Looking off Into the Future
Two things that are coming that may accelerate the move to new hardware. First, IBM is making a run at the Thin Client market as well and their Cell processor may have some advantages in terms of aggressively dealing with the need for multiple cores to get to the required performance. The question will be whether the hardware workarounds will be too ugly.
Hang On...Why Am I Still Using Windows?
Behind The Curtain of Microsoft's 'Great Oz'
Dell Challenges Virtualization 'Myths'
Microsoft, Sun Green-Light Server Pact
The other is hardware virtualization and that may finally eliminate the hard connection between the OS and the hardware that lies underneath it. Most of the work Im seeing done by hardware companies is, interestingly enough, using embedded Linux as the host OS and this could be how Linux actually makes it, in volume, onto the desktop. Granted it may still be the Windows or MacOS on top that you live in (Im having a hard time believing Apple will support the Linux part of this; theyll probably use embedded BSD UNIX as the host OS).
By the end of this decade you are going to have a number of very interesting alternatives to choose from. For most of us that wont be soon enough, and for those already living off of Smart Phones, youre 80% of the way there today.
It may be time, however, to step back, take a breath, and see if it isnt time to rethink your desktop solution and chat with some of these folks to see if what they have can make your life, and employees, safer and more productive today.