HP recently ran an article which hinted that it was developing a software package that had the ability to bypass a portion of the Windows Vista Security. HP might not be the first, but should be noted as a major player in the game. How does this affect your experience? First it shows that it is possible to circumvent the all powerful security features Microsoft is so proud of. If hackers have not already found a way, HP’s tremendous resources will surely be reverse engineered and used for evil. It was inevitable that it would happen, and although Vista was touted as the most secure OS that Microsoft has ever produced, this proves that problems will always exist.
Our needs are changing, things are moving online for numerous reasons most notably technical and ease of use as other bloggers have pointed out. With web applications being all the rage now if people can run a browser and a handful of programs then that is all the OS will be used for. The browser and application should also be sand boxed, with no access to the core system files, this will help to beef up security holes, and contain them to small specific areas when they are found since eliminating them is just not realistic.
In my opinion, the role of an OS is always changing, and it'll be up to Microsoft to change with it.