State of the internet

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Wed Oct 3 13:20:53 EDT 2012

Bob Sneidar wrote:

 > I'd like to point out something I noticed when I was young. People
 > tend to put a lot of stock in what has happened in the past, and
 > then apply it to predict what will happen in the future.

That's a very important point.

All of the predictions about the future market growth of today's 
form-factor-du-jour, the tablet, overlook the very high likelihood that 
another form factor will come along within the next two to five years 
that'll be even more interesting.

Google Glass may or may not be The Next Big Thing, but it serves as a 
healthy reminder that this industry is always evolving, with new form 
factors every few years, and each one both complicates our lives as 
x-plat devs and also opens up many new opportunities we couldn't have 
conceived of before.

With regard to tablets, personally I'll be quite surprised if their peak 
lifecycle winds up being any longer than that of the netbook, which 
would place tablets in roughly the middle of their growth trajectory.

This is one of the few times I think a Microsoft VP got it right when he 
said, "The tablet of the future of your phone".

A phone is the one computer you can carry with you without a carrying 
case, backpack, or purse.

And while the touch factor is indeed profoundly satisfying to our lower 
brains, you still have to hold the darn thing for the two hours of your 
movie, or use a pillow or a special add-on case, while your faithful 
laptop holds its own screen up all by itself, and even protects that 
screen when it's closed.

And where exactly are we when tablets have docking keyboards and laptops 
weight almost the same and have detachable touch screens?

Diversity of form and overlap of functionality will continue to 
increasingly characterize much of what we'll see as today's devices move 
forward, at least until The Next Big Thing arrives, likely within 24 to 
36 months.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at      

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