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View Full Version : New Technologies that will Change our Businesses


Wheelie
11-24-2010, 08:29 PM
There are so many changes coming on the horizon in both software and hardware in our industry it is somewhat stunning. Just to list a few:

Google Chrome OS
Android Froyo and Gingerbread OS
iPhone OS
iPad OS
Smart Phone & SP related technology
Tablet PC's
Internet Ready TV's
Really fast mobile broadband (4G and beyond)
Processor improvements
Cloud-based programs and data storage


It is painfully obvious that these new OS's and the multitude of devices that will (or already are) running them will change our landscape in ways we just do not yet fathom. I suspect that in 5 years or less all of the above will dig deeply into the installed Windows desktop and laptop base and thus could affect our current businesses operations significantly. What will the total impact of all these devices and new OS's do to our businesses? I just do not know right now but I am watching it like a hawk.

I do think there will be a need for the type of tech support we currently provide but it is beginning to appear that we may have to learn new skills to adapt. I just hope that the demand for our skills are as high at that time as they are now. Being able to reload the above OS's by simply holding down two buttons certainly eliminates using our services and that worries me a bit. What also worries me a bit is disposability when it breaks - kind of like today's current printer market segment is. It's cheaper and easier to toss a printer out when it breaks than it is to pay a tech to fix it. In addition - many products are now made so you cannot service them if you wanted to!

Back in the 60's and 70's cars needed a tune up every 30,000 miles to run well (points, condenser, rotor & dist cap, spark plugs). Ball joints failed all the time, fan belts broke, radiators popped leaks, and mufflers & tailpipes rotted in 6 months. Engines only lasted about 120,000 miles before they started smoking and needing a rebuild. Competition from the Japanese made improvements to all those areas by doing a few simple things: tighter tolerances and improved material quality. Because of that now all cars rarely need any of that work because all the manufacturers had to improve their products just to compete and survive. I suspect the computer industry is now going through that same competitive change in hardware, software, and operating systems. Microsoft has been largely untouched for 2 decades and they have driven the PC market. But now that is changing and it is changing in a big and relevant way. I think the net impact will be smaller faster hardware, more ease of use and convenience, and disposable rather than repairable.

I have been accused of beating a dead horse on another thread (http://www.technibble.com/forums/showpost.php?p=171184&postcount=69) but I honestly believe this is a very real threat to our businesses and don't want to ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room. I think it is a very interesting subject and perhaps the first major sea change in the industry since the introduction of the Windows OS (that made Gates a multi-billionaire). Enter Google, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Apple, etc, and the multitude of mobile providers with their ever expanding speedy WiFi networks. Now there are many large, wealthy, heavy-hitter corporations spending large amounts of capital on hardware, software, and fast 4G mobile networks. While these technologies are (in some cases) in their infancy and do not yet work correctly - they will mature and will eventually work very well. This will happen sooner rather than later and these companies will reap the profits.

Anyway, as I said above I do not yet understand how all this will impact our livelihoods but it is important to watch, measure, and respond as the weeks, months, and years approach. It also opens up the topic for debate about how to address this change for the sake of our business models. And to that end I hope to hear more related discussion on the topic. Ideas posted here at Technibble and elsewhere on the net will help each of us to plan and change as needed when/if the time comes.

Ref threads:

The End of the Windows PC is Near (http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20839)
Cheap android tablets for 85 - our next threat? (http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21971)



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Vicenarian
11-24-2010, 10:17 PM
also...hardware based rootkit prevention systems.

joydivision
11-24-2010, 11:22 PM
This why I want to get into Android development. I may slowly move away from being a tech but being an IT services provider.

I do suspect though as discussed in other threads it is a bit of a fab. My client has just bought a new laptop I was setting it up this evening but the man in PCWORLD was trying to sell him a Samsung Galaxy Tab. It would have been useless for him as he needs to run some very specific software and he needs a proper keyboard etc.

Android can never compete with the PC in that regard.

If it wasn't the business I was running then I would be very excited about all this, but I am actually still nervious. However I do strongly believe that in terms of the way computing is effecting our lifes this is the next big thing. Three years ago it was Facebook and on demand TV, now it is a web device everywhere.

DavidF
11-25-2010, 12:39 PM
I did a setup today for a couple that have a luxury charter boat business which operates in another state, they had both upgraded their phones last week and wanted to be able share email & calendar info for bookings and info requests.
He opted for an HTC Desire HD and she opted for an iPhone.
Till now they have both had laptops working independently with dirt basic email account sharing.
When I finished today they had a gcal linked to the phones which is accessible natively on the HTC, through http on the iPhone and through gcalsync on the laptops and email access to any account through any online device as well as a consolidated contacts list through Google contacts.
Their take on it was "why do I need my laptop?" so for the sake of interest they have turned off the laptops and are trialling running the bookings/enquiries side of their business through their respective phones.
I expect this is going to be a bonanza for them because their business is almost perfectly tailored to the solution.
I don't see this as a threat to my business, in fact quite the opposite. They have not paid me for what I have done but paid me for what I know.
They don't want to know the inner workings, and when they change phones in 24 months it will be a simple username/password exercise to get the data to the new phone.
Yes they could do it themselves, I've documented usernames/passwords etc but I guarantee they won't.
There will always be meatware.

On another note, I seriously want the HTC, it's a beautifully made unit and Android makes my Winmo6 phone look archaic even though Android is still (relatively speaking) in it's youth.

MobileTechie
11-25-2010, 01:05 PM
My guess is that the ISPs will offer such fast fibre based internet that they will stop sending out a router and start sending out a thin client as part of the package. All your data is in the cloud, backed up by them. If the client goes wrong, the send you a new one. At that point the home PC is dead.

Vicenarian
11-25-2010, 04:02 PM
and robots will take over the world!?!?!?!?

vdub12
11-25-2010, 05:20 PM
If this where true then how do you explain the Linux Desktop market.

Linux has been a very usable and competitive OS for many years. Why has it not taken over the Windows market. For god sake its free. The reason is that MS has created an inti competitive environment. Its imposable to defeat an OS that you can do everything in. This is the same reason that the MAC OS has not taken market share. Well that and the fact that MACs are way to dam expensive. Apple has at minimum made a platform that is somewhat comparable but there is still way more software available for Windows. Even with platforms like crossover Linux has not been able to compete.

I don't see a shift in power any time soon. The guys at Redmond just have to much of a stake in the pie right now and as long as they are involved we will have work. And when the day comes that Windows looses its torch we will adapt and at best it will eliminate many of the pizza techs.

Wheelie
11-25-2010, 11:25 PM
Linux never reached success in the desktop PC market because of a lack of a strong movement among hardware and soft vendors. The surge never came and vendors never really followed. No momentum. Not mention it was never well received by end users for numerous reasons. Techies? Yes. End-user consumers? No.

Bob Sutor, vice president for open source and Linux in IBM's software group, outlined what he sees as possible scenarios for desktop Linux in the years to come. One is that it just dies. "Or, we stop using desktops, so who cares," he said.

Enter Android:
Android is based on modified version of the Linux kernel. The difference in the potential of Android (vs. what has happened to Linux?) The surge is happening and it is happening big. Just look at the member list in the Open Handset Alliance that support Android: Texas Instruments, Acer, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, T-Mobile, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, PacketVideo, ARM Holdings, Atheros Communications, Asustek Computer Inc, China Mobile, Garmin Ltd, Softbank, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba Corp, and Vodafone Group Plc, Wind River Systems. We see a broad cross section of hardware, software, and mobile broadband providers. These companies are investing heavily into the mobile handset and tablet marketplace. The software and hardware is being pumped out in record time and most of it is very good.

Note that Microsoft is not participating. Pretty interesting for a company with less than 4% market share in the smartphone market. They are not expected to break the 7% threshold for at least 5 years (never if the above corporate titans have anything to do with it).

Android is in its infancy and it has 44% market share in smartphone handsets sold. Not bad for an OS that has been out for about 2 years. Gingerbread version is going to be released soon and has many new and important features.

It is certainly going to be a battle and the battle has begun. Companies are throwing everything they have at it:
Verizon Says Smartphones Can Replace PCs (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Verizon-Smartphone-4G,10878.html) "... smartphones could replace PCs in the future. more specifically, they could be hooked up to a docking station with a keyboard, camera and monitor, transforming the smartphone into a full-fledged PC replacement. With gigahertz processors, the divide between the smartphone and PC has narrowed," said Chen. "That's Microsoft's worst nightmare because there is no Windows or Office revenue, but there's a big Google Apps and Verizon cloud computing opportunity there."


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wimwauters
11-25-2010, 11:52 PM
Meh, everything changes all the time in IT, and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

We'll still be cleaning up after viruses/virii 10 years from now, even if people finally get free from legacy software based on Eighties business models :rolleyes:

parker.casey
11-26-2010, 06:18 PM
I see absolutely no reason why any of that particular technology would affect us ... the thing to keep in mind with business is that if the scenery changes, you do too. You can't go holding back progress to keep your niche. Build a new niche.

So, with all those new technologies, how long is it going to take you to learn how to repair them? :) That's the only question.

vdub12
11-26-2010, 06:44 PM
Linux never reached success in the desktop PC market because of a lack of a strong movement among hardware and soft vendors. The surge never came and vendors never really followed. No momentum. Not mention it was never well received by end users for numerous reasons. Techies? Yes. End-user consumers? No.

Bob Sutor, vice president for open source and Linux in IBM's software group, outlined what he sees as possible scenarios for desktop Linux in the years to come. One is that it just dies. "Or, we stop using desktops, so who cares," he said.

Enter Android:
Android is based on modified version of the Linux kernel. The difference in the potential of Android (vs. what has happened to Linux?) The surge is happening and it is happening big. Just look at the member list in the Open Handset Alliance that support Android: Texas Instruments, Acer, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, T-Mobile, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, PacketVideo, ARM Holdings, Atheros Communications, Asustek Computer Inc, China Mobile, Garmin Ltd, Softbank, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba Corp, and Vodafone Group Plc, Wind River Systems. We see a broad cross section of hardware, software, and mobile broadband providers. These companies are investing heavily into the mobile handset and tablet marketplace. The software and hardware is being pumped out in record time and most of it is very good.

Note that Microsoft is not participating. Pretty interesting for a company with less than 4% market share in the smartphone market. They are not expected to break the 7% threshold for at least 5 years (never if the above corporate titans have anything to do with it).

Android is in its infancy and it has 44% market share in smartphone handsets sold. Not bad for an OS that has been out for about 2 years. Gingerbread version is going to be released soon and has many new and important features.

It is certainly going to be a battle and the battle has begun. Companies are throwing everything they have at it:
Verizon Says Smartphones Can Replace PCs (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Verizon-Smartphone-4G,10878.html) "... smartphones could replace PCs in the future. more specifically, they could be hooked up to a docking station with a keyboard, camera and monitor, transforming the smartphone into a full-fledged PC replacement. With gigahertz processors, the divide between the smartphone and PC has narrowed," said Chen. "That's Microsoft's worst nightmare because there is no Windows or Office revenue, but there's a big Google Apps and Verizon cloud computing opportunity there."


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I have to disagree. The hardware supported in Linux is mind blowing. Most Linux distros support more hardware out of the box then Windows even. New technology's come out all the time that make it even better. Like OpenSUSE 11.3 and there fabulous printer support. Did you know that in OpenSUSE all you have to do is plug your printer in and print. There are no drivers to install and no hassle. Its a long way from the console days. With the look and feel of KDE4 and Gnome 3 right around the corner the Linux desktop looks better then ever. I agree that Linux has a reputation for being difficult but this has not been the case for many years. For those of you that listen to Linux for the rest of us (a podnutz production) they had a guy on there a week or so ago from frostbite systems. A company that builds Linux PC's. According to them Linux has far superior support for the visually impaired. All I am saying is that if blind people can use it am sure grandma can to.

I can totally see where your coming from but I still don't think that smart phones will take over the desktop market. Also by android leading the smart phone market all it does it make Linux better. Remember android is open source to. By definition all the work being done in android can benefit the Linux community. So by saying all these manufacturers that back android all you are really saying is they are backing Linux.

I have been a Linux user for many years. I remember when it was a pain in the A$$ to get something to work. However, things have changed. Better even is with the latest versions of crossover software is not a problem ether. I use Office 2003 on all my Linux boxes. Yes games are still a problem but many game company's are seeing the market and creating cross platform games. However, I see gaming moving to more a console market so I don't think the lack of gaming support will hurt Linux in the long run.

I think the single biggest mistake that Linux has suffered though lately is the affordable PC market. It made Linux look cheap and low end. It was nice to knock MS off there rocker but it was not good for the Linux image. However, you know it scared MS because it made them leave XP on the market for almost a year longer then they wanted to.

Recently I loaded OpenSUSE 11.3 on to a 3Gh Quad core AMD with 4Gb of ram. The system was amazing. It would put Windows 7 to shame. I think there will be a move in the desktop market and I think that the strength of android will carry Linux to the desktop market. However I don't see the death of the desktop as we know it any time soon.

Wheelie
11-26-2010, 09:48 PM
I agree with all you've said for the most part. And I also do not want to believe or see the day that the desktop Windows-based PC dies or is severely reduced in numbers. This would have an enormous negative impact on my current lifestyle. :(

However, our society has trended toward the direction we are witnessing in smartphone technology (faster, smaller, much more convenience). Nearly every US citizen over the age of 12 now carries a cell phone. You couple those trends with a large alliance of major corporations pushing this technology and you begin to raise eyebrows big time. These corporations are making fantastic hardware, Android is rising to the challenge (and is being largely embraced), programmers are making a mint writing apps, and the mobile broadband network has become faster than DSL.

Now manufacturers are trying to figure out how to use Blue Tooth and/or Near Field Communication to quickly connect a given smartphone easily to a printer, full-sized LCD, keyboard, and mouse. When that happens (not if) a large number of our customers will no longer need a desktop or laptop PC. It could also reduce the urgency to phone us for our repair services which could cause our repair fees to decline. Declining demand for computer repair techs would make you and me have to compete harder for a smaller slice of the pie thus driving our prices down.

Will smartphones and TVs join forces to replace PCs? (http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=6712)

http://i.techrepublic.com.com/blogs/smartphone-tv.jpg