Monday, 2 August 2010

The Sky is the Limit

The future is now. I've seen the Operating Systems of today flourish into what we see on our machines from command line madness of yesteryear. But is this the end? With the coming of cloud computing will we just need terminals that link into some remote location allowing us unprecedented power to do our work?

On contemplating purchasing a new system for, lets face it, my own pleasure I wonder, Is it worth it? Are we on the cusp of something revolutionary? The possibilities are endless if we are all linked into a series of server farms all doing exactly what we say and when. It's entirely possible. Microsoft are putting their hat into the ring with their, Google beating, Office Live using the SkyDrive platform.

Cloud computing opens doors to real-time remote office collaboration. It's the way to go not only for local business but in the wider, global, community. It all depends on how well we do it first time. There are factors that we need to consider. The main one of course is the Internet connection speed. Will there be enough people able to use it? I know that with my measly 3Mb connection I'll be lagging behind the rest of the developed world. These issues really need to get sorted. Otherwise I, along with many others, will be stuck, back in what I call the neo-90's, where millions of people will be watching an hour glass spin endlessly until we enter a trance-like state and fall down a rabbit hole...or something... At least that's how it will seem. Also, we don't want yet another generation of elite computer users. We need inclusive technology, just as the masses are getting to grips with wide social interaction, we don't want is to raise the barrier of entry once again. This would be foolish and close the market significantly. If all goes well we won't need wifi routers in our houses with the invent of 4G receivers. Every PC and their Granny will have them. That's if PC's have Grannies.

With the birth of the iPad, (I'm pretty sure Steve popped it out himself), we'll see far fewer laptops on the market with people realising they just don't need them. That's not to say there won't be competition, although, in recent times we haven't seen anything concrete. Having sourced components myself it really is quite expensive to build one of these things. But we will see more in Q4 of 2010. If only we'll be waiting for something good. The other Steve (Ballmer) clearly doesn't get it so we're just waiting for Android 3.0 hopefully this will be something to really push the iOS boundaries.

The problem with all this hubbub of cloud computing, and what it really means, is that for the "super user", such as myself, it is becoming more and more difficult to find decent machines around. I think its great that the once 'Computer-skeptic' are embracing technology for what it's worth. Unfortunately those former computer-skeptic vastly outweigh the technical among us thus resulting in the demise of the pro-user PC.

Mobile computing seems to be going the way of the cloud, and for the most part this is a good thing. The pro stuff will be confined to the desktop. I personally don't want this, but theres very little I can do about it. I'm in a very strange situation whereby the systems that are being created, are being released by people like me but, the systems to create them on are disappearing fast...

For the consumer, the sky is the limit. Developers are working hard to make the user experience easier, slicker, more invisible, and ultimately cheaper.  We should all look forward to the coming couple of years, things are gonna be very different.



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