Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A new era in technology..

If you have tapped the pulse of the tech industry, you would have smelled the winds of change. This is an exciting time to be in the bay area.. rarely does anything makes me come out of my blogging slumber (blame it on twitter). 

Let me list a few facts to start with and then we'll extrapolate the trends (just google them to verify):
  • Intel bought Infineon's wireless division.
  • Newer Android smartphones sport 720p hdmi ports, 1GHz processor, 20GB memory (more or less), 512MB memory, some have a separate graphics processor. A phone with a dual core processor will be a reality before the end of this year.
  • Google is pushing forward on web apps, use case of these is still not obvious.. they don't really believe that someone will open a browser and then click on a button rather that type the web address. 
  • Google is working with Verizon and Motorola to push out new android phones.
  • Google worked with Verizon to support net neutrality *excluding* wireless networks.
  • IP TV/Hulu is becoming more and more popular.
Clearly all the big wigs are in on this (whatever this is).. everyone except Microsoft that is. Google has positioned itself as the next Microsoft.. not by coming up with a new OS and trying to displace Windows from the computers, but by just making Windows irrelevant. Android is now what Windows was 20 years ago.. By making Android freely available to the hardware vendors as the kitchen sink mobile OS that can run on any hardware (by totally leeching off Linux, but that's not the point here), Google has made sure that Android will go farther than what WinMo or iOS can ever dream of.

Most of you reading this blog will agree that the phones we have now are more powerful than the first computers we owned (even if that was just 10-12 years ago).. ofcourse we don't need a 1GHz processor to make phone calls or play small games.. where is this all going?

I believe that smartPhones ( or lets call them just phones because single purpose phones might soon be in museums) are set to displace our computers and even our cable connection. Why would we need a cable connection if we can view all the content online? and if we can view the online content on TV?! Why would we need an internet connection if our phones are connected via 4G(in a not too distant future). What if when connected our phones to our television sets and desktop environment were to magically appears?!

Let me describe a device that has been cooking in my head (not too radical). This device is an android phone.. just a run off the mill evo or droid. As soon as you connect it to your TV (via some micro usb dock), you desktop automagically appears.. running android or some variant of chromeOS. You can run android apps or some apps that are not suited on a cellphone like google Docs, photoshop etc. I'm guessing Google will be releasing a web app store just for this platform. Open the verizon Vcast app or some app from one of the network houses to watch streaming television (maybe via some sort of "tv" mode).. Throw in a bluetooth keyboard/mouse if you wanna use it like a regular computer. Once 4G becomes prevalent, this sort of device can easily be as pervasive as a toaster.

Google has positioned itself well.. It owns the whole content delivery mechanism and if Google and Verizon's recent proposal is accepted, it's own content will get preferential treatment. In one fell swoop it would have monopolized multiple markets.

Intel knows this very well.. it also knows that majority of its revenue comes from desktop market, so it acquired Infineon to get itself in the mobile game. It went a step further and acquired McAfee. If android's market penetration reaches the same level as that of MS Windows.. it will unfortunately suffer the same fate.. which is.. become the main target for malware/viruses etc. Acquiring McAfee was just a logical step to ensure that it has a safe ride when android has its "Windows 95/Windows Me" phase :) .. plus since more and more of our data is moving onto the cloud, cloud security is still a new and emerging market.

Well.. all you can do now is grab some popcorn and enjoy the ride.. some day you'll be telling your kid about computers that just sat on a desk or that needed a separate bag.

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