Maciej Mróz Personal Blog

Because why not

Mar 6, 2011 - 2 minute read - Technology

There is no such thing as best computing device

The recent releases from Apple (iPad 2 and earlier new laptops) get me thinking a bit about evolution of computing devices and how we actually use them. The past was very simple: loud and powerful desktops, underpowered laptops with short battery life, and feature phones that couldn’t really do much. The technology progress changed things a lot.

As desktops and laptops countinued to improve, smartphones were introduced to the world. It’s hard to tell when that happened, but at some point they could do quite a bit. Then we had netbooks, ultraportable laptops (like MBA) and finally tablet devices. There’s huge overlap in hardware capabilities and possible usage between all these devices. It’s going to get even more complicated in future. Apple already announced a bunch os iOS-like features in their upcoming Mac OS X Lion. Apple already has fully functional iOS emulator to use with their XCode development environment. Fast forward a year or two: why not let iOS applications run on Mac OS X machines as full screen applications? The clear cut between desktop OS and mobile OS is going to be no more.

Interestingly, all this convergence is exactly what pushes the world towards “cloud based” services, or “software as a service” (which I think is a lot more accurate name) solutions. Google Mail, Google Docs, Picasa, Flickr, YouTube, Evernote, DropBox, Facebook … what these have in common is ability to use from every device you see fit at the moment. Storing our movies and music on local hard drive (or SSD) in a few years will be as anachronic as CD-R discs are today. What does it mean to consumers? For a start, nobody is going to need all of these devices. The choice will mostly come down to answering the question “how it fits my lifestyle?”. Second, less obvious thing: the personal storage needs are not going to grow as fast as they used to. Most of the storage growth will be somewhere in the cloud. Last but not least, desktop PC is a dying breed, and the trend will only intensify.