University of Cambridge > > Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks > Is The Rise of Cloud Storage, Cloud Computing and Social Networks a Consequence of a Failed OS (Operating System) Design?

Is The Rise of Cloud Storage, Cloud Computing and Social Networks a Consequence of a Failed OS (Operating System) Design?

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On the one hand, many regard the Operating Systems as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, and Windows 7, as major success stories of Microsoft. Indeed, for non-geeks, Windows is regarded as user-friendly and so ideal. However, some critical of Microsoft have pointed out that Windows 95 had for all practical purposes ignored the internet and only after the start of browser wars became Internet Explorer a success story.

Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter are regarded as the corporations of the future. Cloud storage seems to replace local storage and cloud computing is competing with supercomputers.

We will critically analyse the history of the modern operating system. We argue that in essence not much has changed since 1998. In this lecture we start by analysing what impact the WWW should have had on the design of operating systems. We wonder, in particular, why we have ended up in a world where huge servers have become vast power consumers, while at the same time many PC’s are idle and their disks almost empty. We will combine this understanding with our different viewpoint on the WWW to hypothesise how we might have ended up in a world were servers would be less dominant, Facebook non-existent, etc.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks series.

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