The world is going to change. It’s moving in to the cloud. It’s moving on to your phone, your tablet, your netbook. In 5 or 10 years, you won’t use a desktop (there’s a good chance you already don’t), you probably won’t even use a laptop as we know it today. You’ll be on a tablet, your TV, your phone, a netbook and if you’re a serious content creator you might even have a thin terminal at work and/or at home. All of these devices will be interchangeable since they’ll all be able to pull your data from the cloud. There aren’t many people in technology who disagree with this. The question is who will be the winners in this transition.
The only winner that’s clear so far is Apple. They already have great tablet and a great phone and they’re leading the way in letting people know what the next wave of technology is going to mean in their personal lives. Who else is going to win?
I’ve got your answer, but you’re not going to like it. Microsoft is going to win. They’re coming out with a converged phone/PC platform that will be cloud integrated. It might miss on its first implementation, but if they’re announcing it in February they must be close to that first iteration. Three years after everyone in technology could see the future, Microsoft has finally decided to evolve. That would be a recipe for disaster except for the simple fact that no one beat them to it. Google Docs is a crappy product. Chrome OS went too far. Dropbox and Box.net are just patches on the existing problem and are trapped by their initial success from evolving additional features. All the tablets outside of Apples have major flaws. Android can’t get all their phones / tablets on the same version. Blackberry refused to evolve until it was too late (in addition to horrible mismanagement).
When Microsoft becomes the biggest (or depending on Apple, second biggest) winner in this major technological shift, the executives at all of these other companies should be fired. Microsoft will take the lead sometime next year, and ride the shift to reborn greatness over the next 5 years. This isn’t written in stone yet, but every day that passes without major innovation from the rest of the marketplace it becomes a little more certain.