At Linux vs. Windows Vista vs. Leopard, Rob Enderle thinks the next couple of years are critical for Apple and Linux and particularly warns that Linux needs to stop fighting among itself.
He's right, though I never feel like Rob really understands what Linux is about. Microsoft wants to rule the world, and so does Apple, but "Linux" doesn't. Oh sure, some Linux vendors do, and it's possible that someday that might be the dominant factor, but I don't think it is right now. I could be wrong..
The "appliance like products" comes from an earlier reference :
But why aren't these appliances all-in-one? For now, the answer is simply that they can't be: a cellphone keypad is too clumsy compared to a real keyboard, a PDA display can't match a real display, and so on. But the thing that Rob may be missing is that those are technological limitations: all of us would buy an all-in-one if it could do the job for us. The crux of the matter is the interface: how we interact with the machine. A device that gives us every interaction we need can be an "all-in-one".
Such a device may be far way, or it might be right around the corner. Roll-out keyboards and displays, or projected virtual interfaces might do the trick, but more likely the ultimate solution will be something we can't even imagine now. Direct interfacing to our thoughts? Maybe. Watching our faces, our emotions, and gauging intent? Probably. But the point is that it doesn't matter: where there is a need, something will fill it.
The future is usually more of a surprise than anyone thought it would be. No one looked at the first transistor and envisioned the machine I am typing on now. Personally, I think Microsoft is about to hit some hard times, and I think Apple and Linux are going to rise upward strongly.
But who really knows? A dark horse could come out of nowhere, and new technologies could change everything. Five years from now I might be producing this web page in an entirely different way.
Or not. Sometimes technology is slower than we'd like. Old habits die hard, and some problems just don't solve easily. Place your bets and take your chances.
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-12 Anthony Lawrence