PC’s Next Innovations

John Robb writes about what is needed to spur PC sales (ref: this NYT article my comments):

In my view, the personal computer is all about personal leverage (as is most technology: my car, microwave oven, telephone, etc.). If you want to keep the cycle alive, increase the leverage. What is the biggest opportunity available for increasing personal leverage? Suck the Web down to the PC. Reinvent it on the PC.

I want the entire value of the best of the Web on my PC (Watson). I want to be able to publish a complex website (Radio). I want to add rich content (video and audio files) via my personal website and distribute it in a way that doesn’t break my piggy bank (P2P multi-cast). I want to recombined data available via the Web in new ways that make it more meaningful to me. Reinvent the Web and it will drive PC sales.

An interesting comment on what John has to say comes from Seth Russell: “Indeed ! That way one browses and sees the web according to and within one’s own context. This doesn’t mean that each PC needs the power of a Google on the desktop, just that each PC cotains the ability to remember the context of of the PC’s owner. See also CoherentExperience mentograph. The node labeled `Your Memory’ is what is lacking in a PC at the moment and is the reason that human’s experience of the semantic web is not quite working yet.”

For emerging markets, this implies bringing the web down to the LAN server (because the desktop may actually be a Thin Client). Bandwidth is a huge problem. But one can be creative by using RSS streams and replication. Yes, at some time bandwidth will improve, but the LAN-WAN disconnect in emerging markets is massive. In India, for example, most WAN connections to the Internet are 64-128 Kbps – for entire organisations. This is why locally generated content becomes content and that is where k-logs can come in.

The next PC innovation which can make a big difference is <the Digital Dashboard. Value-added aggregation, just like Google News or Samachar. Take RSS feeds, add a Scratchpad as a universal writing tool and an Events Horizon as a unified reading tool and lace with application links. One screen to show them all.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.