The end of desktop applications?

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jmason1182
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Post by jmason1182 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:21 pm

Hey I want to post on this.... from experience.

A buddy of mine named Mike were talking back in 2002 at Texas A&M about an idea of how we could implement the first OS that was strictly on the web. It would consist of basically the BIOS firing off a loader (can we say, BOOTP) that would work over an ethernet connection to load the latest OS that would ONLY open a simple API type system.

This system would only have an API that would allow the creation of windows and memory handling features so that every application you wanted to run would be actually run on a server. But the server would send the display calls to the local client OS's API so that your computer would handle all painting, redrawing, etc.

Immediately we figured out why it wouldn't work. First off, the security would be the biggest concern. Even if you save your files on your local computer, the server is handling that information! That means a so-called public server would have your deepest darkest secret (whether you were looking for a new job, cheating on your wife, making online purchases, keeping track of your bank account and other assets, etc.). So would you... the educated computer programmer who should know better... would you be willing to put that type of information out there and just trust that it's safe?

And who's to say that you can perfect the model so that a virus, malware, spyware or the like can't tamper with the OS? And who's to stop the companies (that you would HAVE to pay your fee to to have access to their software) from using the active connection to stream advertising to your desktop?

I don't want Windows Live. I don't want Google Apps. So far, they aren't really pushing alot of ads and so far we think they are secure when we use them. But when they figure out that they could advertise, monitor, or even steal information from connected users because "HEY THEY CONTROL THE SOFTWARE AND THUS YOUR MACHINE" then the cats out of the bag.

I don't do the usual warez searching, porn searching or the like anymore because I'm tired of malware/spyware/adware. Why the heck would I want to introduce that all back in by making my main applications to do my work be based ONLINE and not in the security behind my firewall?

And... not to mention every single programmer out there would have to go back to school to learn the REAL ins-and-outs of online security and protocol programming. It just isn't practical or feasible.

NOW... a derivative of that concept is currently being tested. So far it has a 50% chance of survival and they are quoting "instant updates", "data protection" (from crashes and such), "high encryption standards", "greater speed"... (yeah... we'll just load what we need when we need it and say we can accomplish high speed. After all, the average home owner and business has a 100MB internet connection anyway right!?)..... I don't think so.

AJAX and other similar technologies (can we call them that?) are cool to use and they can do some neat things. But 100% of all REAL computation is still and will always be done on a local processor. That means the locally installed OS, applications, games, you name it are safe for as long into the future as we can currently see. (think about it... who actually says that remote application hosting has a chance? The people who stand to make a lot of money from people investing in its development! The real software makers don't buy it yet. For a good reason.)

Thank you for my soap box moment. :wink:

John A. Mason
John A. Mason
Midland, TX

jmason1182
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Re: The end of desktop applications?

Post by jmason1182 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:53 pm

It's funny how sometimes you go back and read your own posts.... I just read mine for back then and I actually sound like my grandfather! He STILL says "Why in the hell would I need a fax machine!? I got stamps!" I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

P.S. - I still don't use google apps, don't really use the cloud for anything, and I even don't trust iTunes (even though I do have an iPhone).... so I guess I haven't really changed my tune. But I can say I have seen some really great stuff out there addressing my main problem with all this stuff: security. Citrix does some good remote hosting apps with good security, windows terminal server (though it's a stretch to say it's the same thing...) can be secured down fairly well, and even on the storage side services like Ubuntu One do some great encryption on all the files stored in the cloud. So things are changing that way (you knew this, I'm just confirming I'm not the total close-minded idiot I was 5 years ago!) I personally don't trust it quite yet, but then again, "Why in the hell would I need a fax machine!? I got stamps!"

Anyway... I'm taking my soap box and quietly going home now...

#-o
John A. Mason
Midland, TX

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