The Last March of the Ents?

A couple of days ago, the New York Times posted an article about the rising success of small, cheap PCs - Smaller PCs Cause Worry for Industry:
"The new computers, often called netbooks, have scant onboard memory. They use energy-sipping computer chips. They are intended largely for surfing Web sites and checking e-mail. The price is small too, with some selling for as little as $300 . . . Industry analysts say that the emergence of this new class of low-cost, cloud-centric machines could threaten titans like Microsoft and Intel, or even H.P. and Dell, because the giants have built their companies on the notion that consumers want more power and functions built into their next computer."
The titans should be afraid. Very afraid. More and more of my colleagues and friends are turning away from high-powered computing beasts and looking for stripped down, easily maintained machines. Face it, 90% of the casual computing public only cares about three things:
  1. Browsing the internet
  2. Word Processing
  3. Music management
Online file storage is becoming more prevalent. Online office suites like Google Docs and Zoho are more and more widely used. The only thing stopping users from completely running off their internet browser is spotty wireless coverage. If free wireless ever becomes as widespread as say, cell-phone coverage, you might as well say goodbye to the expensive computer.

Sure, specialty computers will always exist (designing, movie-editing, programming, gaming, etc.), but my guess is that several years down the road, the average american won't need a computer running anything more than the latest version of Firefox. Viva la revolucion!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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This site lists more than 400 online backup companies in its directory and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.