It Will Be Mobile

By Debra Donston  |  Posted 2008-05-29 Print this article Print

2. It will be mobile

May 2005 marked the first time notebooks outsold PCs during the course of a full month. By 2011, IDC predicts, laptops will represent 66 percent of corporate purchases, with 71 percent of consumers opting for a notebook.

This trend will continue, as more and more employees work remotely and the number of wireless hot spots increases. Also driving this trend will be the growing power and performance of laptop systems.

But "corporate" plus "mobile" won't necessarily equal "laptop" five years down the line.

Knowledge workers are already tethered, figuratively speaking, to their BlackBerrys and Treos. These devices may not currently offer the full functionality of a traditional desktop system, but they don't call them "CrackBerrys" for nothing.

A device that comes closer to offering a reasonable facsimile of the desktop is, ironically, the iPhone. Apple may not have intended the popular device for the enterprise, but business users have embraced the device and are anxiously awaiting iPhone 2.0, due in June and slated to include more corporate-focused features.

In five years your end users may also be computing on MIDs (mobile Internet devices) powered by processors such as Intel's Atom. Unveiled in April, the low-cost, energy-efficient Atom chips will enable fast Web page downloads and include support for Web technologies such as Flash and JavaScript, according to Intel. Systems based on the Atom, which will become available starting this summer, will run Windows XP or Linux.

The One Laptop Per Child project's XO will also influence the mobile desktop of the near future. The XO laptop was designed as a low-cost system that could be distributed to children in developing nations, but it has set the bar high with its security, wireless and power-saving capabilities. Your end users may not be using an XO in five years, but chances are good that they will be using a mobile device influenced by the XO.

In May, the OLPC demonstrated the XO 2.0, which is designed more as an e-book reader than as a traditional laptop.


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