The third episode of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery contained something none of us would hope to ever see in the year 2256 – a vessel capable of interstellar travel running on Windows. At one point in the episode, Michael Burnham is tasked with reconciling two suites of code by Lieutenant Paul Stamets. The code as it turns out is decompiled code from the 2010 Stuxnet virus/cyber-weapon.
I know, it’s *only* a TV show right? But they try so hard portraying other types of technology, like the whole idea of using mushroom spores for interstellar travel, but forget about the simple stuff. Of course it is only 240 odd years in into the future. Seem like a lot of time? Think again. Cobol first appeared nearly 60 years ago, and it’s still going strong. I imagine we will easily see its 100 year anniversary being used extensively.
So Windows being used 200 years in the future? I hope not, but one never really knows. It will probably still be coded in C or something, The honest truth is that there has been very little in the way of new programming languages since the 1980s (notable exceptions are languages like Julia). The same with operating systems. We’re stuck with Windows, Linux, and MacOS. The likes of innovative OS’s like BeOS (revived as Haiku), never really made it anywhere. So it seems we are stuck in a sort of technology quagmire, somewhere in the late 1980s.
On top of everything, will we still be using the same interfaces 200 years from now? Keyboards and touch-screens? Coding in an editor? I would think not, but then again, we are still using the same hammer we were 1000 years ago – albeit some are made of titanium (they aren’t really better hammers, just fancier). So maybe the input technology wont change that much (or maybe sci-fi writers can’t think of new things anymore the way they did in the 1960s?). There are plenty of concepts for new input devices of course, such as AirType, but its still typing isn’t it? Voice-based – been there, and it didn’t work so well (I’m sure the technology is better nowadays, but imagine a whole office with people talking to their computers – noisy, and hardly private (or secure for that matter)? Implants then? Direct connection with the machine (hopefully *not* via Bluetooth)? Who knows.
The future is exactly that. The future. Let’s just hope it isn’t filled with Windows.