Anyhoo! Point is, who’s going to want to pay for a £300 operating system, when there’s so many flavours of Linux distribution waiting to be lapped up for free? The only thing holding Linux back in the consumer market thus far is that it’s not Windows (basically). So when ppl are only concerned with what’s up inside their web browsers, they’re barely even going to notice whether the lonely little button in the bottom left of the screen says “Start” or not…
So with society transitioning to a comprehensively online computing paradigm, and with broad band speeds broaching the point where viable streaming TV has reached a reasonable quality, thus beckoning a flurry of demand, is the strain on bandwidth going to mean trouble for the internet itself?!: http://slashdot.org/articles/07/08/19/133241.shtml
It doesn’t seem at all far fetched to me after spending a month trying to get Virgin to turn up our signal at the grossly oversubscribed curb-side box, where we were originally on an unboosted 2 way splitter between us and the normal rows of 60 or so ports. Virgin Media’s pushing hard for more business too: it seems to be sponsoring everything at the moment. I can only hope they’re investing as much upgrading their backbone as on advertising!
With fibre network to the curb across most of the country, and pre dug conduits to all previous customer’s front doors, they’re in a brilliant position to follow the trend in many other countries and roll out fibre optic coble to the home. BT and ADSL services appear to be screwed!: the antiquated copper lines are already pushed beyond their information carrying capacity anywhere more that a stone’s throw from a telephone exchange. So to compete with Virgin they’ll either have to get digging up country anew or begging infrastructure access from Virgin!? Perhaps they’ll be forced to ‘unbundle’ their services by OFCOM in the same way ole BT was.
But it’s not just the national ISP that need to pull their fingers out. The massive international connections and such need to do more than keep pace; internet traffic has doubled every year it’s existed (that’s even faster than Moore’s law!) and only looks set to double more rapidly in the future, for the applications above to start with, but there’s always going to be a new and bigger bandwidth hogging service on the horizon, set to dwarf all previous use, ever! So pre-emptive upgrading would seem to be the only way to even vaguely satisfy demand (not that I’m a network expert or anything).
I seriously worry that insufficient bandwidth could soon cause a global recession or such like. I expect if you looked at nation’s economic bottom lines you could already see that those with loitering ISPs (like the UK) are falling behind in terms of growth compared to those with more prepared infrastructure…at what point might governments intervene and assist/force ISPs to invest more heavily? Probably not soon enough, if at all, given governance already trails industry on pretty much all avenues.