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Is the iCloud the end of the Linux & Windows desktop?

I think a cloud-based operating system, like Google’ Chrome OS, has a bright future. But, when I look at Apple’s Lion, which will only be available as an upgrade by a 4GB download, and iCloud plans I begin to wonder just how much any fat-client operating system-Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows-have if Apple and Google have their way.

As Jobs put it, the PC centric data model is broken. And, so the digital hub will move from being the PC to the iCloud and the Mac will be “demoted.”

What did he mean by that? My fellow ZDNet writer, Andrew Nusca, put it well, “Mac vs. PC vs. Linux argument from the early days of consumer computing has lost a great deal of its luster in recent years with the development of cloud computing on the open web.” The operating system wars are far from over though. Nusca continued, “Concept of platform wars is quickly making up for lost ground with the development of cloud computing in the closed mobile space.”

I’ve always thought that thin-client computing has its place in technology. That’s one reason why I think Google’s Chrome OS has a real shot in dethroning the Window desktop in the office. By making the iCloud the center of everything, instead of the Mac, Apple is trying to wean consumers away from the fat-client PC model that’s served us so well since the day the first IBM PC rolled off the assembly line.

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