Byte Me Article 155 – Crystal ball on computing in 2014

Crystal Ball on Computing in 2014

This being the last Byte Me Article for 2013 has me reflecting on the current direction of computing & where I think we will see it heading during the next 12 months.  One of the big things that I see emerging is a greater gap between PC’s for business and PC’s for personal / home use.

Businesses will always need a large screen and therefore a desktop style PC – this won’t change for many years as no one can manage to drive a tax package or spreadsheet on a small portable device for any length of time – and screens will only get larger.  On the other hand PC’s for personal use have been getting smaller as many users only need access to Web based emails, YouTube, Facebook, maps for direction and to be able to check tomorrows weather or the latest sports scores.

When fold out screens are further perfected many will want to wear their portable PC like a watch for basic info and fold it out a bit for reading stories or for a larger view.  Portable devices are also now running cut down or simplified operating systems such as android devices and they are less prone to viruses and troublesome setup.  This is because many portable devices are not required to perform the range of operations that a typical workstation does.

2013-12-14 Byte Me Article 155 - Direction of Computing

Did you notice that in the list of typical uses of a portable device above – every operation that I mentioned only needs a web browser and an Internet connection?  On the other hand desktops are still required to network to each other or a server, share printers, backup their data, run the likes of Word, Excel, MYOB, QuickBooks and other specialised databases (all of which are 10 times easier to use on a large screen).

When it comes to the use of these business focused PC’s I also see further trends.  During the release of newer software versions and newer operating systems we always see them touted as ‘being easier to use’ – who comes up with this slogan?  Talk about false advertising and propaganda!  Sure, there are always more features and more ‘bells and whistles’ but as for being easier to use?  As full time computer technicians we have enough trouble keeping up with developments and how to manage change.

I rarely see ‘logic’ built into software to the extent that people were probably expecting.  Sure defragmenting the hard drive is now automatic, but as for a simplified backup system or a logical troubleshooting wizard – nope – not yet!  Again this furthers the disparity between business computing and personal / home type use.  Businesses more than ever need the assistance of professional IT organisations to help setup and maintain their networks.

Another trend that is ‘supposed’ to be occurring is a migration of many computing applications to the cloud.  This is happening – SLOWLY – but it won’t happen overnight, and the lack of a proper National Broadband Network will make sure that cloud computing does not become mainstream for quite some time yet.

The other unfortunate trend is the continuance of hackers, Ransomware software and phishing software getting smarter and more sophisticated.  I also see this happening because so many of AUSTRALIA’S large companies are now using offshore call centres to (help???) us with our enquiries. Because of this we don’t immediately become suspicious when a foreign sounding voice calls us to suggest that we need to change something or allow them to help us – and half the time we can’t understand what they are saying whether they are legitimate or not.

One this is for sure, the IT world never stands still and 2014 will see a plethora of small portable devices released to lighten the wallet of the younger generation.  Business computing will not become any simpler – cloud or not.  Foreigners will continue to come up with better scams to vie for our hard earned cash and Australia needs an effective National Broadband Network just to keep up with what most other developed countries already have. 

Have a safe and Merry Christmas break and remember that future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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