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December 19, 2009

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ARJWright

Its easier to scale up than down. Mobiles designed for paradigms can do both, larger PCs fail at the shorter tasks because of how they are built.

For example, my mobile has tv-out functionality. So on those longer tasks, its plugged into my TV and a wireless keyboard facilitates the input tasks, while my Bleutooth headset and mobile's ability to take voice commands gives me a device working for voice and other response tasks.

Unfortunately, such a usage scenario is not ideal nor is the mobile's software optimized for TV-out resolutions (longer tasks paradigms) and so such is an exception rather than the norm, even for those at the front end of mobile use and innovation.

krishna

i completely agree with you, i think "one killing other" is a journalist hype as it makes a goo read. What is important in such situation is to see from business person's point of view, whether one would put one's money in what one is talking about.

Henry Sinn

Hi Tomi,
I agree and disagree.
What is a ‘personal’ computer after all? Some sort of box/casing with a CPU, memory and storage with some attached input and output devices....
Don’t most new high end smartphones fit this scenario with the exception of the larger and friendlier input and output devices?
What’s missing? Big screen. ‘Big’ keyboard. Desk and chair.
What if www.mobilehighdefinitioninterfaceworkinggroup.org get traction and all we have to do is plug in our ‘personal’ computer [that we carry in our pocket] to a friendly screen and keyboard for all those 30 minute + tasks?
Take Nokia’s N900. It’s a computer. It runs Linux. It has TV out and you can connect a keyboard. This is real today.
Unless you are a developer, hard-core-couch game player or anyone in the audio visual / media industries etc, why do you ‘need’ an old fashioned ‘personal computer’ on a desk or lap?

Alex Kerr

Tomi, agreed. But I think sooner rather than later what we call a PC will simply become a function of the phone, just as cameras, video cameras, sat navs have. And this is the way it should be, natural evolution. So yes, a device with decent screen size and keyboard and mouse allowing the sort of tasks we currently do on a PC will continue to be used of course, but I think the core will be the phone.

Now people will immediately argue that phones do not have enough power for some tasks. True, today. But phones are already about to get 1GHz processors in them, run Linux (so far more bang for the buck) and are really very capable (and have been for a while) of full web browsing and office software on a TV size screen. So this scenario is perfectly possible.

It also does nothing to undermine the continuation of the PC concept to suggest the above scenario, and also that keyboard, screen and main unit (CPU) are separate. I already live this scenario with my laptop as CPU. So we're just talking about physically shrinking that component really.

This is yet another reason why I have predicted the radical decline of Microsoft for a while now - because the phone will eat the PC/laptop with the above scenario, and MS have no viable play in the mobile phone space (market share now below 1% of all phones AFAIK?), especially with a view to the future. Windows Phone is in probably terminal decline, and is now barely significant even in the smartphone sector (under 9%). This is interesting - the "personal computer" of the future, whether in phone or laptop or desktop form factor, is much much less likely to run an MS OS. Now that is a radical change from the last 20 years of the PC era.

ARJWright

@alex: MS's "mobile" play is going to be one the services side. They have the ideal of "three screens and a cloud" - to which mobile fits in easily as a screen, but the center of things is fo service-cloud.

And even in that scenario, mobile still scales up pretty well. So your points aren't moot at all, just making a note about where MS is positioning themselves in relation to some of the other service entities (Google, Nokia, Apple, etc.).

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PC at home, as we have known it, is now disappearing. It will take years, no doubt, but knowing the replacement rates of phones and PCs, it won't take too long.

Big screen and better inputs will stay, but "the box" will disappear. Phones now have connectivity for displays (TV-OUT, HDMI), keyboard and mouse (USB, Bluetooth), and of course for audio etc.

For 30 minute task the phone will be connected to the big display and keyboard, and then picked up and put into a pocket for 30 second task.

Of course there are special tasks for heavy calculation, advanced games etc, but that will be marginal. For most, the phone with proper inputs will suffice.

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Now people will immediately argue that phones do not have enough power for some tasks. True, today. But phones are already about to get 1GHz processors in them, run Linux (so far more bang for the buck) and are really very capable (and have been for a while) of full web browsing and office software on a TV size screen. So this scenario is perfectly possible.

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Now people will immediately argue that phones do not have enough power for some tasks. True, today. But phones are already about to get 1GHz processors in them, run Linux (so far more bang for the buck) and are really very capable (and have been for a while) of full web browsing and office software on a TV size screen. So this scenario is perfectly possible.

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Tomi, agreed. But I think sooner rather than later what we call a PC will simply become a function of the phone, just as cameras, video cameras, sat navs have. And this is the way it should be, natural evolution. So yes, a device with decent screen size and keyboard and mouse allowing the sort of tasks we currently do on a PC will continue to be used of course, but I think the core will be the phone.welcome to our china electronics

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@alex: MS's "mobile" play is going to be one the services side. They have the ideal of "three screens and a cloud" - to which mobile fits in easily as a screen, but the center of things is fo service-cloud.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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