After almost 30 years at the top of the food chain, personal computers are losing their dominance as the main computing platform for many people. As smartphones and tablets become more powerful and more services and applications move to the cloud, it spells the end of the PC era.
“Remarkably fast” is the way The New York Times describes the move away from PCs. It says the familiar Wintel combination of Microsoft Windows software and Intel processor chips is losing out to smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft itself is expanding beyond traditional PCs. Last month it demonstrated Surface, an iPad-like tablet PC. Sure Surface will run the next generation of Windows, but it doesn’t use Intel chips.
The company has also embraced the cloud with a vengeance. Surface is designed from the outset to work with the company’s own cloud, called Windows Azure.
An even stronger sign of Microsoft zooming from the PC model to the cloud came earlier this week when it announced the next version of its popular Office software. The new Office suite uses a cloud computing model where documents and settings are stored on the internet and accessed from anywhere by desktops, laptops, tablets or phones.
Of course, businesses, especially larger companies, will be moving more slowly to a new type of computing, but many are already adopting a mix of mobile devices, cloud storage and cloud applications. These changes are largely driven by the BYOD trend and the increased confidence in the security around cloud computing.
As Google’s hardware director, Matt Hershenson, told The New York Times: “We’re entering this era where consumer electronics is the hardware, and the software and the cloud”. As the paper says, his view increasingly holds for business computing, too.
For more details on the modern workspace Microsoft Office 2013 promises, see the video below: