The purpose of this document is to share my projections on the evolution of the personal computing technology in the coming years, to help you make better decisions on the acquisition and use of this technology for your personal and professional use.
As we saw in the preceding blogs in this “Evolution Collection”, the current technology is very impressive and can accomplish much. On the other hand, you must master it. I hope that the ideas and technologies presented on this blog site will serve as a starting point in order for you to take full advantage of what’s available.
What I present in the next paragraphs is not God’s secrets, but a logical evolution based on technologies already announced or in the market.
The replacement of the PC and the mouse
As we saw earlier in this document, for 50 years, cutting edge technologies have been replaced by new technologies when they became less expensive and easier and more productive use: more user friendly. This trend will continue in the future.
Since the arrival of smart phones and the iPad, the world was introduced to a new way to communicate with a computer using fingers on touch screens. A whole new range of people who were intimidated by the complexity of communicating on a PC using a mouse began to take advantage of this new approach. To convince yourself, just attend an introductory course on the iPad at an Apple store. When you see the diversity of participants, you will understand right away that things are changing quickly. Do the experiment if you are not convinced!
This new approach to communicate with computers (smart-phones are computers) is more user-friendly and less intimidating than the previous approach. It is therefore natural that we migrate to it.
Technologically, the reasons justifying the PC up to now:
- The need to store large amounts of data required a hard drive;
- The ability to play CDs and videos required CD / DVD player;
- The facility for attaching a large screen;
- The ability to connect a printer and other peripherals.
In addition, to accommodate all of the above required a “Power Supply”, a cooling fan and sizable in and out ports compared to today’s standards.
The current technology allows:
- The ability to store large quantities of data on circuit memory at very reasonable costs. This trend will continue and with Cloud services will eliminate the need for hard drives. It is the same technology that allowed the launch of smart phones and tablets;
- In addition, CDs / DVDs are now downloaded and / or stored on the Cloud. This eliminates the need for a CD / DVD player;
- Developments with glass touch screens requiring little energy (tablets) and new tiny connections for standard Input / Output devices contribute to reduce the size of new PC components;
- Finally, with WiFi and the ability to connect printers and other devices on local networks, we no longer need to connect those to the PC.
All this means that the physical constraints of the past, which required equipment of the size of current PC, no longer exist.
Therefore, having eliminated the technological requirements that resulted in equipment as big as today’s PCs and wanting to take advantage of communicating with computers using our fingers, we can expect to see large and more powerful tablets to replace portable PCs at first, and desktop PC later. This will occur faster than you think!
The Future of the Cloud
As we have seen, the Cloud is essential in today’s and tomorrow’s environment. To better understand what we can expect for the Cloud in the future it is good to look at what happened in the past for comparable technologies. In the early 70s, computers were costly, big and complex to operate. These constraints favored the creation of “Service Bureaus”. These computer services companies installed terminals in client’s offices and all the client data and application computing was processed by the Service Bureaus computers. In Quebec, IST was one of those important “Service Bureaus”. The popularity of this computing approach ran its course until new technologies made it easier, more affordable and more user-friendly to replace the Service Bureaus services by in-house computers.
I would not be surprised to see a similar evolution regarding the Cloud services during in five to ten years. Meanwhile, they will experience tremendous growth. This is why investors bid up their shares.
Not too long ago, the cost of computer applications per workstation was in the thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars at the corporate level. Now we can download a software application on a tablet or a smart-phone for $ 0.99. You will say yes, but it is not the same complexity of software. And I’ll answer that it is true, but a new precedent has been set and it will not disappear anytime soon for personal computing. Low prices, large markets and minimal distribution costs, thanks to the “Apps Stores”, will reinforce this trend. I would be least surprised to see the magic number of $ 19.95, for a large number of things sold on TV, become popular for the more elaborate apps. Who knows?
I invite you to consult documents the coming documents in the Apps collection.
In the coming years, the personal computing environment will be composed of tablets of various sizes operated with our fingers, smart TVs operated with movements and voice, and smartphones supported by Cloud services of large companies like Google, and leading company like DropBox, in addition to personal Clouds. More details will be available in the architecture collection.
There will be a proliferation of early applications of all kinds produced by a multitude of new comers (explosion of the apps market). Gradually, the market will become more rationalized and will consolidate under large companies that will become “market leaders” offering integrated application suites (market consolidation). Nothing new! It is the normal new technology product cycle.
Meanwhile, to be productive, competitive and profitable, companies will have to capitalize on the technological functionality that allows information to be accessible anywhere, anytime and on portable devices. Companies will initially implement Cloud applications to roll them out quickly to later repatriate them internally at the appropriate time. The following YouTube shows how the Cloud will facilitate this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae_DKNwK_ms
I am confident that the above projections are realistic because they are based on the logical and normal evolution of current trends versus a futuristic prediction of future technological marvels.
For you to enjoy!