The PC is dead, Long live the PC
by, 26-03-2012 at 12:39 PM (2045 Views)
Yes I know everyone is thinking, The Desktop will never die, I use it all the time, or there is no way that my tablet/phone will ever replace my desktop/laptop and you know what it already has. Let me explain:
1st lets look at what the general view is of a Personal Computer from the wiki
A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator. In contrast, the batch processing or time-sharing models allowed larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time. Large data processing systems require a full-time staff to operate efficiently.
If we look at above we can start to point out that the average smart phone has become the Personal Computer of today and tomorrow.
You get no more a personal device than the phone you carry on you, it contains your life in a small form factor, and is with you no matter where you are, be it at the office, your home, or the the local watering hole. Its general purpose as it is no longer a device to just make phone calls or send text. Its a calculator, a music player, a camera, a flashlight, a Internet browser, a reader, a GPS, a gameing device, a communication device and all this before you even installed a single application. It stores your contacts, your social life and you can even say a small part of your soul, just look how lost you are the moment it goes missing/stolen or gets dropped into the toilet. You do not share it with other people(well mostly) unlike your desktop, like where some households that can not afford a Desktop/Laptop for every person in the house.
If you look at how the Tech houses are merging the OS factors, like Android and Linux (Be it Kernel Merge or the future of Linux for Android spin offs), Microsoft with Windows 8 /Windows Phone 8 kernel merge, Apple with Mountain lion OS X and iOS and beyond we can say they all driving towards this future where your PC and your phone will run the same applications. Everyone is pushing for cloud storage, be it Microsoft's Skydrive, Apple's iCloud or Google's future GDrive, Linux's Ubuntu One. We did not even start to cover all the other store options springing up like Dropbox, Box and others seen here or Cloud Applications from online mail, or office to full ERP systems and more. Games get covered two in companies popping up all over the place like OnLive Gaikai or Streammygame to name a few.
We are moving into the cloud, like it or not, OS's are merging, like it or not. Pretty soon your phone will be able to do everything your Desktop can.
I believe that the desktops as we know them will die, but not in the way most people think. You might still have large computer in your house, but it will move into the realm of being a server for the family/home. It will become a place where people store/back-up their data that is not in the cloud, or brute horse power to play a game a single communication hub for the house and its appliance. We can see this move with Apple's and AirPlay and wireless sync, or Android's WiFi Direct and Android@Home or DLNA for home media and remote desktop applications like Splashtop that is even able to stream the most intense games, also look at Kainy for personal game streaming. Its all means to the end of the desktop of old.
Your phone/tablet will be able to dock to a Screen and keyboard/mouse in the future for use as a good old fashion PC linking to your powerful home server or the cloud if your home is without one, but gone will be the era where everyone in the house bought their own super gaming PC. I guess the only question that people have to ask is not how can I fight it, but how can I make the transition smoother and shape it to fit my life/pocket.
Only thing I really find odd, is that the promise of cloud computing was that it would releases us from the bounds of a single platform, but the more I look at it, the more it seems that we will get bound far more than the past, as your choice will affect not only the OS you chose but also the protocols and markets you are binded to.
Microsoft vs Apple vs Open Source the choice you make now, will affect your future.
To sum it up. I see 2 groups in the future:
Group A: Power users that will Dock, their Personal Computer(Phone/Tablets) and connect to powerful computers(Servers) at home to allow the same functionality they do today.
Group B: The normal users that just want to consume content that will use the cloud instead of a Server at home and can dock their Personal Computer(Phone/tablet) to be able to use it as the desktop of today if needed.