We may well be looking at the decline of the PC, as our applications move to the cloud, and our devices become tablets and smartphones.
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In fact, in a recent article from Gartner, it is predicted that 94% of PCs will ship with Windows 7 in 2011, and that by the end of the year Windows 7 will be the leading operating system worldwide – with an install base of some 635,000,000 PCs. And all this despite the turmoil in global financial markets!
Windows XP has clearly been surpassed as it’s slipped below the 50% threshold, and has less than 1,000 days before support from Microsoft ceases.
However, Windows 7 may well be the last dominant desktop operating system as Macs, tablets and smartphones take over from the PC, and as applications move to the cloud and do not require a desktop environment anymore.
My prediction is that the next big deal in the IT world will be collaborative applications that let us all work on the same object at the same time, allowing us to think and create together in real time. The access method will be irrelevant, and all that will matter will be the capability of the tool and the speed of access to the information. It may be a digital image being drawn, a formula being developed, or the genetic design of a new cure for a virus – the possibilities are pretty much endless.
The only thing that’s certain in this new world is that it will all be easier to use when it’s working, and harder than ever to support when it’s not. There will be multiple standards, and lots of choices for every piece of technology. This means that support companies will need to be more nimble than ever before to stay abreast of the solutions to the mass of problems that will inevitably arise.
It certainly is an interesting life for the technology support experts of our time, and no doubt will only get more interesting!
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David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.