By Harry McCracken | Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 10:38 am
One of the big subjects of debate on the Interwebs this morning is a big, existential technological question: Are phones on the cusp of replacing PCs?
Don Dodge (presently of Google, formerly of Microsoft) thinks so:
The future of computing is that your cell phone will become your primary computer, communicator, camera, and entertainment device, all in one. The exciting new applications are running in the browser, with application code and data in the cloud, and the cell phone as a major platform. I think in the near future there will be docking stations everywhere with a screen and a keyboard. You simply pull out your phone, plug it into the docking station, and instantly all your applications and data are available to you.
“In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” Herlihy told a baffled audience, echoing comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent GSM Association Mobile World Congress 2010 that everything the company will do going forward will be via a mobile lens, centring on the cloud, computing and connectivity.
BetaNews’s Joe Wilcox basically agrees with Herlihy:
Three years — most certainly five — is not an unrealistic time horizon at all. Even if it proves wrong, Google is acting like change will come rapidly. Last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt asserted the company would put mobile first — yes, before the PC. There is no Windows monopoly on mobile handsets to stop Google, Apple or any other would-be mobile competitor from rapidly advancing. Cloud services, whether delivered by applications or browsers, promise anytime and anywhere access to anything.
On Twitter, meanwhile, folks like Microsoft PR head Frank Shaw, Gizmodo editor Brian Lam, and analysts Michael Gartenberg and Ian Fogg chimed in:
A few thoughts about this enormous topic, in no particular order:
More thoughts later–I’d love to hear what you think. Here’s a silly little poll: