved from Microsoft Office to Open Office and now use Google Docs, spreadsheets and presentation etc as these are as powerful as I need (plus excellent for collaborative working). An additional advantage to me is that they are available from any computer. The Google docs will update the online version when the computer has an internet connection.

If the Digital Britain report is realised, then everyone will have access (if they want it) to the Internet and free software. However I feel that skilled and talented artists will still need GIMP/Photoshop as the complexity of the software could not run from the Internet just yet (just wait a few years though). I am seriously looking at Second Life as this appears to be powerful enough to create simulations such as a classroom, lecture theatre and to simulate businesses such as a hairdressing shop, motor vehicle workshops etc. I am starting to explore how real I can make it as far as performing the actual job role of a mechanic etc.

The way forward is FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open Source Software) and peer collaboration... Moodle is proof of that. We just need to keep an eye on the copyright and privacy policies etc of Google.