19 February 2008

Only the inevitable

The trend in computing recently spells the end for the humble desktop, the old king of the personal computing world. Usually running Windows, it is a familiar sight.

But users increasingly need more customisation, better asset management and are more and more taking their computer on the road. In the coming years, OS X/Darwin and Linux are going to lead notebook and handheld computers on a charge into dominance at the expense of Windows and its natural habitat, the desktop.

These are the beginnings of a sea change for computers, and the poster children are two radically different solutions to the same problem.

Apple answered changing user needs in the portability market with MacBook Air, the device which aims to be to the notebook what the iMac was to the desktop a decade ago.

Asus answered cries for more portability and customisation with the Linux-focused Eee PC. They further addressed the need for the cost of computing to plummet and the difficulty of it to decrease rapidly.

Apple and Asus are just two companies who are seeing a new way forward.

In the year 2015, the desktop will be relegated to the realms of the pros and a role as a base. In the home, users will freely roam around the house wielding notebooks tailor made to their needs, running Wi-Fi at speeds unthinkable at present to connect to internet up to 30 times as fast as it is now.

On the road, uses will take their computers with them and connect to fifth generation mobile networks, true mobile broadband, at speeds up to half of that available over fixed lines, blitzing current-spec third and conceptual fourth generation networks by an order of magnitude.

When a computer is unnecessary, phones like Apple's iPhone Air or any one of the millions of phones running Google's dominant Android will connect to those same networks and provide users with speedy, intuitive access to communication and information.

Social networks like MySpace and Facebook will have given way to more tailored content sharing communities, linking users with content and its creators based on interest.

Microsoft, its monopolies long forgotten as the once dominant computer company sells its operating system and becomes a solutions and consultancy firm.

The buyer? A bit player looking for the fast track to marketshare in the OS space.

They're still working the dead weight out of Windows 9.

These have been visions of the future,
With Jensonb

No comments: