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The mythical network computer
Posted: 6 September 2007

40% of Korean homes and reportedly 80% of businesses have 50+Mbs fibre connections, and this scenario has not come to pass at all. Here is why:

1) People still want PCs, because there will ALWAYS be occasions to be offline - in which case still want to access to your services and hard drive. Mobilty mitigates against he network computer, even in the face of new hi speed wireless IP transport.

2) No amount of legislation and good intentions will give people comfort that that corporate and personal infomation is 100% safe in the hands of distant third parties. Photos and spreadsheets, perhaps, but stuff like personal adult content and confidential company information is unlikely to ever be resident on network clouds where there is the smallest chance of malicious employee breach.

3) No matter how fast the cloud, the PC bus and the LAN is going to be faster. Simple physics. This shorter distance/greater speed imperitave will necessarily keep certain services within the company or residence.

So - perhaps an increasing use of online services, but to imply we go all the way to the edge, hmmmm....

MindBullet logo DATA CENTERS DISAPPEAR, WEB SERVERS GO VIRTUAL
Amazon, Google and eBay dominate internet hardware
Dateline: 5 September 2009
Why buy cows when all you need is milk? Have you noticed how no-one buys any server hardware anymore? In fact, I can't remember the last time a company or corporation actually shelled out for infrastructure, except for being connected to the 'net. IBM, Dell and HP now only have three customers for their servers - besides the banks and a few other paranoid institutions. Everyone else just ...
 
Wolfgang Grulke In my worldview, the evolution of network development is to make intelligence pervasive in the network - a true network has no 'edge'.

In a networked world, anything that becomes commoditized, also becomes irrelevant - in a business/profit/value sense. Ditto privacy will become commoditized as people realize that is is achievable. But, this will require a different operating system that treats information as personal unless the user decides otherwise - I'm sure we did a MindBullet on that last year!?

Nice debate!!!!
Posted: 6 September 2007 at 13:33
Wolfgang Grulke I guess the whole point of this particular MindBullet has nothing whatsoever to do with the future use of PCs, but rather the impact that this pervasive 'cloud computing' will have on sales of web servers and traditional 'central site' hardware. The impact for all suppliers will be massive if the primary sales are focused on a few gigantic customers - margins will be squeezed like never before and economies of scale will hit overall sales volumes.

Re your other points - it is already much cheaper to store information on the network than on a PC and the gap is growing. Network speeds are already growing faster than computing speeds. This is not about simple physics - but about the power of large-scale networks, individual choice and simplicity vs complexity.

Also, I see big business opportunities for people to develop new 'trusted brands' that will manage personal data and guarantee privacy - these do not exist today.

Consumers will make different choices based on different value-propositions in future - I like this MindBullet because it forces many industries to rethink their straight-line views of the future. Their 'current future' will not necessarily be their 'ideal future'.
Posted: 6 September 2007 at 10:25
 
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