The PC as we know it is dying. Not today or even in the near future but there’s no question that it has been on extended life support for sometime. The demise of the PC in its current form is being driven by an overwhelming desire of the marketplace to be mobile.
But is mobility something new or just an evolved form of traditional computing. I suppose most people have associated mobility with e-mail or perhaps some web surfing on their mobile device. But true mobility is all about computing on demand and having the same accessibility to content and applications anywhere and everywhere.
I can see a time where I carry around something that looks like the current USB memory stick. This will contain my profile. My profile contains a logical map of where my content is stored in the cloud, what applications I am entitled to and the next generation firewall (more of the cyber equivalent to an autoclave).
Using this type of device I can plug into any platform that has a processor and has connectivity to the cloud (though that will be ubiquitous in 5 years) and will then have the ability to perform any task I need, anytime and anywhere I need.
The desktop will be gone as we have conventionally defined it, but not gone altogether. I see a time when a stateless computing platform emerges to accommodate my personal digital universe, which I carry around and/or have on the cloud.
So the question is what do I really need in a computing platform? I may be writing the next great novel, editing a movie or just being social. If you think about it, what I need is to create, manipulate and share content in various ways.
The nature of how one creates, maintains and interprets content dictates the type of user experience required. This in turn will define the ideal interfaces that I require from my computing platform.
Desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and next gen platform all have value for certain use cases, but all need to be disassociated with applications and data.
Yes there are barriers to this. The debate between app based vs. browser based will morph into some middle ground. Software will need to be re-architected using the architectural principles from grid computing, which will reshape how the “cloud” is designed. Privacy and security considerations will certainly be technical barriers, however end user perceived risks around privacy and security will likely pose the greatest barrier to acceptance.
The evolutionary changes required to support mobility are happening right now. The winners will not be those who embrace these changes, but those who can transform the potential of mobility into a kinetic force in their marketplace.
Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.