Computing paradigm shift

Are we looking at that? I was thinking about this the other day. In The Beginning, There Were Desktops. And They Were Good. Then, we started wanting a bit more mobility, so we got us some Laptops. And They Were Good, Too. ¬†So I am back to my first question. ¬†Based on all the new hardware released in the last couple of years, are we looking at a paradigm shift in computing? ¬†An entirely different form factor than what we’ve accepted lo these many years?

Think about it. ¬†When cell phones first came out, they were huge, fit in a bag over your shoulder, and cost a gazillion dollars. ¬†Now, they’re as small as a cassette tape (remember those?) and can pretty much do everything. ¬†Swiss Army Knives with a Net connection. ¬†Cell phones, or mobiles as they would say in the UK, are actually really small personal computers that happen to make phone calls. ¬†Unless you <ahem> use AT&T. ¬†The computing capacity of an iPhone is amazing. ¬†Look at all it can do. ¬†The upcoming Nexus One will certainly join the league of SSPs, or Super Smart Phones. Will the iPhone eventually kill off the iPod? ¬†Perhaps. ¬†Why have two devices? ¬†I’ve got 4,771 songs in iTunes. ¬†Can’t get all those on an iPhone. ¬†Yet.

So that’s one way that the computer has moved off the desk and laptop. ¬†The other- wait for it- the tablet. ¬†If the fanboys are to be believed, the iSlate is going to be another game changer for One Infinite Loop. ¬†Not right away, though. ¬†Initial cost is likely to prohibit that. ¬†Remember how much iPhones cost in 2007? ¬†The same thing will happen here. ¬†Eventually, the cost will come down as the technology advances. But the portability is the key here. You can take it anywhere, easier than a laptop. ¬†Lighter, faster, and full of zoom-zoom. ¬†People want things small, fast, sleek, and powerful. ¬†Hmmm, sounds like the iPhone or iSlate, eh?

There will be desktops for decades to come. ¬†Corporate IT departments that still run Windows XP and IE6 won’t go within 100 miles of the award-winning Firefox browser, much less some weird techy thing from Star Trek. ¬†Eventually, lightweight, fast, mobile touchscreen devices will rule the roost.

Until the next big thing comes along, of course.