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Microsoft Windows turns 25, HU profs reflect and look ahead


Bill Gates introduced Microsoft Windows on November 10, 1983; on Monday it will be 25 years old.
In that quarter century, Windows has not only created new industries, it has also revolutionized how people think about work, says Dr. Eric Darr of Harrisburg University.
“Prior to 1983, telecommuting was very, very limited to a few industries,” says Darr. “Windows allowed people to work from home.”
Windows, which originally sold for $100, also created new industries and revolutionized academic research, said Dr. Amjad Umar, Director and Professor of eBusiness at Harrisburg University. Umar was completing his PhD at the University of Michigan around the time Windows came out, and recalls that there were no “personal computers” in those days.
Operating systems have come a long way in 25 years, but the future holds the promise of even greater innovation. Umar sees three major trends developing: miniaturization, distributed operating systems (managing the resources of multiple computers connected through a network), and using voice, video and image recognition in addition to a mouse and keyboard.
The prospect of distributed operating systems (DISOS), says Umar, “creates an interesting situation of ‘network is the computer,’ where the users just submit their requests to a network and the DISOS decides which requests are handled by which computers. While several challenges remain, security and privacy are the main ones, this development could cause major changes in the marketplace.”
Source: Dr. Eric Darr and Dr. Amjad Umar of Harrisburg University
Writer: John Davidson
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