This would be some staggering information if it wasn’t so predictable. Devices like the iPad, Samsung galaxy and the new Motorola Xoom are demonstrating, fairly clearly, that you don’t need a specific operating system to get on the Internet and to get things done.
The technology trends dictate that customers looking for just a few things, and if you can provide those few services you can have a device it’s going to be guaranteed to sell.
I think the credit goes clearly to Apple for producing the iPad first. And this goes back to getting Apple credit to starting a revolution in smartphones and with tablet PCs, but this doesn’t mean Apple is doing the best job.
Tablets in smartphones are being loaded with android-based operating systems, with applications and Web services directly from the Internet; establishing a dominant pattern that a desktop PC is not required.
Having said that, I think Microsoft needs to put on their overalls and boots, and start working.
I think the year of 2011 is going to be a very impacting year for Microsoft and other hardware manufacturers of PCs. I think it’s going to be very apparent to them that the long-term sustainability of the PC market is going to start a decline.
Not trying to say that PC sales are going to go away completely because PCs still provide more horsepower and function over the smart phones and tablets. But for your social functions, general research and entertainment needs, tablet PCs and smartphones are going to dominate. And let’s face it, having a device with 80% of the things that you want to do, being portable or either being pocket-sized, is very attracted to the average consumer.
And coming back to IT shops, PCs are going to be the iconic staple of going to work, sitting at desk and working with a computer. The fact that the PC cannot be replaced right now in the workspace is what is going to sustain it’s prolonged life.
There’s too many applications written for the Windows operating system, too many that are too important; they can’t simply be replaced. And a lot of the user interfaces are not designed to be utilized with the touch interaction.
You’re going to start seeing more and more applications going shortly to the Internet. This is demonstrated by Microsoft and Google. Microsoft has been pushing their office applications over the Internet, and Google has been pushing for their office tools via the Internet, and robustly developing be Internet version of their services. And as HTML 5 continues to be developed, richly changing the way people interact with the web, traditional applications as you have right now with your PCs are either going to have to be rewritten with a new touch interface, or they are going to go extinct.
The common denominator with all of these devices, is access to the Internet. although these devices may not have a lot of processing power locally, if the Web services that you they’re using, if the processing can be done on any external server somewhere else, didn’t these portable devices don’t need a lot of processing power, they just need to be able to pull down the updated information from the Internet; and that’s easy.
Look for 2011 to be a bad year for Microsoft and PC makers.
Larry Henry Jr.