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Motorola Atrix 4G is the Beginning of the Next Big Trend in Computers

21February2011 Leave a comment

The Motorola Atrix 4G was released this past weekend (Feb 17, 2011).

While you can read about the Motorola 4G in the full article, is a cell phone that also is the brain behind a larger laptop dock. This phone IS the computer, not the other way around.

If you read my previous post on (yesterday) on this very blog, I think that the future trends in computing look more like the iPhone / Android than the current offerings from Microsoft.

The Atrix 4G is simply a strong step in that direction given the technological limitations that we currently are able to bring to market at a cost-effective price point. Like most new things, the prices start high then decline as the technology becomes more wide spread.

Even more important, don’t read into this commentary that the Motorola Atrix 4G is the best phone there is, go buy it right now, etc. What I’m saying is that you can expect to see other devices like this which are small cell phone or other tiny form factor which transform or otherwise allow for a large form factor.

Computer technology has gotten to the point that it’s no longer practical for human use. Instead, we have to find new and innovative ways to make the technology fit the person.

We often expand the definition of fit to involve features and benefits, fit their method of use, fit their needs, and fit their lifestyle, but even more important is the simple human interface which must be accommodated.  I might have an awesome MP3 player that does everything except the dishes, but if my hands cramp when I try to use it because it’s TOO SMALL, I won’t use it.

It’s also been noted that the wristwatch is in decline because more and more people are carrying cell phones which have the time on it. Others point out that MP3 players saw a spurt of growth with the release of the iPod, but the iPhone has replaced the iPod because it can do most everything the iPod can PLUS more.

If the typical user can get 90% of their needs met through an advanced cell phone which is able to expand to having a LARGE screen and an ergonomic keyboard, then most would probably just buy the less expensive expansion dock for the cell phone and  leave the regular computer at home.

Thus, the final package for more people will likely end up being a simple home computer / cell phone combination with the expansion option or accessories on the cell phone for portable computing needs.  The plethora of electronics in the car, purse, backpack, and pockets is going to get a LOT less.

Music, movies, books, and media can be transferred from home computer downloading and updating as needed when we’re not at home to then sync with the phone via the common cable or other means. (Apple! The iPad SERIOUSLY needs a USB &/or SD port.)

Lastly, we have “ebook readers”. This category of devices has limited market appeal, but there is some benefit of having such a device. Likely as not, as they develop more powerful, more flexible and more expandable phones,  someone will develop an “eBook screen” which acts more like an add-on than being its own separate device. So the user could use the “phone” in their pocket to read the books on a screen that’s lighter, easier to read for extended periods, requires less power, etc. Kindle isn’t the future, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

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My typical advice to anyone looking to buy something is to research the options thoroughly. Once you decide on the best choice and buy it, don’t look back & wonder.

Do your DUE DILIGENCE before the sale, then be content with your choice after the sale unless you’ve made a SERIOUS error in judgement If it’s good for you, don’t get caught up in comparison shopping afterward.

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Categories: General Computer

Microsoft Windows 7 vs Google ChromeOS and the Future of the Computer as We Know It.

20February2011 Leave a comment

To show I’m not all about SCAMS and RANTS, I’d like to offer my 2 cents on an article about Operating Systems.

WARNING! This article might be a little too “techie” for some people. If you don’t understand it, no big deal. I felt like pontificating a little so I responded in thorough fashion as is my wont.

If you’ve been around computers for much time at all, you begin to realize that there are certain writers in the tech journals who are totally IN LOVE with Microsoft. I am not one of them.

I think software should fulfill some purpose for the consumer and end user, beyond lining the coffers of Bill Gates. (Bill’s an EXPERT marketer and monopolist, but his software leaves something [much] to be desired. )

I found this (unfortunately old) commentary about the (at that time) newly released Windows 7 which was quickly replacing the clunky and much disliked Windows Vista.

In addition to the subject matter at hand, the author expounds on his beliefs of Microsoft domination over Google’s upcoming ChromeOS in 2012.

(Disclosure: I am presently writing this using Google’s Chrome browser on Windows XP.)

If you want to read my full comment on the Vista vs 7 debate, you can go there and read it, but I want to expound just a little on the very end with the author and I prognosticating on the future of the PC.

Well, from a technical perspective at least, Windows 7 has shown that Microsoft produces some quality software. Windows 8 is expected to hit the campaign train sometime in 2012 and, if it’s only as good as Windows 7, Google may well find that their Chrome OS will need pull out all the stops to make any serious headway against MS. (emphasis added – TNF)

To which I responded:

Another interesting correlation is the decade long gaps between SIGNIFICANT OSes. Win 3.1 (1992) was the first popular windowing OS thus relegating the command-line to permanent “behind the scenes” status. Win XP (2001) fulfilled all the promises that Microsoft had been promising since Win95 but had never truly been able to fulfill. Win 98 was closer & SR2 was almost usable, but it wasn’t until XP that it became “child’s play”. We now have 64-bit OSes on the market and Vista and Win 7 are trying to grow up in this new world, but there isn’t a significant improvement in the technology or interface yet.

Thus Chrome has the opportunity to make the “game changer” OS that Microsoft refuses to acknowledge like it did w the Mac System 7 back in 1991 (interface change) and even more significantly with OS X in 2001: (Unix OS w Mac OE). As an avid netbook user (Right Now!) Chrome OS like smartphones w iPhone and Android realize that the OS is less important than the applications that you use. Thus both Mac and Google are using the strongest and most powerful OS on the planet (Unix) while using their skills at developing a better user experience (OE). Microsoft seems bent of ruining themselves by trying all the more firmly to entrench the OS with the OE. Microsoft sold us on the eXPerience of their environment 🙂 , but we’re becoming less enamored with the OS the environment depends on 😦 .

If I could expound on that a little, I’d like to start by clarifying where I think the OS is eventually going to end up.

As I indicated, I think the next significant OS change will be a full “interface change” more drastic than Win 3.1 -> Win95. Microsoft altered Win95 in response to Mac System 7’s interface change. (Thanks, Steve Jobs!) Well, Jobs did it again in 2001 with OS X. Guess what?

Jobs is right there on the cutting edge with the iPhone / iPad.

Where’s the OS? It’s there but not really.

Instead of an ubiquitous “Start” button or “Apple Key”, the iPhone / iPad removes all signs of the OS completely out of the interface leaving only the user and his applications.

Google has done the same thing with Android and is close to doing the same thing with ChromeOS.

What’s Microsoft doing: same old worn out interface.

  • Windows CE? FAILED.
  • Windows Phone? Failing.

Notice that the more Apple gets Apple out of the iPhone the more $$$$ Apple makes through their AppStore. Microsoft is still trying to make $ by keeping their name in front of everyone, but no one cares anymore.

Desktop computer sales have fallen drastically. Microsoft is entrenched in desktops with businesses, and that may be where they’ll die. They’ve become inflexible to the changes in the marketplace.

Laptop / notebook computers now sell more strongly than desktops. (I have 3 computers: 1 laptop  & 2 netbooks.)

iPad and other tablet computers are the next trend down from laptops for a usable computer with sufficient screen size, storage, and power for general use.

Smart phones like Android and iPhone are showing us the early sign of the next trend after tablets. The trend is toward smaller and more ubiquitous devices, but these currently have limited use because of their small size.

Once the technology is developed for rollable or foldable displays, it won’t be long before an iPhone or smaller will unfold into the size of an iPad or even larger.

Oddly enough, this means that we’ll come full circle.

A long time ago, before there were books made of sheets of paper and bound in leather or wood, there were scrolls, rolled up sheets of paper or leather. Everything was written on the scrolls.

Once the technology reaches the next point, the world of information will be once more on a scroll: a flexible, electro-polymer, touch sensitive, thin film 3D display and whatever else they want to add onto it, but a SCROLL none the less.

Categories: General Computer