Every now and then, I think back to how painful early personal computers were to use, then I remember the TRS-80 Model 100 from Radio Shack. Besides the excellent keyboard, the best thing about the Model 100 was it’s complete lack of operating system.
Well, it had one, but you never saw it. Buttons across the top did most of the work (if I remember correctly, because I don’t have one at hand). No windows, no command line full of convoluted syntax, just buttons to push to do what you want.
Typical users today don’t need an OS, they need a dashboard. Everything that 80 percent of the users in small businesses want to do can be done in a browser. If you like the Outlook client for e-mail, rather than using some type of Web e-mail like Outlook Web Access or GMail or the like, you may need two applications running.
Has anyone ever come to you and asked if they could please have more operating system details to work through to reach their applications? No. They want to get to their files, work on their files, and play Solitaire when they’re tired of surfing the Web.
Think about the freedom of ditching your operating system. No matter which way you go on the Windows/OS X/Linux debate, there are problems. Dump them all for a dashboard.
Now we need to find a company to make that dashboard. Maybe Mozilla will make a Firefox bootable CD that just offers a browser and dashboard. I’d buy one.