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Will the 'personal cloud' replace the PC by 2014?

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Gartner has predicted that the 'personal cloud' will replace the PC by 2014.  As this is only two years away, what do you think?

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  • No way, and this for three reasons:
    1. Smart phones and tablets complement the notebook and do not replace it. I have not seen anybody yet that did toss his PC away, rather they now have a third device they carry with them on the road.
    2. Most tablets and phones have lower security levels than PC's and enterprises are not ready to let that down. Yes you hear a lot about BOYD, but frankly I have not seen that much happening yet in that space.
    3. Try have a consistent connection at a reasonable speed with your cloud based applications and data. I just realized that the 4G offered by Apple on the iPAD does not work in 3/4 of the world. And my mobile keeps flipping between 2.5 and 3G, so the connection is unreliable. What do I do if all my data and intelligence is in the cloud in that case?

    I'll release a blog entry on the issue soon, so stay tuned.

  • I am with Christian. It will not happen until we get consistent, reasonable speeds on the Internet.

  • I think 'personal cloud' will gain traction but I don't see it as a replacement for the PC just yet. 2 years is a challenge. Despite the consumerisation of tablet and mobile devices people still rely on software and laptop/ desktop hardware as a fixed base and physical backup 'just in case'.

    There's too much 'death of the PC' town crying at the moment for that bit of attention.

    The question with personal cloud is that are people expected to put all their eggs in one basket with a single provider or will they have to manage multiple 'cloudlets' ?

  • How can "personal cloud" replace the PC? Without a PC or device we simply cannot access the cloud, and therefore access our personal cloud?

    Im with Theo, aparently everything means the death of the PC. What's odd is that people who make these claims I believe dont understand what the technology can and cant do.

    The cloud doesnt replace anything, it simply complements what we have and makes connectivity a little easier. I don't know why, but many keep thinking we can move everything to the cloud, and thats not going to happen nor is it a good idea. If you believe thats a good idea then you will also believe that we should be all still using mainframes only and dumbterminals. The point is, the PC or whatever device you have needs to do processing on it for a good user experience. This is why we all prefer apps to HTML based web experiences on tablets and phones. The personal cloud is just great for synchronising our devices, our data, our apps on devices, our "state" - it doesnt replace the devices themseleves...

    Theos point re eggs all in a single basket is quite a good one. However, realistically that's what the majority of us will have to do - and if you use Apple you dont really have an obvious choice (you are rather forced down the rather limited iCloud route only).

  • I think 2014 is a tad too soon. But then its merely a question of timing. My guess would be somewhere around 2016. We are already seeing evidence of this - people increasingly freeing themselves of dependence on a single device (everyone seems to have a smartphone, a tablet, and a desktop), the increased popularity of cloud services like iCloud and DropBox. It might take slightly longer to culminate though.


  • There is no such thing as a "personal cloud." This particular moniker is the antithesis of cloud and its shared, multi-tenant premise.

    That said, the intention behind the question is no doubt to ascertain opinion on the displacement of the PC by mobile devices, and I agree with previous posters regarding the inequity of bandwidth, lack of "always on" connectivity, and need for "backup" as drivers for maintaining the status-quo.

    This concept is really focused on the transformation of personal compute into what is little more than a thin client requiring access to "cloud hosted services". That's nothing more than cloud washing thin-client technology. It is nowhere nearer reality than in the past when netbooks were predicted as the death-knell of the PC than it is today with mobile devices and cloud now acting the part of the grim technology reaper.

  • We are getting close to the point but still a way off from complete replacement.

    On a recent 5-day business trip I was able to be completely productive with just my iPad though I did "SplashTop" into my PC sitting at my desk once or twice to move files into "DropBox" for use on the road. Some white-boarding sessions with "ShowMe" and presentations with "Prezi" were actually more effective because of the iPad.

    My last vacation was iPad only and provided me with all the connectivity I needed.

    However back in the office the development team here are still in search of ever more powerful PC's for their work. And I am typing this on my PC because it is convenient.

    We are prone in this industry to get into dogmatic stances about the relative merits of our favorite methodologies and technologies. So I think Gartner may be completely correct for some people and wildly wrong for others (0.8 probability!).

    For me, I'll use whatever the best tool is that I can find, afford and slip in my carry-on. See you on the road.

  • Nope! Semantic arguments aside, clouds and PCs don't do the same things, so the question is entirely moot.

  • Kevin's response is on point. Whether an individual can function completely with a mobile tablet, smartphone, and the cloud depends largely upon the kind of work in which s/he is engaged.

    I also think that Steve has an excellent point. We don't use cloud-based apps and PC's in the same way or for the same purpose. Probably 2014 is a bit soon, possibly (for some folks) even 2020 could be optimistic.

  • "Personal cloud" makes me think of Pigpen, the Peanuts character.

    Beyond that, well... there are tools for every job. The fork, useful an innovation as it was, didn't replace the spoon. But whether or not the desktop PC becomes a thing of the past (and I, for one, will not miss it), there is an important corollary here for the IT world: your ability to deploy and control a single, clearly defined, individually assigned technology portal is fading fast. Security, accountability, service levels: everything, everything needs to be re-evaluated.

    In case that isn't headache enough, count on the regulators and auditors to be a decade behind this change. So you'll be trying to follow rules meant for an environment entirely dissimilar to the one you're about to experience. Good luck with that.

    BPM is actually well positioned to take advantage of this trend... but perhaps that's a topic for another day.

  • Have you all read the actual Gartner headline? It's not about replacing the PC, but replacing the PC as the center of users digital lives.

    You might still use a PC, maybe even all the time. But, your digital life may not be tightly coupled with it. That's the difference Gartner is pointing out.

    I don't know if it'll be in two years for the majority of people, but it's already happening in large scale.

    My full response here: http://davidbressler.com/2012/03/30/thoughts-on-replacing-the-pc/


  • Hmmm. Seems if I had an idea that was GOOD, just not necessary, and wanted to increase the sale of my new idea, I might create "loud" predictions that my idea is the next big thing. Bet that might get those trendsetters to think they are missing out if they don't get on board, which, if my guess is right, will lead the rest to jump onboard...Good play!

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