Skip to comments.Former Microsoft bloke thinks world is done with the PC
Posted on 03/08/2012 10:15:59 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Ray Ozzie admits that Microsoft has been left behind
They are a little too big and Hot for small mobile devices.
Gaming Consoles are still pretty weak.
Those tablets cannot be made compliant with govt security regulations, so good luck.
They want everyone to go to a cloud based model where you pay for the software monthly. I’m using Microsoft CRM like that, where they routinely overcharge me.
I don’t think Microsoft is quite done yet. I’m not prepared to eulogize the company just yet.
But they do have some work cut out for it.
We lost our internet access five months ago. I used to spend most of my time at home on the computer. I even created some videos for Youtube using some excellent Adobe software.
Since I still played a game called “Command and Conquer” from time to time I left the computer on 24/7. But I turned it off one day because I hadn’t used it in a week.
It went four months before I got the urge to play the game and I turned the thing on.
I now realize that if you take away the internet and games, There is very little reason to have a home computer, beyond doing your taxes and a few other minor things.
I say this as a person who has been in IT since 1983 and I have built all my own computers since my first 486 with a 250 mb hard drive and windows 3.1.
SO says the man who completely missed this coming. I’m not sure I’d put much stock in his opinion.
I need as much screen real-estate as I can get and a real keyboard. Mobile devices have a way to go to get me that.
...and there are still plenty of places where you can’t reach the cloud without tethering at an effective 56k, so I also want standalone capability.
My own vision of the future is an entirely modular computer system that is cumulative. That is, the computer begins with a small module about the size of a cell phone. By itself it can perform a bunch of functions.
Add a second, different type of module to it, and it becomes much more powerful, and able to do many other things. As you keep adding different modules, it becomes more and more functional.
The group of modules can also to some extent work while physically apart from each other, via Wifi, or plug into ever larger systems, such as cars, business mainframes, whatever.
PCs and laptops aren’t going anywhere. Tablets are fine for higher level corporate weasels who don’t have to perform much real work that requires a laptop or PC. Try using a small tablet to effectively perform the tasks of say a systems analyst, software developer or even an administrative assistant. The need to type and input data hasn’t gone away. If you only work with one or two documents at a time or you don’t need to do any high intensity processing work then spend all that money on a tablet.
As I understand it, you’d still have that.
Your phone will be your computer. When you get home, you’d dock it and access a monitor, keyboard, printer and stuff, for that large real estate.
When you’re mobile, you’d still be able to do everything that you can do on a desktop. You wouldn’t, if you didn’t want to, stop what you’re doing just because you’re away from the desktop.
I work in a virtual home office and have 3 computers. 2 desktop PC’s and a laptop. HATE HATE HATE laptops and small systems. Love the big screen, ergo keyboards, trackball mouse, voip phone system.
I wish EVERYTHING was wireless though. The rats nest of wires and power strips behind my desk is disgusting.
What about for programming?
If all you do with a computer is read email, surf the web, and read facebook and twitter, well, yeah.
But if you want to do any serious work, like software development, financial analysis, circuit design, medicine, video processing, audio processing, CAD/CAM, real-time processing, astral or nuclear physics development, or chemical engineering, you will need a big screen with high resolution, lots of CPU power, terabytes of local storage, multi-gigabytes of memory, and a honkin’ power supply to drive it all.
None of these things is available in any hand-held device of which I am aware.
I see the typical non-technical PC morphing into the hand-held appliance, and the high-end PC morphing into the workstation.
But the PC, per-se, is not going away, and Microsoft, which supports serious working applications in all the abovementioned fields, isn’t going away, either.
The PC has afforded me the opportunity to have a couple extra ways to make money. One of them has made all the difference for me.
I used to play some games on it...but they bored me.
I can watch my favorite sports teams on the PC.
And finally the PC connected me up with like-minded people...on FR
I know what you mean. I recently had my home office renovated, and had to remove and reinstall all of the cables. But this time, I laid out the cables and zip-tied the long runs together, and looped and zip-tied the excess cable near one end or the other. Much less of a rat's nets now.
I agree that we’re not quite there yet. When quad-processor phones become available, we’ll have the hardware capability to do that.
But getting people to buy into that will take time.
Yeah: Linux Boxes.
You’re really straying out of “PC” territory there and well into full-on workstation territory....
....which is a point missed by most on this thread, so don’t feel bad about it. The man is right: we’re in a post-PC world where most people....MOST....can do all they need to do on a tablet or smartphone.
Power users still need workstations. For those reading this that insist they do the heavy lifting with a desktop PC, let me remind you that your state of the art desktop today is FAR more powerful than very high-dollar workstations of, say, 5-6 years ago (maybe less, actually).
PCs aren’t done if you want to do actual WORK - documents, spreadsheets, etc. Tablets and phones are nice for viewing data, but almost useless for manipulating it.
That is all I have at the moment.
Ipads are fine for those who like them.
I first got involved with computers because I wanted a word processor. If you do a lot of writing, it’s great to have a machine that enables you to make corrections and additions without having to type the whole damned thing over six or seven times.
Then I got involved in the internet.
Frankly, I think an iPad is kind of a toy. It’s biggest advantage is that you can pull it out of your pocket anywhere. But the screen is tiny and the lack of a real keyboard makes it completely unsuited to writing anything significant.
I suspect it’s mostly, “Hi, like, How R U?” Sure, you can do serious stuff, but it’s a LOT harder.
Moreover, watched cybersecurity House hearings yesterday. It is clear that smartphones, pads and the like have serious security issues. Clearly, a desktop behind a router is potentially much more secure.
For serious work and security, the desktop will be here for a looooong time. It's just that the 'business' desktop market size will be far lower in the future. The upside is that Microsoft will find desktop operating systems much less profitable to obsolete.
He’s right, the PC in most homes will go the way of the dinosaur. Tablets, and Phones and networked devices make them mostly obsolete for what MOST folks use their PC’s for.
They will remain for folks who do hard core things like softwared development and the like, but in most homes, the PC will slowly fade away, like the rotary phone.
—I can watch my favorite sports teams on the PC.
And finally the PC connected me up with like-minded people...on FR—
Yeah. I get that.
Unplug it from the internet, and now what do you do with it?
And it does not take a PC to be plugged into the internet.
—What about for programming?—
Well, there are a few programmers.
I was one from 1983 until recently. I may even be getting into some .Net stuff here soon. But unplug my PC from the network at work or the internet, and there is really not a lot I can do with it. I can work on documents and spreadsheets on airplanes and upload when I get to work, but even then we’re talking laptop.
“Youre really straying out of PC territory there and well into full-on workstation territory....
....which is a point missed by most on this thread, so dont feel bad about it.”
Baloney. The word “workstation” is a meaningless term thrown around to either sell high-end PCs or to impress people who don’t know better. Even the low end PCs of today were called workstations just a few years ago.
Fact is, without the internet, my computer has become very much like a boat anchor. It does have uses, but nothing like when connected to the web.
Without the internet, I’d not bother to buy one.
That battle has already been lost. Consoles have not only won, but won by a crushing margin. The best selling video game at the moment and all time, Modern Warfare 3 is a great example. PC and Wii sales combined make up 4% of sales. Xbox and Playstation make up the other 96%
—They want everyone to go to a cloud based model where you pay for the software monthly—
This. I heard all this talk about the cloud a while back and did some research. Not interested.
They dont care if you arent interested. A lot of software companies are trying to push this model, which means if you want software you have to sign up.
Tablets need to get a bit more powerful before that happens. But it's not far away. The Asus Transformer Prime for instance has 5 processors, a quad core CPU and a graphics accelerator. It has HDMI out so you can hook it to a big 1920x1080 monitor. You can use external keyboards and a mouse if you wish. It has two cams, a 1080p rear cam and a 720p front cam. The 10.1" screen is so bright you can read it in full direct sunlight. That's a lot of ability for just 500 dollars. If it had a 1920x1080 LCD or even better, an Iris quality display it would kill the iPad.
The Prime would be able to displace my desktop machine if I could run multiple operating systems on it. I need Linux and Windows7. An easy way to plop a new graphics processor with hundreds of fast cores down next to it is also a must.
But those things are easily possible...and when they arrive the PC will be truly dead.
And I don't think that you will see guys like me that do graphic art and HD video editing giving up our quad core PCs with 23 inch monitors anytime soon. Imagine a movie studio trying to edit a movie with an iPad.
—A lot of software companies are trying to push this model, which means if you want software you have to sign up.—
If I want their software, sure. Same’s true for cable tv, but I’ve done without TV just fine for 15 years now. ;)
I used to be an internet WWII fighter plane junkie. Did it for a few years (and pulled a few all nighters) and it ran its course. I could get by with almost no software now. My copies of Visio, Word, Excel, etc can serve me for at least another decade. I’m still using Sonar version 1 for audio recording and mixdown with wonderful results. Heck, I just stopped using Microsoft photodraw when I got the two Adobe photo and video products.
I loved photodraw for the most part.
So I may have to go to the cloud eventually, or I could, come to think of it, just go all linux and bypass the whole thing.
old software is highly vulnerable to malware
—old software is highly vulnerable to malware—
So far, so good. ‘Course, my computer has not been connected to the internet for a while. ;-)
I’ve actually had to wipe my hard drives and re-install windows on one occasion. What surprised me was how simple the whole process actually was.
As I still have my old Commodore computer hooked up in a spare room, I’m probably not quite part of the post-PC world. :-)
A sizeable market segment will still want large monitors and full-size keyboards. Whatever CPU I may use, it just won’t have MicroSnot on it.
I recently upgraded my PC. Actually, I wanted a new, bigger monitor and reliable mouse and keyboard since they were getting worn out. Computers are so cheap that I threw a PC in with my order.
I picked up one with a TB of disk space, 4 GB of RAM and a quad core AMD proc. Not because I needed the space and horsepower, but because the PC was one of the cheapest ones available.
I bought it online, and the reseller threw a blender in with it. (no joke. Seriously. Buy a computer, get a free blender. The humor writes itself)
Mrs WBill uses our new PC to check her facebook page. I'll use it to do taxes. Kids might play a game or two. That's about it.
The whole deal cost a little over 300 bucks. 6-ish years ago, I bought a server for work with the same specs - 4 procs, 4GB RAM, roughly a TB of disk space, and it was $25,000. Astonishing, really.
If you're a gamer, or maybe do video/music processing, you need a higher-end box. Otherwise, computers have far, far outstripped the needs of the average home user, at least for now. Maybe when high-speed wireless access (a couple of orders of magnitude faster than what we have now.....) is completely ubitquitous users will catch up to computers. Until then, what's the point?
Read Tonight BTTT!
I would be quite happy with an updated Commodore with a modern 3Gig quad microprocessor, 8 gigs of ram, two 3 Tb Hard Drives, upgraded Commodore (or HP) Basic software and NO Microsoft anything. With the ability to use standard monitors, wireless, hard drives, printers, etc.
The iPad 3 has a new key on its virtual keyboard - Siri. You press it and, so the demo suggests, your iPad takes dictation. I just got an iPad 2, and will probably stand pat for a little while at least. But if in fact I learn that Siri is for real as a dictation-taker, I will be tempted sorely. By that, and the retina display and the iPhoto app that was demod yesterday.
One thing I have noticed in the camera on the iPad is its gorilla arm tendency. You need to hold the 1 1/2 lb. camera up and away in front of you to sight the camera, and that is an uncomfortable position to hold for any length of time. And I find that whenever I view a video I took, I am always disappointed when the video ends - but you simply have no choice but to limit how long you take videos with the iPad.
Hardly. I spent a fair number of years in that end of the business (nearly 30 years total in the computer biz); trust me.....they are/were NOT just “high end PC’s”. Note even close.
What you saw, and has pretty much always been the case, is that hardware continues to far outstrip software in terms of capability. I’d say the exception to that today would be in the world of wireless. Watching videos, even 4G LTE, on mobile devices is still not where it ought to be or will be eventually. The wireless networks in this country are pathetic.
For that matter, Internet speeds in this country are pathetic. Nearly a decade ago, a co-worker from Japan told me they had 100 Mbit Internet where he lived. We pay Time Warner Cable, those grubby thieves, a premium to get a whopping 5 up and down in 2012. It’s sickening.
I think perhaps you're confused. Gates and Ballmer are the ones who repeatedly missed "things coming", from the internet to smartphones and beyond.
Ray Ozzie has been in front of things for decades. He's a visionary and innovator. He went to Microsoft when they bought his company Groove Networks in 2005. He took over Gates' position as Chief Architect, and immediately started warning the management at Microsoft that they were in deep trouble, way behind the times and changes, and that they had better get their act together quick and change.
He was pushed out because Ballmer and others didn't like what he was saying. It scared them to think about change. Same old story, same old Microsoft.
I would trust Ozzie's opinion over that of Ballmer's any day, and over Gates' almost any day.
Then again, Your Mileage May Vary. Especially if you're a Microsoft fanboy, which I sometimes think may be the case. :)
You mean like this?