Decreasing emphasis on the chassis of an operating system and focusing more on its widget-like features is indicative of the direction that OS vendors are going, say many analysts. The increasing homogenization among operating systems means that the future of the OS might just be about content.
“When operating systems began integrating features that were in other systems, they were well on the road to becoming undifferentiated from each other,” said Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research. “With widgets, they see an opportunity to win users by being unique in how free content is pulled into the system.”
Because operating systems are beginning to look interchangeable, the free information represented by widgets and other content-distribution methods becomes a way for vendors to differentiate their systems from the competition.