Google's Chrome operating system isn't the only thing threatening Windows these days. In a recent New York Times story, VMware CEO Paul Maritz highlighted how dynamic Web frameworks and languages are fundamentally shifting our understanding of the operating system. He said, "If you are in Ruby on Rails, you have to work really hard to tell what the operating system is, it is so far removed."
I spoke with Engine Yard's Yehuda Katz, a member of the Ruby on Rails core team, who said that open-source platforms like Ruby on Rails are changing the game by giving power to the developer to make decisions. "The freedom that comes with open standards and open-source software like Rails will ultimately make software applications better. We believe the replacement of the traditional desktop with application-centric development will benefit everyone."
These comments bring to light the changing nature of application development. A decade ago, if you were writing an application, chances were you were writing it for Windows. Today, there's a good chance you're writing it for the Web as a platform. A new generation of applications are both Web-centric and OS neutral thanks to open-source development platforms.
Importantly, the language and underpinning architecture for Web applications doesn't matter to the end-user (though it has serious impact on the development and operations teams). What matters is the ability to add new features quickly and affordably. … Read more