Google predicts death of desktop computing

Posted on Mar 15 2010 - 9:09am by simon

The head of Google’s European operations has said publicly that he believes the desktop PC is going to become a thing of the past in the next few years, with mobile phones and laptops taking over in a big way.

Google’s John Herlihy was addressing an audience at the Digital Landscapes conference and he said that cloud computing would remove the need for a powerful desktop PC to exist in every home, with data streaming allowing for smaller, portable devices to provide complex content from the internet.

In his speech, Mr Herlihy said that the future of computing was firmly in the mobile market and pointed to the number of smartphone owners using mobile internet for their day-to-day connectivity tasks in Japan as a predicator.

Mr Herlihy believes that in the West it is only a matter of time before our culture changes and monolithic computing cases are replaced by the mini-monoliths that are modern smartphones.

Interestingly, Mr Herlihy revealed that Google is itself fearful of becoming obsolete by some unforeseen advance in technology. It appears that it is actually worried that it will create the instrument of its own destruction and this is prompting it to expand into other areas, including the mobile OS arena with Android.

There is no doubt that smartphones, tablet PCs and netbooks are becoming the gadgets of choice for millions of people, but it may be hard to persuade desktop computing fanatics to put down their neon glow sticks and quad core, multi-graphics card setups to switch to an intangible cloud-based alternative.

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