When I was in Tokyo earlier this year in March my friend and I went over to Akihabara which is the area in Tokyo that has all the newest gadgets and technology. I was interested in this since innovative technology often comes out of Japan. The most prevalent thing I saw there were cute little ‘computers’ called Netbooks which now have become the rage here in the United States.
Much less expensive than a traditional laptop (they start as low as $ 400 maybe even under that), Netbooks are much smaller and lighter than a laptop, have full internet capability and just a few applications like Word/Excel etc. They are more user friendly than a smart phone since you can actually type on them without having to correct spelling errors (or intuitive word spelling that comes with many smart phones) to anywhere near the degree that occur when typing on a hand held smart phone.
Since I have been doing so much traveling the idea seems intriguing to me. Until I realized that I have been using my laptop as a Netbook all along. It’s just heavier and has more features that for the most part I never use. I log into our company server and work remotely as do so many people. All the applications I need are contained on the server and I really don’t have much use for the ones contained in the hard drive of my laptop. Sure I have the option of using the apps on my laptop hard drive and I occasionally use them (when I am working on the plane without internet access) but as we head to the ‘cloud computing’ world the need for applications on a hard drive is lessening every day.
So while I can think of myself as an early adopter I am not ready to toss my laptop in the junk pile just yet but that day is coming. Of course once I have a projectable keyboard off my smart phone (that will host the same apps that I have on my Netbook) the need for a Netbook will also go by the wayside. Maybe that day will come before I make the switch to a Netbook. I hope so.
Cloud computing! The thought is massive! All companies used to run their own electricity like companies have their own data departments. The commodization of the IT dept. is under way! Just like the the energy departments in the factories before the information revolution. Welcome to the Information Grid! (sorry for all the exclamation points).