An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Dobb's Michael Swaine breaks down the question of where operating systems are headed. Among his teasers: Is Vista the last version of desktop Windows? (Counterintuitively, he says no.); Did Linux miss its window on the desktop? (Maybe.) And, most interestingly, are OSes at this point no longer necessary? He calls out the Symbian smartphone OS as something to keep an eye on, and reassures us that Hollywood-style OSes are not in our short-term future. Where do you weigh in on the future of operating systems? In ten years will we all be running applications via the internet?"