A couple of stories in the news this week and a few ongoing developments remind of us of where computing is heading.
1. – Google *slips* and gives word of it’s upcoming G-Drive service in the note section of a publicly available powerpoint preso. Google’s G-Drive will offer unlimited online storage with the idea that the local storage will merely be a cache while online storage will serve to be the internet user’s “golden copy”. I think Google is definitely not going out on a limb here, and they correctly acknowledge that the main impediment to onine storage becoming the norm is bandwidth (slow upload speeds with consumer internet providers). In the next year or two there should be plenty of options for reliable online storage and solutions for small businesses to back up their data.
2. – Flash memory gets cheaper. Flash memory is displacing traditonal hard-drives in more computing devices everyday. While more expensive, it offers the key advantages of improved speed, reduced weight, and almost now power required for use. Laptops that are lighter, faster, and boot-up in seconds rather than minutes.
3. – Broadband everywhere. Broadband in your home, broadband in public places, and broadband whereever with WiMax or broandand from the cellular carriers. Accessing information (stored personal info) via the internet will be easy no matter where we are.
4 – Microsoft announced the “origami” ultra-mobile PC (“UMPC). The origami makes sense. WIth better hard-drive technology, cheaper flash memory, all around better technologies for managing power consumption, and broadband internet nearly everywhere, a form factor that is small and powered by a full-blown operating system (windows for origami) is now possible. Perhaps the manufacturers learned from the Sony PSP portable game device –how consumers were using to surf the web, watch movies, and so much more than just playing games. But whatever the reason, a new form factor in portable computing is about due. With these technologies available at cheap prices, and so much data now stored on the internet, a user can be every bit as productive using an ultra-mobile PC as a they could with a desktop or traditional laptop PC.