Operating systems (OS) really have come a long way since the very first one was created by General Motors in 1956 (WIHT, 2017) to run on an IBM mainframe.
Since then, there have been countless attempts at popularising OS’s and a few companies have truly stood the test of time.
Among these the Windows OS, MacOS and Linux OS are the most notable with the highest market share and global penetration.
Microsoft have been exploring running their OS from the Cloud (often called “someone else’s machine”) and simply serving it to personal computers remotely. Effectively meaning that the Windows OS would never truly reside on a personal computer again as it has done since the early 80’s (Gibbs, 2014).
While forensic analysts would no longer be able to scrutinise data and logs found on an individual’s machine as they always have done, they would have the immense benefit of being able to view everything about that individual from a single remote source, along with all network traffic, connections, logs and more.
Apple on the other hand have been looking to formulate more of a union between their desktop and mobile experiences, essentially creating a ubiquitous method to amalgamate what you do and use on your phone with the Mojave and up versions of their desktop OS’s (Ebert, 2017).
This is due to a significant amount more budget having been placed into iOS in recent years.
It would make sense for them to capitalise on some of their mobile innovation and bring those consolidated efforts back to the desktop.
Being able to run the same apps with shared app data between environments would be a more seamless and pleasant experience for customers.
This would be a dream come true for forensic investigators who have had to explore and analyse multiple devices and medias to piece together cybercrimes.
Having shared app data between devices means multiple places for perpetrators to clean up after themselves and more places to be caught.
In the future we will see a lot more drive towards Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), virtual reality and cloud technology as we have started to see in recent years (Warren, 2018).
Centralised computing with terminals such as our keyboards, mice, smartphones, TVs and cars of today will connect effortlessly to provide a unique experience tailored to us as users.
WIHT (2017) A Brief History of Operating Systems [Online] WhoIsHostingThis.com, Available from: https://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/os-development/ (Accessed on 16th September 2018)
Gibbs, S. (2014) From Windows 1 to Windows 10: 29 years of Windows evolution [Online] TheGuardian.com, Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/02/from-windows-1-to-windows-10-29-years-of-windows-evolution (Accessed on 16th September 2018)
Ebert, S. (2017) What is going to be the “operating system” of the future? [Online] Quora.com, Available from: https://www.quora.com/What-is-going-to-be-the-operating-system-of-the-future (Accessed on 16th September 2018)
Warren, T. (2018) Microsoft is ready for a world beyond Windows [Online] TheVerge.com, Available from: https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/30/17179328/microsoft-windows-reorganization-future-2018 (Accessed on 16th September 2018)