VMWare co-founder Mendel Rosenblum believes virtualization technology will eventually render the traditional operating system obsolete. "It's just going to go away," he told LinuxWorld attendees during yesterday's keynote address.
InformationWeek writer Antone Gonsalves explains:
Rosenblum favors a world in which a virtualization layer is tied directly to the microprocessor and other related hardware of a computer. Running on top of this layer would be virtual machines, or mini-operating systems, that would be designed to run specific applications. Merging the OS and software would create a module that would be more reliable and secure, easier to manage and offer higher performance.
The traditional OS is so complex that innovation within it becomes nearly impossible, Rosenblum noted. And that's where Microsoft finds itself now. To survive in the world where virtualization dominates, operating system vendors like Microsoft will need to "hang on to the hardware as much as [it] can," he said. "The battle is going to be who's going to do the hypervisor that everybody uses."
Rosenblum isn't the only one who says the OS will become irrelevant. My boss made the same point in his blog earlier this week. But instead of virtual appliances, he says browser- or run-time- based applications will deliver the knock-out punch.