It Wont Be a Desktop at All
5. It won't be a desktop at all In five years, the end-user desktop won't be a desktop at all.And with the renaissance of RIA (rich Internet application) platforms, Web-based apps will deliver robust, fat-client-like capabilities, including offline access. Unified communications, meanwhile, will bring together people (both internal and external to the company), applications and data in ways that increase efficiencies and create new opportunities, according to a November 2007 special report by eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Andrew Garcia. Unified communications, or UC, can break down barriers by tying together disparate communication modalities-presenting a unified interface for VOIP (voice over IP), instant messaging, real-time video, whiteboarding and presence. Users will be able to efficiently navigate and migrate among the different communication channels-using different computing devices-easily initiating collaborative work sessions with other employees as needed. In short, the end-user desktop is still firmly planted in the homogenous cube in the brick building in the office park, but it's also on the smart phone in the bleachers at the soccer game-and everywhere in between. Debra Donston is the editor of eWEEK. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The end user will access applications and data in the cloud, from whatever Internet-connected device he or she happens to be working on-be it a traditional desktop PC, a laptop, a smart phone or a device yet to be unveiled.