What would the shape of computing be 12-15 years from now? Here is where I think we will be:
My wrist watch will have my computer. When I reach office, I will place myself in front of a ‘dumb’ terminal – a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. Embedded into the keyboard will be a smart card which will talk to my wrist watch (without cables). I will use a remote log-on software to connect to the computer inside the wrist watch – all applications will already be installed on the wrist watch and I will use them. It will also be possible to use the wrist watch as a pen drive of today. So all the data on the hard disk of this computer will be available in two ways: the remote log-on (which will also enable the use of installed applications), and USB (that is, minus the capability to use apps).
At home (and everywhere else), I will have a similar dumb terminal.
Microsoft will be dead – opensource (and portable) software like OpenOffice, and AbiWord will have caught up in terms of functionality. For profit firms of 2020 will provide support (and contribute to the enhancement to) GPL software.
Google will be going, but its offering of (office and other) applications as an online subscription (which will have become paid by then) will not be doing very well. People want to collaborate, but not at the expense of being tied down.
Electronics commerce will still have identity fraud 🙂 Sorry guys. However, the total volume digitally traded will be rising steadily.
Digital signatures would be much more easier to use, and transparent to the unitiated user. However, it will not be free from its own share of frauds.
Operating systems will be very different from today: there will be no device drivers. Every device will be plug & play, and will use universal drivers. Linux will be the defacto standard.
You have some more ideas? Please feel free to share.
Back in the yesteryears, Microsoft wanted to build a great browser – hence it ensured it was leading the DHTML feature list. Sites began to be developed specifically for Internet Explorer version 4 or 5. At some point however, it realised it had made the browser too powerful – and Google was taking advantage of that, releasing software as service.
Microsoft obviously hates software as service model since it doesn’t tie people down to a particular operating system. People could very much use a Linux based browser (such as Firefox) to access those services, and at the same time share documents with Microsoft Windows based users who could access those documents as well through Internet Explorer.
One of the strategies Microsoft uses to kill competition is to not support their USPs on Windows. Since most users use Windows today, that prevents those USP features to gain acceptance and die sooner or later. It understood that it could not do this with DHTML: obviously because on the one hand DHTML was its own creation and on the other it would break backward compatibility with Internet Explorer. Hence, it decided to at least halt the development of DHTML and has not added any major features to DHTML in the recent past.
Just an opinion.
Google recently released its new web-browser called Google Chrome.
Microsoft had to undergo so many legal battles just because it released a web-browser for free. Today, there are so many free (and good) browsers available. Some credit should go to Microsoft for getting the ball rolling and providing thought leadership to free (as in free of charge) software 🙂
I am yet to try this one out – waiting for the Linux version. Will post an update once I have tried it out. My current favourite is still Firefox.
UPDATE June 08 2009: I tried Chrome – it has some nice features, but still cannot challenge Firefox. The main advantage is that it has an uncluttered interface, and leaves a lot of room for the ‘content’ – having minimal toolbars etc.