by December 5, 2007 0 comments

PCQuest has completed 20 years this year, and over this period of time, has
witnessed many ups and downs in the IT industry. What’s really commendable about
this industry is the speed at which it bounces back. Just when we think all’s
over in IT, up comes a brilliant spark from some obscure corner of the world and
the whole industry is on fire again. Incidentally, this is not a new phenomenon.
Every time some leading light has made a sarcastic remark about something
impossible in IT, we see it turning ‘possible’ the very next moment.

So today, we all laugh when we hear that somebody actually questioned the
need of having a PC at home, or wondered how anybody could say that telephones
will fail (yes, somebody actually said so). The fact is that not only have these
technologies thrived, but life has moved far beyond them. Today, mobile phone
and laptop growth rates have surpassed that of landlines and PCs. Thankfully,
there’s still enough market in India for all to coexist, but there are debates
over what will happen in the future. Will the new avatar of the mobile phone—
smart phone, takeover from PCs, and even laptops?

Probably not, but they will become a complementary and essential commodity.
Many years ago, we’d predicted the same thing about storage, wherein storage
will move out of PCs and servers and into independent boxes that other devices
will connect to and share data. Today, storage has become ubiquitous, and yet
it’s still required inside PCs and servers.

Anil Chopra,


I notice a similar trend with smart phones. Today, you can use it for
checking your email, web browsing, SMSing, printing, or even editing text,
creating presentations, etc. The only problem is that everything in it is
miniaturized and uncomfortable to work with, which is the price you have to pay
for mobility. What you’re really missing is a proper keyboard, mouse, and a
large screen for viewing. These limitations can easily be resolved. Instead of
using its own display, keypad, and touch screen, stylus, etc, the smart phone
just has to pass these signals to external equivalents over wireless
technologies it already supports, like Bluetooth, Wireless USB, etc.

The other limitations that remain are insufficient storage, computing power,
graphics, and a feature rich OS with lots of apps. Storage won’t remain a
problem for long, thanks to the umpteen external storage boxes that are
available. In the future, high capacity solid state hard drives will become
common and get integrated into the smart phone. 60 GB SSDs have been announced,
which is more than enough to store OS and apps. For the rest, computing power
will be addressed by Moore’s law, so you’ll have powerful enough computing and
graphics for your routine productivity work.

What you’ll ultimately have will be a mobile CPU box. So one day, you’ll walk
into your office and instead of powering on a CPU, you’ll pull out your smart
phone from your pocket, put it on your desk and your PC will be up and running.

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