Sunday, March 6, 2011

How Home Computing Has Changed And Where Google Is Taking It

As I think back to the IBM PS/2 my father brought home in 1990 thanks to an employee purchase program at his work. I can not help but think how things have changed. At that time computers were fixtures and investments purchased with years of service in mind. You would purchase a computer with the best features you could afford, usually spending thousands of dollars. This 5 year cycle is still ingrained in many buyers minds.

Flash forward to current day and and we are in a world of $600 laptops. You can buy a new one every two years and your overall cost would be lower than back in the day. You can keep up with all the needed software and hardware with ease. We are at a point in general everyday use consumer computing where you do not need to get the best of the best hardware. Software is also starting to be updated and enhanced consistently; the days of years between versions are going away. With the world of cloud computing, web apps, and offsite storage the home computer is becoming the window and not the processor. The laptop is also killing the desktop.

In a year or two the cost of a "computer" will be under $300. You will not even care about your hard drive size, RAM, or CPU processing power. As long as you can get online everything else will be taken care of. The heavy lifting and storage will be done on the server side with your device only acting as the window. Google's Cr-48 device running Chromium OS inclusive of the Chrome browser is driving this future.  The computer will have as high a turnover as your cell phone. almost disposable, allowing you to purchase a new one each year if needed.

General everyday home computers have changed and will continue to change. I like where we are headed.