Michael Parekh writes:
…Devices in sizes ranging from a paperback to a cigarette pack (remember those?) have enough storage and display to act like a laptop in a pinch. This gets interesting, especially if either Microsoft and/or Apple can get their desktop operating systems to run on them. And they’re beginning to…there is an emergent category of computers called handtop PCs.
In fact, Steve Jobs’ description of the Mac Mini as a “Bring your own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse”, aka BYODKM, has sparked its own thriving community of Mac and Windows enthusiasts. Microsoft may also be moving in this direction, with its next generation game machine, the XBOX 360 likely putting in double duty as a media center that could also be used in lower cost, application specific ways, according to a recent Bill Gates interview with Engadget.com.
In BYODKM is a clue on a major direction that computing is moving towards, and the OS companies like Microsoft, and Apple are likely already focused on. Given the explosion of digital applications like photos, video, music, games (online and off), and textual blogs, along with the popularity of home wireless networks, users are seeing a growing fragmentation in where their core applications and data are stored at any time and where it might be needed on a moment’s notice.
Indeed, with companies like Google, with GMail, making eventually unlimited storage available on line, the world opens to a whole new way of computing on the go.
Currently the burden of remembering what is stored and where, and the effort of getting it to another location that it’s needed, consumes increasing amount of user cycles. Ideally, it should just consume software and processing cycles, where “the system” figure out where something is, and needs to go.