This is not a retelling of the siege of Troy. But another epic battle is being fought today, with the futures of great empires again en prise.
I have been saying for over a year now operating systems don't matter anymore. Yes, that is a bit of a Molotov cocktail, but pause to consider and you'll see every day evidence that the future of application design is very thin indeed.
As WSJ's Lee Gomes made plain in a recent column:
Browsers have been getting and displaying information since the web began. What's new is that Ajax lets them do so in a speedier way. In the past, to change even a small part of a web page required reloading the entire page. But Ajax knows to fetch only the part of the screen that needs changing. Because less information is being sent from the main server, things move more quickly. That takes Ajax applications a big step toward the Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in web-based programs that's usually associated only with desktop software. Sealing the Ajax deal for many programmers is the fact that everything required for it is standard, generic software that isn't owned by any company and that exists in every browser. The winners here are anyone who wants to build a new generation of Internet programs, especially Google, which hasn't been shy about moving into areas previously connected with Microsoft.
Big changes are afoot, accelerating the pace of creative destruction within the hardware industry, and even reshaping our basic conceptions of how (and where) knowledge work will be done.
As a technology generalist most focused on security solutions, I can tell you confidently this trend bodes well for the good guys. Now is the time for businesses to first consider addressing with application re-writes the many serious security issues that plague IT today. Thus far, most pundits' advice (and commercial product lines) have involved installing a lot of specialized networking gear.
Smart money, and common sense, points in the opposite direction, I believe.