PC-OS (PERSONAL COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEMS)

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FREE ENTERPRISE AND THE CASE OF PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD COMPUTING

This page can be viewed as a continuation of the "Search Engine" page of this website. The "Search Engine" page demonstrated that, from the perspective of households, a free enterprise system means consumer choice. The "Search Engine" page demonstrated that, whereas Google currently is the Number One search engine in the world as of 2015, consumers do have a range of alternative search engines from which to choose. (Of course, from the perspective of businesses, the free enterprise system means earning profits.)

Search Engines: "Desktop" Market Share as of August 2015


Search Engines: "Mobile/tablet" Market Share as of August 2015

On this page, attention is focused on personal computer (PC) operating systems (OS) instead of search engines. As of 2015, Microsoft Windows reigns as the Number One operating system in the world for personal computers. Much like the case with search engines, there also are numerous alternatives to the Windows operating system from which to choose—albeit most of these alternatives emanate from the Linux ecosystem. This page introduces several of these alternative operating systems.

Operating Systems: "Desktop" Computer Market Share as of August 2015

OPERATING SYSTEMS AND PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD COMPUTING

In recent years, with the emergence of new technologies, there has been much upheaval in the field of personal household computing. In the USA, for instance, there has been a gradual decline in desktop computing in favor of alternative means of mobile computing such as computing via laptops, tablets, smartphones, eReaders, gaming consoles, and even browser-based cloud computing. But, to paraphrase Mark Twain, proclamations about the desktop computer's demise are greatly exaggerated. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), currently as of 2015, the leading desktop computer makers in the world are Lenovo (at Number One), HP, Dell, Acer Group, and Apple, respectively.

Top 5 Personal Computer (PC) Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, Fourth Quarter 2014 (Preliminary)

And, of course, numerous clone or IBM-compatible computer builders still exist and are open for business. Most desktop computers have either an Intel or an AMD microprocessor installed inside them.

As the above NetMarketShare graphic illustrates, when it comes to installed operating systems on personal (desktop) computers, currently as of 2015, the leading operating systems in the world are Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux (such as Ubuntu), and BSD (such as GhostBSD). To be sure, some view the Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh operating systems as the Bugattis and the Ferraris of operating systems, so to speak. Consumers pay good money for the privilege of using these two commercially available operating systems. In turn, Microsoft and Apple go to great lengths to offer consumers quality, value, a feature-rich, painless, and enjoyable computing experience in exchange for their patronage.

The Big Four operating systems (that is, Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and BSD) typically come equipped with a multitude of features and capabilities. In some instances, you can try these operating systems before you buy them either by going into a retail store and dabbling with them or by securing and running one of the companion Live CD/DVD discs or by downloading and creating a Live USB stick.

The unique thing is this about open-source operating systems such as Linux and BSD: Open-source operating systems generally are offered to consumers for free or for a nominal price. Open-source operating systems—and their companion open-source software applications—have been hailed as a giant step forward. The reason is because they enable less financially fortunate citizens a way to legally and at once cheaply join the Computer Age. This affordability option is much, much more preferable to less financially fortunate citizens having to take the illegal, bootleg route to joining the Computer Age.


ALTERNATIVE OPERATING SYSTEMS

The Big Four operating systems are the most popular ones, but they are not the only options available to consumers in the economic marketplace. Consider these alternatives, for instance:

Two additional alternative operating systems include these:

Another novel operating system approach is Webconverger's Live CD or Live USB approach to personal cloud computing. In the case of WebConverger, by booting the desktop computer from its CD/DVD drive or its USB port, you can do all of your personal computing via a web browser in the cloud. You would do so by using the web browser available in WebConverger to tap into a range of cloud applications and cloud storage. Examples of integrated cloud applications include:

For those who enjoy computing in the cloud, as the following two links illustrate, hundreds of standalone cloud applications also exist from which to choose.

Closely related to the Webconverger operating system approach is the Google Chrome operating system approach as exemplified by its companion and cloud-based Chromebook notebook computing device. That is to say, the Google Chromebook is powered by the Google Chrome operating system. The idea behind the concept of Google Chrome and Chromebook was this: It was an attempt to create a wholly new way of computing that occurred strictly in the cloud via the web browser. Together, the Chromebook and its Chrome operating system would perform computing tasks by hooking into and making use of cloud-based software applications via its Chrome web browser. Upon making this new cloud-based computing paradigm the computing norm for most users, gone would be days of constantly having to upgrade your personal computer hardware (for example, by purchasing a bigger and faster hard drive, purchasing more memory, upgrading to a faster microprocessor, and so forth) and software (for example, upgrading the operating system version, upgrading the software application version, securing and updating virus and malware protections, and so forth). With this cloud-based approach to personal computing, software updates, upgrades, and refreshes would occur automatically and transparently on cloud servers. Computer security and protections against viral intrusions would occur automatically on cloud servers. Users instantly would have access to all updated features the next time that they logged into their Chromebooks. User would not have to worry about viruses and spyware being unknowingly deposited on their computers. The following two videos provide demonstrations of the Chromebook, the Chrome operating system, and the Chrome web browser.

Watch (Samsung Chromebook: Unboxing & Review)



Watch (Chrome OS Guided Tour)

On the minus side of cloud computing, gone also would be the days of computer freedom and independence. That is to say, when it comes to 100% reliance on the cloud computing paradigm, you no longer own or control the software applications that you use or the documents that you create. Everything would reside in the cloud. The cloud host would be in control of the software applications that you use and the documents that you create. What would happen if the cloud host suddenly went out of business? What would happen if the cloud host suddenly began to charge exhorbitant fees? You would be stuck, which would not be good.

Another potential minus to cloud computing are the privacy and security issues. How private and secure are your cloud-stored word-processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and graphics documents? With your documents stored in the cloud, you just never know who could snooping and reading your documents. Are cloud host employees secretly reading your cloud documents? Is the government secretly tapping into cloud servers and reading your cloud documents? Has a hacker figured out your login credentials, logged into your cloud account, and downloaded a copy of your cloud documents?

I very, very strongly recommend that you do not install any of the above-mentioned alternative operating systems on your existing, primary personal computing—or smartphone—device(s). Instead, I very, very highly recommend that you tryout these alternative operating systems on a secondary computer system that has been reserved exclusively for the purpose of testing various operating systems. The secondary computer should be used for testing before permanently switching to an alternate operating system.

One major drawback to some of these alternative operating systems is this: A variety of software applications are not always available to run on them compared to, say, Microsoft Windows. Another major drawback to some of these alternative operating systems is this: They do not always provide adequate support for detecting all kinds of hardware accessories such as the latest all-in-one printers, wireless adapters, Bluetooth devices, video or graphics chipsets, sound chipsets, removable flash memorty disks and ports, CD/DVD optical devices, infrared devices, SATA devices, USB and Firewire ports, touchscreen functionality, and so forth. To be sure, the area where Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh excel is their ease of use not to mention their "Swiss Army Knife" factor. Perhaps the most decisive selling point of Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh is the fact that they are plug-and-play operating systems. Plug-and-play means this: When you connect, attach, or plug a hardware accessory to the computer, it works or it plays. These hardware accessories are automatically detected and configured to work by the computer's operating system with little intervention required on your behalf. Consumers cherish the ease-of-use, plug-and-play, and user-friendly computing experience. Consumers enjoy having everything work on the personal computer straight out of the box (or by having everything working quickly with the help of, say, an easy-to-use installation disc). Many consumers do not have the time, patience, experience, interest, or confidence to sit around and try to figure out how to make various hardware accessories work on their personal computers.


ENJOYING THE BEST OF ALL OPERATING SYSTEM WORLDS

In typical free enterprise fashion, a way has been made for consumers to enjoy the best of the Big Four operating systems worlds. It is called the virtual operating system approach. That is to say, software applications such as VirtualBox, Bochs, VMWare, and Parallels Desktop make it possible to concurrently run several popular operating systems on the same desktop computer without having to restart the computer.

The next two videos provide an introductory look at the VirtualBox approach.

Watch (How To Use VirtualBox - Complete Step by Step Tutorial)



Watch (Check Out VirtualBox Seamless Mode In Action And How To Activate It)

Before these aforementioned virtual operating system applications became popular, if you wanted to conveniently run two or more operating systems concurrently on the same desktop computer, then one approach was to attach a switch box to the personal computer. You would turn a button on the box to switch between internal hard drives. A different operating system would be installed and running on each of these switchable internal hard drives.


WEB DESKTOPS

There always has been interest in pushing the web browser to its limit. There always has been interest in expanding the functionality and versatility of the web browser. One bold approach to enhancing the web browser's functionality and versatility has been to make the web browser mimic or function as if it were an operating system. To achieve this goal of making the web browser mimic an operating system, web desktops were created. Web desktops are not "operating systems" in the true meaning of the term. Instead, web desktops are meant to mimic or simulate popular operating systems. In a sense, the web desktop is akin to being a very sophisticated cloud application.

The web desktop ecosystem began with much fanfare and promise. Lately, as of 2015, interest in web desktops has waned. Recent efforts to propel the development of web desktops to the next level of creativity have been lackadaisical at best. The lack of luster for developing and enhancing web desktops, in part, might be attributed to a lack of profits. Moreover, web desktops do not seem to be too appealing to consumers. That is, so far, consumers have not embraced web desktops with the same zeal as they have shown for desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and so forth.

Zonbu is one of those web desktops that appears to be bucking the declining trend. Moreover, as of 2015, Zonbu has remained faithful to the original web desktop vision. The next video offers a demonstration of Zonbu in action.

Watch (Zonbu Demo)

Two approaches have emerged for implementing web desktops. The first approach is to host your own web desktop on a web server either for personal, household, small business, or even for public use. For personally hosted web desktops, you are in complete control of installing, maintaining, and administering it. The web desktop software usually is provided as open-source software. Some examples of this first approach to web desktops include:

The second and the more popular approach for implementing web desktops is to utilize someone else's independently hosted web desktop—usually a private corporation's web desktop. For independently hosted web desktops, sometimes they only are available on a commercial or paid basis. Whether available for free or for a fee, you normally have to register for an account or register for a subscription to use an independently hosted web desktop. Some examples of this second approach to web desktops include:


WEB DESKTOPS RELOADED

Web desktops might be a bit down on their luck in terms of achieving widespread consumer acceptance in the economic marketplace, but they most definitely have not been knocked out of the competitive household computing game. There have been renewed attempts to revive the web desktop. A newer generation of web desktops has begun to emerge. Web desktops such as symbiose, SkyLight, and OS.js represent this newer generation of JavaScript-based web desktops. In terms of the depth of their features, as of 2015, this newer generation of JavaScript-based web desktops remains a work in progress.

The following links provide demonstration versions of symbiose, SkyLight, and OS.js.


A chief advantage of web desktops is this: You do not need to own a computer to enjoy the full benefits of owning a computer. With a web desktop, you only need access to a web browser coupled with a high-speed Internet connection. After the web desktop is running, it feels as if you are using a regular desktop computer. You gain access to your web desktop applications and personal files anytime and from anyplace simply by using any computing device. A chief disadvantage of a web desktop is this: No Internet connection, no web desktop.


THE SMARTPHONE ECOSYTEM

I think that the mobile phone also deserves mentioning here. The mobile phone is no longer simply a voice device. The latest generation of mobile phones, that is, the smartphone, has emerged as a computing device in its own right. In the USA, the smartphone has begun to eclipse the desktop computer in popularity. Whereas the desktop computer remains the primary computing tool used by many USA households at their places of work, the smartphone is becoming the primary computing tool used by many USA households at home. One reason for the smartphone's popularity is its mobility. Another reason for the smartphone's popularity resides in its compactness and versatility. The smartphone easily can be carried around in one's pocket or purse. Moreover, unlike its predecessor, the personal digital assistant, the smartphone has been designed to perform a range of diverse and complex tasks in addition to its voice function.

In much the same sense as there is competition and consumer choices with desktop computer operating systems, in a free enterprise system, similar competition and choices exist within the smartphone ecosystem. The following graphic illustrates that, currently as of 2015, Samsung reigns as the Number One smartphone vendor in the world. However, there are numerous smartphone alternatives from which to choose.

Top 5 Smartphone Vendors by Market Share for 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012
IDC: Smartphone Vendor Market Share 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 Chart

To be sure, when smartphones are included in the count, then Microsoft Windows no longer remains the Number One operating system in the world. According to NetMarketShare, when smartphones are included in the count, then Android reigns as the Number One operating system in the world for smartphones as of 2015.

Operating Systems: "Mobile/Tablet" Market Share as of August 2015

Some less popular yet notable smarthphone operating systems include the following two.

Similarly, when smartphones are included in the count, then Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge no longer remains the Number One web browser in the world. According to NetMarketShare, when smartphones are included in the count, then the Safari web browser becomes the Number One web browser in the world as of 2015.

Web Browsers: "Desktop" Market Share as of August 2015


Web Browsers: "Mobile/Tablet" Market Share as of August 2015

Smartphone competition does not end with operating systems and web browsers. Thousands of software applications have been created to run on smartphones. With Google's Android and Apple's iOS being two of the most popular smartphone operating systems in the world, it follows that most smartphone apps have been created to run on Android and iPhone smartphones. The following link lists the software application based for smartphones.

One of the best ways to tryout various smartphones is to go into a retail store and perform side-by-side comparisons of them based on various attributes such as price, capabilities, ease of use, performance, durability, and so forth. Another way to tryout a smartphone is to obtain and install one of the smartphone emulator applications.

As a measure of the smartphone's popularity, in the USA, for instance, much like television sets, on the one hand, several personal computers in the home might be shared by several household members. On the other hand, in the USA, in many instances, each household member might possess his or her very own smartphone. With smartphones becoming more powerful and more versatile in scope as time passes, some smartphone users have begun asking, "Who needs a personal computer?" They have begun answering their own question by saying, "My smartphone can handle just about all of my essential computing needs." Of course, in my opinion, creating an elaborate spreadsheet or a database on a smartphone does not afford the user as rich of an experience as compared to creating the same spreadsheet or database on a personal computer. One reason is this: It is so much easier and so much more convenient to experiment with automation tools such as macros, scripts, and so forth, on a personal computer as compared to a smartphone.


FREE ENTERPRISE CONCLUSIONS

The chief utility of a free enterprise system of commerce is consumer choice. In their quests to earn profits in a free enterprise system, businesses tend to spring up and dot the landscape much like flowers blossoming in springtime. Businesses tend to offer consumers a wide range of choices in exchange for making a profit. Over time, however, in a free enterprise system, several business firms do tend to emerge as the dominant players in a given industry. With the passage of time, several business firms do tend to grow to the point that they dominate all competitors in a given industry. In some instances, these business giants grow to monopolize the industry.

As a general rule of thumb in a free enterprise system, the motto "if you cannot beat them, then join them," reigns supreme. This motto means that, if your own unique business venture or business brand does not meet with commercial success, then adopt a business strategy or business brand to emulate the commercially successful ones. The aim is to attract some of the would-be customers away from commercially successful business ventures and entice them to come patronage your place of business. The technique of emulation works. The technique of emulation explains why, say, popular hamburger-oriented business franchises such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Dairy Queen, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, etc. are able to co-exist and flourish. Unfortunately, when the element of greed enters the free enterprise picture, some businesses do resort to cheating and corruption as a way to boost profits. Illicit business activities such as cheating and corruption tend to attract other kinds of criminal activities. Illicit business activities sometimes invite a more hardcore and ruthless breed of players into the picture such as those who engage in activities like extortion, coercion, violence, gunplay, and murder.

One the one hand, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with earning a lot of money and becoming extremely wealthy, especially if the money is earned fairly and in accordance with the law. On the other hand, money, power, greed, sex, politics, religion, and ethnicity/race literally can drive some humans into madness. To be sure, one of the downsides to a free enterprise system of commerce is its focus on profits sometimes to the detriment of the public good (that is, the public good means, say, to not totally befoul the environment or destroy ecosystems in the course of conducting business activities). One role of government is to monitor and prevent private businesses from causing more public harm than good. It becomes a delicate balancing feat for government to perform. While monitoring and preventing businesses from causing more public harm than good, the government does not wish to overreach into the private marketplace to the point that government begins to stifle business innovation and ingenuity. Generally speaking, government attempts to level the playing field by establishing rules, regulations, and laws of fair play for all private businesses to follow. By so doing, private businesses would succeed or fail strictly on the basis of fair competition, managerial competence, and so forth. For, by their very profit-driven natures, private businesses would like to keep the playing field as unlevel as possible to gain an advantage over their competitors and to earn more profits than their competitors.

Getting back to personal household computers and their operating systems, personally speaking, I love using Microsoft's products. I love using Google's products. I love using Apple's products. However, I love the idea of having a range of choices even better. For, in addition to Microsoft, Google, and Apple's products, I like using Ubuntu, Fedora, openSuSE, GhostBSD, and so forth, too. As the cases of Windows and Android illustrate, one major downside to being Number One is a large user base. That is to say, a large user base tends to bring with it a greater degree of experimentation by hackers, programmers, and computer enthusiasts. A large user base tends to attract ill-intentioned users such as those who seem to enjoy unleashing viruses, malware, spyware, spam, crippling software, and so forth, on unsuspecting users of these two leading computer and smartphone operating systems.

Watch (Windows 10 Preview with Joe Belfiore)


Watch (Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+: Official Hands-On | Design)

The next set of links is meant to conclude this operating system discussion. Whereas this page has focused on a review of some of the more popular personal computer operating systems of the present as of 2015, the next set of links is meant to reflect on both the past and the future of personal household computing.

Watch (Ambrose Video: Triumph of the Nerds Trailer)


Read (Triumph of the Nerds: Teacher Guide)


Read (Triumph of the Nerds: Transcript)


Watch (Computer And The Mind Of Man, Pt 6 Engine At The Door)

RUMINATING ON A STATE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH FOR THE LIVING

Must humans forget that Earth's future rests in their hands? It remains for humans to choose what type of future that they wish to prevail on Earth. Will it be a future of Heaven on Earth, or will it be a future of Hell on Earth? Time will tell for the journey truly does begin "Inside You" (Willie Hutch).

Watch (Stevie Wonder, Seasons)

13 Milestone Developments in Computing (Click a Year):

01. October 1969 A.D. (46 years ago as of 2015)

The USA successfully tests the Internet, which would later make possible revolutionary human interactions on a global scale by merging all kinds of technologies (such as radio, television, telephone, electronic mail, text chats, webcam chats, teleconference chats, file sharing, document collaboration, and so forth) under a single, unified umbrella, namely, the World Wide Web.

02. March 1977 A.D. (38 years ago as of 2015)

USA companies debut their Commodore PET, Apple II, and Tandy TRS-80 personal computers.

03. November 1985 A.D. (30 years ago as of 2015)

Microsoft Corporation (MFST) launches the Windows operating system for IBM and IBM-compatible personal computers to replace the Microsoft Disk Operating System called MS-DOS. Many companion software applications later would be built around the Windows/Intel ecosystem, which made the personal computer diverse, easy, and fun to use.

04. December 1990 A.D. (25 years ago as of 2015)

United Kingdom engineer and computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee successfully tests the World Wide Web software interface for navigating the Internet, which he had developed a year earlier in 1989.

05. October 1994 A.D. (21 years ago as of 2015)

USA computer scientist Jim Clark and USA software engineer Marc Andreessen release Mosaic Netscape, the first commercially inspired, graphical-based browser for navigating the Internet.

06. September 1998 A.D. (17 years ago as of 2015)

USA computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin launch Google.com with its goal of organizing the world's information and making this information universally accessible and useful to all human beings.

07. January 2001 A.D. (14 years ago as of 2015)

USA entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Lawrence Sanger launch wikipedia.com with its goal of containing the sum of all human knowledge on Earth.

08. June 2007 A.D. (8 years ago as of 2015)

Apple Corporation (AAPL) launches the iPhone mobile device with many companion software applications built around the iOS ecosystem.

09. April 2008 A.D. (7 years ago as of 2015)

Microsoft Corporation (MFST) introduces the large-form-factor Surface personal computing device.

10. May 2009 A.D. (6 years ago as of 2015)

Stephen Wolfram, a United Kingdom-born USA physicist, launches Wolframalpha.com with its goal of making all human knowledge computable and accessible to every human being from a single source.

11. October 2009 A.D. (6 years ago as of 2015)

Under the guidance of philosopher Lawrence Sanger, WatchKnow.org is launched with its goal of offering free online educational material to all youths.

12. April 2010 A.D. (5 years ago as of 2015)

Apple Corporation (AAPL) introduces the small-form-factor iPad personal computing device, which, among other things, offers a bridge to Apple's education-based iTunes University.

13. October 2014 (1 year ago as of 2015)

HTML version 5 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which, among other things, provides new markup techniques to aid in transforming the World Wide Web into a machine-readable Semantic Web of Everything.



Watch (Stevie Wonder, If It's Magic)

My one hope in life is for humans to wisely choose a future of Heaven on Earth for the living to enjoy each day, which is the main reason why I wrote the book titled The Age of Homo Sapiens Sapiens: Heaven or Hell. A pursuit of Heaven on Earth has begun. Memo to Earth: Death is bad. Memo to humans: Murder is wrong. Memo to humans: Life is good.



SOME MORE FEEL-GOOD, RIP-ROARING, FROLICKING, AND FUTURISTIC FUN

In customary bruessard.com fashion, I wish to close this page with some more feel-good, rip-roaring, frolicking, and futuristic fun. The theme of the next bloc of songs/videos is humans (mentally) leaving the present and imagining a future of prosperity and happiness for all on Earth. The theme of the next bloc of songs/videos is meant to reflect on humans redirecting their energies away from violence, hatred, substance abuse, gunplay, and murder and channeling those energies into more positive and constructive pursuits. The theme of the next bloc of songs/videos is meant to reflect on humans elevating their consciousness and their daily conduct to an upper level or to a higher ground. Put your headphones on, throw your hands in the air, kick back, relax, and groove to these songs/videos:

Watch (JAY-Z featuring Pharrell, Change Clothes)



Watch (JAY-Z featuring Pharrell, Excuse Me Miss)


Watch (Keyshia Cole, Take Me Away)


Watch (Beyonce featuring JAY-Z, Drunk in Love)


Watch (Mya, Fallen)


Watch (Calvin Harris & Disciples, How Deep Is Your Love)


Watch (will.i.am featuring Justin Bieber, #thatPOWER)


Watch (Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, E.T.)


Watch (Scifi Art Spacesynth vs Anosphere, Expanding Cosmic Awareness)



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