Robert X. Cringely, I, Cringely, Amazon’s new graphical cloud helps make desktops obsolete, here. Patrick Beverley 3-19-5-3-4-2 against CP3 last night, I can hear the fat lady clearing her throat. On this death of desktops thing , Cringely’s probably right. It’s just a question of how fast this goes down. Corps will go faster because of the cost savings and added centralized control. NSA is reading all your shit anyway, and no one except rms seems all that upset. So does Ptown get gigabit lines now? NSA boys are right here – can we just make them our ISP?
Desktop computing means a large display, keyboard and mouse. It used to also mean local processing and storage because networks were so slow, but that part is changing right here and now.
Most of the time I need no more processing power than is already in my mobile phone. In the office it would be nice to have that bigger display and keyboard, but as I have written beforethese are becoming wireless peripherals that will shortly be activated whenever I am nearby. The industry will love having a whole new class of products to sell us.
What has been keeping desktops viable is the lack of those wireless peripherals and the problem that for some activities a mobile phone processor just isn’t powerful enough. Enter Amazon’s new graphical cloud. Now your mobile, whether through the handset or through those wireless peripherals I’m predicting, will be able to access as much processing power as you are willing to pay for. And because it’s a shared resource that cost should be pretty low.
Why keep a desktop for 10 hours per year of Photoshop picture editing? Better to pay $1 per hour or so for workstation performance with the latest version of the software. If that sounds like a kick in the head to Adobe or Autodesk it’s also likely to broaden their markets attracting new users.