14 September 2011

Another operating system to rival Windows

I cannot remember a time when the prominence of competitors to Microsoft's ubiquitous operating system Windows (r) has ever had so much overt competition. For years, we have lived with various versions of Windows (r) on our laptops and PCs from the early '90s to now.

Linux has been around for some time now in various forms, such as Ubuntu or Fedora, but has not reached the mainstream of consumer computers (although the number of web servers running using Linux is enormous), partly because it is a little more tricky to install than Windows (r) and also because there are few applications for it.

Google has its own open source operating system, ChromeOS, which is now available pre-installed on a small number of laptops which looks intriguing. For mobile devices, Microsoft has been severely beaten up by Apple and Google with their respective iOs and Android operating systems.

However, there is another operating system in the offing which sprang to prominence yesterday when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was approached by a high school student for €1m for funding to finish development of their own operating system, ReactOSIt is supposed to be compatible with Windows applications but much faster than the 'bloated' Microsoft OS. 

Whether ReactOS gets the funding remains to be seen, but the fact that the choice of operating systems for users is growing demonstrates the growing pressure on Microsoft to innovate or face a future where their operating system is overtaken by quicker and faster competitors.