Monday, April 12, 2010

iPad and Laptop Competitors on the Horizon, the Computer Market in 2010

The NY Times reports that Google is working on a tablet pc/reader device that will run the Android operating system.

That piece also mentions Microsoft's Courier tablet, an HP tablet that will run Android and Nokia's development of an e-reader.

Google also has the Chrome OS and was targeting that operating system to netbooks later this year. We'll have to see how the development of the iPad affects plans for the Chrome OS and the continuing roll-out of netbooks vs. tablets.

The computer market is shaping up this way so far in 2010:

  1. The good old fashioned desktop or workstation.  Relatively inexpensive desktops are still the norm in many businesses, although that is changing as businesses move to cloud applications. We'll probably start seeing a migration from the tower plus a monitor to the all-in-one model accelerate this year. On-Site Technical Solutions has begun deploying more all-in-one systems for businesses. 
  2. The powerful business workstation. Businesses that need processing power, intense video, graphic or sound manipulation and complex resident programs are still going to need powerful desktop workstations in the short term. Many of memory and processor-intensive desktop computer tasks are not yet readily available in the cloud. Fewer and fewer businesses are in need of these desktop behemoths. 
  3. Laptops with very fast processors and loads of memory. These will also become a dying breed as more businesses (and consumers) move to cloud applications. Powerful laptops will be replaced by netbooks or tablets. It's still too early to tell if tablets will kill the netbook, but we can already see potential netbook customers opting for the iPad. 
  4. Netbooks are priced right and work great for email and web interactions but as good  at replacing a desktop as a more powerful laptop. The netbooks are more convenient and easier to use for word processing and spreadsheets, but compared to the tablets and smartphones they're bulky and heavy.   
  5. Tablet computers. The iPad has taken the computing world by storm and as the hype dies down we're finding that it has a place in both the consumer and business market. It's still pretty expensive, but can do most of what a netbook does and is more convenient for travel (including the TSA allowing it to stay in backpacks and briefcases in airport security.) We can assume the tablets coming out from other vendors (and future iPad models) will address consumer perceived shortfalls in the iPad and also provide less pricey alternatives.   
  6. Smartphones will continue to grab a bigger share of Internet active for both the consumer and business. As more people replace their mobile phones with smartphones the functionality built into these devices will improve, even as competing alternatives like the tablets enter the market. 
Expect your business to move away from workstations and desktops and into the world of netbooks/tablets and smartphones. The latter devices will be the dominant computing platforms for both the consumer and business worlds in the near future.

Visit On-Site Technical Solutions for information on how you can move to Google Apps or other Cloud Computing applications. We can also help you with your mobile computing. You should follow us on Twitter here. Call or text me at 949-212-2168.

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