Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Phase to the Information Revolution

Source: The Economist
The Economist reports:

For around 30 years PCs in various forms have been people’s main computing devices. Indeed, they were the first machines truly to democratise computing power, boosting personal productivity and giving people access, via the internet, to a host of services from their homes and offices. Now the rise of smartphones and tablet computers threatens to erode the PC’s dominance, prompting talk that a “post-PC” era is finally dawning. 
PCs are not about to disappear. Forecasters expect 350m-360m of them to be sold this year and the market is likely to keep growing, if slowly. With their keyboards, big screens and connectivity to the web, PCs are still ideal for many tasks, including the writing of this article. And they continue to evolve, cheap, light “ultrabooks” being the latest in a long line of innovations. Even so, the Wintel era—dominated by PCs using Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Intel’s microchips—is drawing to a close. The recent news that HP, the world’s largest computer-maker, is thinking of spinning off its PC business to focus on 
A new tech landscape is taking shape that offers consumers access to computing almost anywhere and on many different kinds of device. Smartphones are at the forefront of this change. The Yankee Group, a research firm, thinks that sales of these phones will overtake those of ordinary “feature” phones in many more countries in the next few years. But other kinds of machine, from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console, which allows gamers to contact friends while they play, to web-enabled television sets, are also helping people stay connected.
For a couple of generations we have been seeing the evolution of a technological system. It is of course based on semiconductor electronics, fiber optics, batteries and power supplies, satellite communications, telecommunications technology, computer technology, and a plethora of killer apps and new and modified institutions. I see the development of these new, small devices with big computing and communicating power as still one more step in that evolution,

The ICT technological system that will exist in  2100 will be all but unimaginable to my generation, and the people using it will be so different from us that they will have trouble imaging what it was like in our dark age.

Lets hope that the technological promise will in fact be realized in a more peaceful world, one that has resolved the problems of want, and that combines rationality with wisdom.

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