Creative destruction hits the computer market

ScreenHunter_16 May. 10 13.27

By Leith van Onselen

Paul Wallbank has today posted an interesting article on the big changes taking place in the personal computer market as new market entrants and technologies increasing displace incumbents and former market leaders:

One of the truisms of modern business is that no incumbent is safe, Microsoft, Nokia and Hauwei are good examples of just how businesses that five years ago dominated their industries are now struggling with changed marketplaces.

In the last two days there’s been a number of stories on how the smartphone and computer markets are changing.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s tech blog, PC manufacturers are hoping Microsoft’s changes to Windows 8 reinvigorates the computer market.

Those hopes are desperate and somewhat touching in the face of a structural shift in the marketplace. These big vendors can wait for the Big White Hope to arrive but really they have only themselves to blame for their constant mis-steps in the tablet and smartphone markets.

Now they are left behind as more nimble competitors like Apple, Samsung and the rising wave of Chinese manufacturers deliver the products consumers want.

All is not lost for Microsoft though as Chinese telecoms giant Hauwei launches a Windows Phone for the US markets which will be available through Walmart.

Hauwei’s launch in the United States is not good news though for another failing incumbent – Nokia.

Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft seems increasingly troubled and the Finnish company is struggling to retain leadership even in the emerging markets which until recently had been the only bright spot in the organisation’s global decline.

Yesterday in India, Nokia launched a $99 smartphone to shore up its failing market position on the subcontinent.

For the three months to March, Nokia had a 23 percent share of mobile phone sales in India, the world’s second-biggest cellular market by customers, Strategy Analytics estimates. Three years ago it controlled more than half the Indian market.

India isn’t the only market where Nokia is threatened – in February Hauwei launched their 4Afrika Windows Phone aimed at phone users in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa.

The smartphone market is instructive on how many industries are changing, almost overnight the iPhone changed the cell phone sector and three years later Apple repeated the trick with the iPad, in both cases incumbents like Motorola, Nokia and Microsoft found themselves flat footed.

As barriers are falling with cheaper manufacturing, faster prototyping and more accessible design tools, many other industries are facing the same disruption.

The question for every incumbent should be where the next disruption is coming from.

In fact, we all need to ask that question as those disruptions are changing our own jobs and communities.

Preferences also appear to be changing in the Australian business computer market, with a survey released yesterday by Roy Morgan Research showing a big shift in purchasing intentions by Australian businesses, who are increasingly looking to buy tablets at the expense of desktop computers:

The proportion of Australian businesses intending to buy or replace desktop PCs over the next 12 months declined dramatically in the year March 2013 from 20.3% to 17.6% of businesses, the latest Roy Morgan Business Survey reveals.

Intention to buy or replace laptops or notebooks remained stable with a decline of only 0.3 percentage points from 20.2% in March 2012 to 19.9%.

However the proportion of businesses intending to buy or replace tablet computers increased 23% in a year, from 10.9% to 13.4%, suggesting that many businesses are opting to add tablets to their IT mix instead of upgrading desktop PCs.

ScreenHunter_17 May. 10 13.41

Creative destruction – the process whereby something new kills something older – is nothing new in the computer industry. Decades ago, Microsoft and Intel destroyed many mainframe computer companies, in turn creating one of the most important inventions of the past century. Now companies like Apple and Samsung are changing the landscape all over again, via the tablet and smartphone.

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Comments

  1. Jony Ive better pull out something amazing for iOS7 otherwise Apple are toast. The iPad is still far and away the best tablet, but the 5 inch Android phones are killing Apple in the phone space.

    Earth to Apple: Yes people really do like phone with big screens.

    Its amazing how fast things change in this industry.

    • The original iPhone was a game changer, but little has changed since then and Samsung and Android are all over them.

      Yes, I laugh at those girly little iPhones with their dainty screen and squinting users. Too damn small – they have been for years. Even when they first were released they were too small for me.

      When Samsung produced the Galaxy SIII I got more interested in smart phones.

      But it was the Galaxy Note II that got me to part with the dollars.

      Finally a big and powerful unit – it does everything better than the latest iPhone (and indeed most phones), huge screen and with a stonking great battery to boot. It is fast and wonderful to use.

      And of most days I usually still have 60% power on board.

      It is a awesome bit of kit. Samsung are meant to be making an even bigger one. I would definately consider it. Where as there is nothing appealing in the current Apple line up.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I was lucky enough during a recent holiday to have the use of one of those aircraft-carrier-class Samsung phones for a few days (it came as part of the package with the hotel room).

        Personally, I found it too big to be comfortable for one-handed use (and I don’t have small hands) and it was extremely noticable in whatever pocket I put it in. I also found the interface with the physical touch buttons at the bottom of the screen a bit jarring and difficult compared to my iPhone (though I’m happy to write that off to familiarity – but I did have one of the original Droids living in the US, so it wasn’t my first Android phone). The battery might be big, but that huge screen chews through it fast as well – I didn’t notice any improvement over my iPhone5 (ie: still requires a nightly charge).

        In summary, I wouldn’t buy one with my own money.

      • In summary, I wouldn’t buy one with my own money.

        Yeah but plenty of people have. The market has spoken on Phablets, and Steve was wrong.

        Besides, if you don’t want a Note-sized Droid, you can choose from 27 other sizes, unlike Apple where your phone choice is iPhone 5 or iPhone 5.

  2. The Patrician

    How about MB get with the program and produce an app/widget/mobile-device- compatible version?

    • JunkyardMEMBER

      Yep I mostly browse MB on my smartphone now. Can’t tell you how annoying that popup is to close on a phone screen each time I load the site 😉

      • thomickersMEMBER

        lol that little “X” in the top right corner of the popup won’t compute. iphone says NO!!! to my pinky

    • Yes this site is very..testing to use on iphone, bloody popup/slowliness for the commenting.

      It ll probably not going to happen as their “model”, business spectator, has killed its very useful app.
      I suppose it as to do with advertising revenues/time/cost to maintain.

      • It should just be a matter of choosing a WordPress theme that’s optimised for mobile.

      • Agreed. I have MB on flipboard, but I mainly use it for the summaries only. Not Phone friendly when reading the main articles yet…

  3. rob barrattMEMBER

    Coles had the Huawei Y201 phone on special last week. Add $5 to unlock it from Telstra (I detest their policy of expiring your credit) & you’ve got a reasonable phone for $44. Amazing.

  4. DrBob127MEMBER

    ” Now companies like Apple and Samsung are changing the landscape all over again”

    and Google, how could you leave Google off the list?

  5. The ones that are getting smacked as well are the camera manufacturers, they are all losing money big time, high end do not sell as much as it does and low end/P&S is massacred by the iphone.

    • Look around you mate. All those people with smartphones you thought were iPhones, well they’re not. More often than not they’re Droids these days.

    • yes or droid, but droid are still not as good as Iphones for photog purpose ( the apps are still pretty inferior) and on flikr there is no debate, Iphone rulez.but that s not the point 😉

      • Galaxy S4 comes with a 13MP camera. iPhone 5 is 8MP. Things are changing. Fast.

      • MP are not very relevant, the apps tell the story, and they are not neat on android.to take/share pictures you just have to compare Facebook/twitter apps IOS vs Android.

        it s just not very polished, some can get over the not polished side of it but not everyone 😉

        hardware is good, no question.

        but again, that s not the point 😉

      • Software developers go where the market is, and number of Droids out there now dwarfs iPhones. Again, things are changing. Fast.

        If you compared iPhone and iOS apps a few months ago, then your assessment would already be out of date.

  6. In the immortal words of one of the semi-industries greats:
    “only the paranoid survive”

    As usual the incumbents had amply opportunity to buy the aspirants but failed at every turn to even recognize the magnitude of the change that was headed their way. Oh well as they say, the rest was history.

      • Kodak, was a special case of incompetence coupled with unbelievable arrogance. I had some “top secret” meetings with Kodak management literally our plane inside their aircraft hanger. They took so long to make even the most basic decisions that we told them to $%&!-off, thank goodness we dodged that little JV disaster.

  7. drsmithyMEMBER

    I struggle to see how contemporary tablets are replacing PCs and laptops in business. Tiny screens, poor performance, clumsy interfaces (for all but the simplest tasks), limited software, connectivity headaches and horrendously immature manageability options.

    Supplementing ? Yes. Replacing ? No.

    Lots of people at my workplace have tablets (ie: iPads) and they often bring them to meetings to play games and check facebook take notes.

    However, they inevitably go back to their desks and sit down in front of their PC (/laptop) afterwards. Even the ones who have external keyboards for their toys.

    I like my iPad (and I’d like it more if it wasn’t an old iPad one and slow as molasses), and it’s handier to carry around when we’re travelling than my laptop, but there’s no way known I’d contemplate it as any sort of _replacement_ for the full-service computers I use to do actual work.

    • As a power PC user for work (and at home for that matter), I can respect this point and even share that opinion. tablets are great for consumption of media, but not so good for producing stuff – or at least that is my experience.

      But I can also see the other side as well.

      We are looking at a new device at home. We already have several high end laptops and a desktop or two, but Wifey is going to be stuck in bed from time to time due to some medical issues ove the next few months and was thinking that a tablet will be just the trick. Less bulky than a notebook, better battery life and fine for doing ‘light’ work.

      Sure – I reckon tables are crap for real work (Databases, spreadsheets, Visio etc), but ideal for sitting around catching up on emails, notes and other lighter duties.

      The next purchase we make is almost certainly going to be a tablet over a new laptop – and I am a big PC fan (and user).

      I can see why the PC makers are worried, given that much of the consumer market only consume stuff via the next, rather than actually doing heavy processing work on the computer.

      • oh where is that edit button…. I am writing like an old drunk (which for a Friday afternoon isn’t always out of the question). I am sure you can do the translation but just in case.

        Table = Tablet
        Next = Net

        Now where is my glass of vino gone?….

      • Spent 12 of the last 18 months mostly in hospital or bed with medical issues – would regard my l- pad as one of the most important things between myself and insanity- would thoroughly recommend one in those circumstances.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yes, that’s a good use case.

        My wife uses her iPad for probably 95% of her personal computing, so I don’t have any problem seeing the other side.

        But personal computing – dominated as it tends to be by simple consumption – is not business computing.

    • You need to open your eyes when outside the meeting room, tablets are the future of all personal computing and database interaction. The only question in my mind concerns long term niche applications for the laptop and PC/server.

      Personally, in peoples every day lives/office, I’d expect within 3 years, to see a combination of smartphone-tablet-smartTV replacing the very concept of Windoze/office(whatever) personal computer. Most applications execution belongs on servers somewhere in the cloud.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        You need to open your eyes when outside the meeting room, […]
        Uh, I do. That was kind of my point – tablets abound in the meeting room, but are notably absent outside of it, precisely because outside of media consumption and simple usage scenarios, tablets aren’t particularly productive.

        […] tablets are the future of all personal computing and database interaction.

        Attached to external keyboards and screens, maybe. At which point, they’re not really tablets anymore, they’re just dockable PCs.

        Personally, in peoples every day lives/office, I’d expect within 3 years, to see a combination of smartphone-tablet-smartTV replacing the very concept of Windoze/office(whatever) personal computer.
        I would be jaw-droppingly astounded if that happens. The world – especially the business IT world – just doesn’t move that fast without enormous and compelling benefits, and tablets simply don’t have them.

        Most applications execution belongs on servers somewhere in the cloud.
        The wheel has been inexorably turning back towards the mainframe/dumb terminal model for nearly a decade now. But that’s an entirely separate issue to the end-user interface device.

      • “You need to open your eyes when outside the meeting room, […]
        Uh, I do. That was kind of my point – tablets abound in the meeting room, but are notably absent outside of it….”

        What!! have you been to a coffee shop, gone to the beach, sat on an airplane or traveled on a train in the last year? Tablets are absolutely everywhere!

        As for the SmartTV-Tablet interface it is very advanced already, you need to see some of the apps Samsung is working on with Mediatek/Mstar and Qualcom, amazing stuff

      • drsmithy, you are right. But you should also remember that majority of PC users are consumers, NOT producers of content.

        So the trends in the PC/Tablet market will follow what consumers demand, not what we PC-bound nerds will demand 🙂

      • Agreed Mav.

        PCs, even desktop PCs, will still be used by content creators, developers, programmers etc for a very long time.

        For content consumption though, the tablet/phone/phablet is ideal.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        What!! have you been to a coffee shop, gone to the beach, sat on an airplane or traveled on a train in the last year? Tablets are absolutely everywhere!
        Sorry, I thought I’d made it clear I was referring to use in businesses.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        drsmithy, you are right. But you should also remember that majority of PC users are consumers, NOT producers of content.
        I’m quite cognizant of the different use cases. My wife is a certified iPad addict, after all.

        My point was that the claim is being made that businesses are going to replace their PCs with tablets, and that it’s difficult to see that happening.

        So the trends in the PC/Tablet market will follow what consumers demand, not what we PC-bound nerds will demand
        I know plenty of people “bound” to PCs by the nature of their work. Many of them could not be considered “nerds”.

      • An analogous example: people said corporate sector will never replace the Blackberry.. Lo and behold, Blackberry is on the way down (except in India, where it has now become a mass consumer phone) in the corporate sector, slowly being replaced by iPhone/Android.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        An analogous example: people said corporate sector will never replace the Blackberry.. Lo and behold, Blackberry is on the way down (except in India, where it has now become a mass consumer phone) in the corporate sector, slowly being replaced by iPhone/Android.
        An iPhone or Android phone does everything a BlackBerry does and more (and the only reasons BB has held on as long as it has are inertia and backend integration).

        Tablets don’t really fit that scenario.

      • Thats my point.. Blackberry does everything a corporate user wants and still delivers some critical functions (email push & encryption) better than iPhone/Android .. So what factors drove its replacement?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Thats my point.. Blackberry does everything a corporate user wants and still delivers some critical functions (email push & encryption) better than iPhone/Android .. So what factors drove its replacement?
        Because its advantages largely disappeared (iPhones and Androids today deliver push, encryption, remote manageability, remote wipe, policy enforcement, etc) and its shortfalls (mostly crap phones, mediocre software) therefore became problems.

        BB hung on for a _long_ time in the corporate world after its basic functionality had been substantially superceded in the consumer world.

        The same situation doesn’t really apply to tablets. Their advantages over small (11-13″) laptops are minor, and their shortcomings are significant.

    • Several years ago we reached a point where most users no longer had an incentive to upgrade their hardware. Unless you are a hardcore gamer or do a lot of HD video rendering, you are probably not going to notice the difference between a desktop built this year and a desktop built five years ago.

      So these days the main motivation people have to buy hardware is the portability and immediacy offered by tablets.

      Early generation tablets were pretty crap, and there is still plenty of room for improvement, so people will still want to upgrade frequently for the next few years, but eventually tablets and (later) smartphones will also reach the point where there is no real incentive to upgrade, and sales of new hardware will start dropping.

      • wearable devices like google glass and voice AI etc is the future. google voice works pretty well now i use it to text in the car a lot (shhhhhh) with hands free kit of course. eventually the goal would be an earpiece and a contact lense and then we start moving toward cyborgs etc. its all coming if we survive that long. but moores law says its fast when you look around now. driverless cars UAVs bombing pakistan from a control base in the US. we are nearly there already is my call. you guys are arguing OS and form factors Wtf!?!?

        when does skynet become self aware? thats all im concerned about.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        we are nearly there already is my call. you guys are arguing OS and form factors Wtf!?!?
        We are a decade away at least, from even those simple sorts of mainstream wearable systems; There’s plenty of time for form factors of phones and such to be relevant.

        Even when it’s an embedded computer you view through contact lenses, interact with via voice and sensors embedded in your fingers, that’s powered by the movements of your body, the OS (and interface, which is what most people really mean when they say OS) will matter.

  8. Windows 8 must have been one of the factor, I cannot imagine a business eager to have to mess with that during an upgrade.

    I was shocked by windows8, honestly, unusable with a mouse unless you buy a soft to get back the start button. What do they expect ? do I have to buy a touch screen to swipe with my greasy fingers the whole day. Bunch of morons at Microsoft.

    • Yeah, they seem to keeping true to their pattern of “One Good OS release, One woeful One…”

      Windows 8.1 (coming soon) is meant to be putting in some of the obvious stuff back into the OS, like a boot direct to desktop option, and (yep), the Start Button amongst other improvements for Mouse/Keyboard users.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Windows 8 must have been one of the factor, I cannot imagine a business eager to have to mess with that during an upgrade.
      Businesses haven’t barely made it to Windows 7. They wouldn’t have been considering Windows 8 for another couple of years regardless of how good or bad it was.

      I was shocked by windows8, honestly, unusable with a mouse unless you buy a soft to get back the start button.
      I’m indifferent towards Windows 8, but most of the criticism directed towards it is little more than luddism.

      What does the Start Menu give you that the main Metro screen does not ?

      • “I’m indifferent towards Windows 8, but most of the criticism directed towards it is little more than luddism.

        What does the Start Menu give you that the main Metro screen does not ?

        kidding ??

        metro adds nothing for me on my desktop, just plain ugly and inappropriate, just a pain.beside that Win8 is ok, I have 4 screens, I appreciate its others aspects.I m not a beginner, I ve used pretty much all os under the sun(;-)) since my appleIIe, but metro manage to piss me off, and I m not the only one.

      • Yep – have to agree that Desktop have a long time to go but might be a different story in 3-10 years when the tablets have enough grunt to run major apps and connect to screens, keypads etc wirelessly.

        When that happens people will just wander around with their tablets and connect up to the appropriate peripherals (big screen, network printer etc) as and when they need them.

        Windows 8 is wonderfully fast – an old laptop that I had lying around and is 8 years old is now quite usable.

        But that metro interface is pointless on a desktop.

        I tried it for a few months to see if it would take but in the end I just installed Classic Start and within a week or two I never went back to the metro interface. (Note: My parents in their late 70s are still using Metro !)

        Microsoft would have been better off doing what Apple did and have two discrete OS – one for tablets and phones and one for desktops. Giving the desktop the ability to run the tablets apps would have been perfect.

        Windows 8 without Metro would not have been very exciting but it would have been an improvement on 7.

        Never really understood the Win v Apple war. Use both without suffering injury to my sense of self.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        metro adds nothing for me on my desktop, just plain ugly and inappropriate, just a pain.
        The Metro Start screen is basically a full-screen Start Menu.

        It’s jarring from a UX perspective, I agree, but what’s missing functionally ?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yep – have to agree that Desktop have a long time to go but might be a different story in 3-10 years when the tablets have enough grunt to run major apps and connect to screens, keypads etc wirelessly.
        But then they’re not tablets anymore, they’re just dockable PCs.

        The distinction of the tablet is the touch-screen interface. Hook a tablet up to a keyboard, mouse and external screen, and you just have a PC (albeit probably with an interface that doesn’t work well in that use case).

        Microsoft would have been better off doing what Apple did and have two discrete OS – one for tablets and phones and one for desktops. Giving the desktop the ability to run the tablets apps would have been perfect.
        Since I’m an OS guy I have to be a bit pedantic here: iOS and OS X are, essentially, the same OS – they just have a different interface on top.

        Which is, I agree, what Microsoft should do.

        Windows 8 without Metro would not have been very exciting but it would have been an improvement on 7.

        It’s worth it just for the new file copy dialogs and task manager. 🙂

        Actually, on top of that, there’s a fair amount of change under the hood, even without the UI stuff.

      • Yes – there are plenty of reasons to like Win 8 even if one doesn’t like Metro. File copying is much better.

        True that an uber-tablet in a dock is no longer a ‘tablet’ but does that matter. If it can do both great.

        I haven’t had a go at one of the new full Win 8 tablets but I suspect they were intended to do what I describe. Use Metro when walking around and Win 8 in the ‘dock’.

        Ironically, the reviews of those tablets suggest they have the inverse problem of Win 8 on the desktop. People like Metro on the tablets and hate desktop because it is not designed for touch.

        In the end having Win 8 RT and the combo Win 8 has just been too confusing for most users.

  9. Interesting thoughts! I wonder what will kill the cloud computing revolution in future?

    • Oh… there are plenty of things I can thing of.

      Trust and reliability are paramount.

      We use the cloud extensively, especially for my wife’s small business – and it has been a wonderful thing and improved productivity to no end.

      But it does have it’s risks.

      Consider if we start to have significant power / connection issues for example.

      Perhaps due to warfare / terrorism, but more likley nature – Say Massive solar flare, floods or earthquakes.

      Even on a smaller scale, a local region tourist area was taken back to the 1980’s over the last xmas holiday season when a bushfire wiped out the local exchange.

      Suddenly it was chaos as there only very sporadic and patchy internet available.

      They had folks who couldn’t access their holidy booking data – tourist showing up thinking they had book a place, but nothing in the system. All banking was down – suddenly all transaction had to be paid in cash, but the ATM’s shut down as well.

      There is also smaller risks. If you are using Microsoft, Google or Amazon you are about as safe as you are going to be. But plenty of folks got burnt when smaller providers are shut down and you lose your data. It has happened before, will happen again.

      aaah, the list goes on. Technically I think more and more data will move into the cloud and less be stored locally.

  10. Excellent, hopefully I can build the second generation i7 with 16 cores, 64 Gig of RAM, graphics card with 2 gig of RAM, a sold-state system drive, 2 TB SATA III data drive, 450 mb/sec wireless card, USB 3.0 ports, … all for $650 bucks.

    And Windows 7 x64, or a Linux distro.

  11. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Nokia committed corporate suicide when they appointed Elop, a former Microsoft vice president, as their CEO. With his ‘burning platform’ memo, he advertised to the world that ‘Nokia phone is trash’ while the first window phone is still 6 months away. Beyond betting the entire farm on Window phone, Elop also trashed Nokia’s relationship with mobile service providers. Carrier relations sells mobile phones : when the carrier doesn’t support you, your phone is doomed.

    Microsoft have not ‘innovated’ since Steve Ballmer become CEO. Their obsession with the Metro platform is their downfall. After most of the PC users told them they HATED the Metro interface, they ignored the feedback and went ahead with it anyway. While the problem with Vista was technological (the code was too bloated, drivers were not ready, old hardware can’t run the OS), the problem with Window 8 is ideological : no market how hard you market it, sticking a phone/tablet OS onto a PC simply doesn’t work.

    This is how ‘creative destruction’ works : when the incumbent player makes stupid decisions, they deserve to die off. Then again, Apple managed to resurrect itself from near bankruptcy to where it is today, so it’s very possible for Nokia and Microsoft to recover. They just need a better CEO.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Talk of Microsoft’s demise is greatly exaggerated.

      They have a HUGE presence in business, some products that have nearly no alternative (eg: Exchange), and many that have massive market share (SQL Server, Office).

      Microsoft can afford to screw up in the consumer market for a long, long time.

      • Indeed, they did recover from the billion dollars Vista outlay. In no time at all really.

        They’ve read the writing on the wall with Windows 8. They should have listened to testers and such while it was in the pipelines, and in September Windows 8.1 will be released. Which again, will be in no time, relative to the release date of Windows 8.

        That’s money, and heaps of it. They’ve also landed some substantial Pentagon contracts as well. Microsoft will be here for a long while yet.

        And whenever they release a bummer OS here and there, you’ll always hear the, …everyone is dumping Windows and going to Linux in droves…

        Many years ago, the Windows XP news group was full of them, it was quite funny too.

        Wish they’d touch fix Windows 7 here and there a bit. But no hope of that.

  12. As mentioned by previous posters, I feel tablets/x-pads/x-phones are still supplemental devices and will be for much longer. It’s true however, that for consumers the above devices fulfill most, if not all of the home users/small business requirements. Indeed, even my physio was using a tablet during my consultations.

    At work where you need to produce more things than simple spreadsheets it’s a different story. Granted, being an Analyst/Programmer I’m an exception to the rule as I need the hardware capabilities and subsequent productivity efficiencies that desktop PC’s can provide (or highly powered docked laptops, thereby diminishing its portability anyway).

    It’s only been in the last couple of months that mobile devices have been ‘acceptable’ in my workplace (and given the initial resistance I’m wondering if the resisting policy maker was shot), but I feel the next progression (or consolidation if your already there) is dumb terminals on low end hardware running virtual sessions. This way they retain control of their IP and to be honest, there are still HUGE reservations about sensitive data being made physically available outside the workplace. The ‘Cloud’ doesn’t work for everyone…

    There is also the question of cost. Most (if not all) businesses won’t replace their desktops every year (or less if you like swapping phones regularly) and your friendly CEO/Manager isn’t likely to inform you that they need a new desktop because it fell out of their pocket into the toilet, or their monitor cracked because they dropped it, or because they forgot it was in their pocket when they went swimming, or they…you get the picture. The bleeding edge ain’t cheap…

    Ironically, I also program for mainframe-esque hardware (yes, they still exist) and I think if those companies want to get some market share they need to seriously ask themselves (if they don’t already. Or ask it properly to people who aren’t ‘Yes men’ or invested) “Why is our product X indispensable?!?”. Mainframes decided to market themselves on reliability and transactional processing power. Whilst they’ve taken a hammering, they have survived to date…

    Oftentimes I wish manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, etc produced more business grade hardware that wasn’t PC’s just to give me more options with more innovative solutions. Sadly I’m left with stuff that whilst rugged, looks/feels/operates like it was 5 years old and costs a fortune. Sure, they can keep marketing to the home consumer market but consumers are very fickle and frankly, it’s an arms race.

    But hey, that’s only my personal experience (perfectly valid statistical sample heh heh 🙂 )

    • Blerg, friday afternoon strikes again. In the below:

      “Ironically, I also program for mainframe-esque hardware (yes, they still exist) and I think if those companies want to get some market share”

      I meant the other companies, not the mainframe companies… : )

    • I think you guys will be surprised just how quickly the now indispensable laptop becomes something totally obsolete. It’ll start with simple things like managers using tablets for everything (always) just because of their mobility. Next thing you know they wont want to see Powerpoints or Word documents because they cant open them easily on their phone/tablet before you know it the whole value chain collapses and all the customer lock-in disappears. It happened exactly this way with the switch over from VAX/IBM to PC.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        But that’s still missing the point. The people _creating_ those files for management to consume won’t be using tablets, they’ll be using PCs.

        Even those managers, when it comes to create those end of quarter reports and presentations, aren’t going to be tapping away at their iPad, they’re going to be doing it on their PC.

      • In terms of an information ‘consumption’ device, mobile devices/tablets are king. Information at your fingertips. Information ‘production’not so much…

        Can you imagine creating spreadsheets on an iphone (worst case example I know)? Some of the spreadsheets some guys I work with would make baby Jesus cry…

      • with respect Drsmithy I think it is you that is missing the point.

        when I create content for a typical laptop, I have some concept of what is readable on the available screen area. Take this site for example it is clearly not developed for a Tablet, because it is very difficult to use on any Tablet or Smartphone.

        So when I present it to the manager and he “tears-me-a-new-one” because the content is totally readable/accessible on a tablet. Do I:
        a) continue to produce/proof my content the same way and tell my boss he needs to buy a laptop
        b) look for a job working for a Luddite
        c) figure out how to create content for a Tablet from my laptop.
        d) ditch my laptop and join the tablet crowd

      • The answer is c) China-Bob.

        Tablet content is not created on a tablet.
        Smartphone content is not created on a smartphone.

        Its certainly tested on these devices, or more likely simulators, but no-one in their right mind would develop on a tablet or phone, its just too bloody awkward.

      • Edit:
        So when I present it to the manager and he “tears-me-a-new-one” because the content is totally unreadable/inaccessible on a tablet.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        with respect Drsmithy I think it is you that is missing the point.

        No I’m not.

        You are focussing almost entirely on the consumption of information, which is an important but (typically) relatively small part of its lifecycle. I have never disagreed that tablets are a decent tool for information consumption. My point is that there are a poor platform for information creation and manipulation, outside of simple or highly specialised cases.

        That is why I cannot see tablets _replacing_ laptops and PCs, but _supplementing_ them. Tablets have few, if any, advantages over laptops and many, many disadvantages.

        when I create content for a typical laptop, I have some concept of what is readable on the available screen area. Take this site for example it is clearly not developed for a Tablet, because it is very difficult to use on any Tablet or Smartphone. So when I present it to the manager and he “tears-me-a-new-one” because the content is totally readable/accessible on a tablet. Do I:
        a) continue to produce/proof my content the same way and tell my boss he needs to buy a laptop
        b) look for a job working for a Luddite
        c) figure out how to create content for a Tablet from my laptop.
        d) ditch my laptop and join the tablet crowd

        (c)

        Which is what you should have been doing anyway, long before tablets became cool – because there is a huge variation in capabilities between even just everyday laptop and PC screens.

  13. I don’t have a tablet yet and when I do I wont be connecting through mobile towers and data plans that all still have you pay through the nose. I applaud the early adopters for working out the bugs but I laugh at them for paying such prices. Pretty much for the same reason I laugh at anyone buying Apple products – $$$. If it is for work purposes and/or tax deductible I completely understand. I prefer much more flexible arrangements myself.

    I will use it through my home internet still. Just as I don’t use the internet on my smartphone often, it chews through the battery yet if I only use it for calls and texts it lasts forever.

    I wont object to tablets overall if you can plug in external hard drives (not SD cards) and you can already bluetooth keyboards. I’m not sure if these things exist for them yet but until they do and are affordable I object to tablets for commonplace things that can be done on laptops.

    These things are a typists bane.