Our digital world in 2011: The New DOS

What goes around comes around.

What was once old is new again.

Those are just a couple of old cliches that perfectly describe what is happening in technology these days. For anyone old enough to have been around technology long enough what we are seeing happen today with things like mobile computing, tablets, and Google’s ChromeOS that was shown to the public a couple of days ago the first reaction has to be along the lines of – haven’t we been down this road before?

Sure we have all the really cool graphics, smoking hot hardware, and constantly improving technology like wireless broadband and HTML5; but when you stop and look what we are doing is returning to the past single presentation of information and data that we had with DOS.

You got to admit though, it’s a great, and profitable, con job that is being pulled on us. After all why constantly push Moore’s Law when you can convince people that all they really need is lesser hardware that can only run full screen apps that are a shadow of what is possible.

As for that supposed multitasking that is being touted as innovation on our mobile handsets or tablets anyone who has used DOS in the pass will be the first ones to crack up laughing. After all this type of single full screen multitasking is nothing new it’s just a prettified version of DESQview, or DR_DOS; which later became NovellDOS.

Where we once had keyboard shortcuts to switch between running applications we now have screen taps or in the case of ChromeOS we have tabs to select. The only difference between our past world of DOS and the supposedly new world of apps and web operating systems is we now have pretty graphics and the segmentation of the user.

As much as the hype surrounding things like the iPhone, iPad, ChromeOS, or Android would have us believe that we are entering a new age what we are seeing is neither evolutionary or revolutionary. What we are seeing is an increasing attempt to silo the user into what are essentially the new portals of 2011.