Originally Posted by tundraboy
You are imagining merging the current (or near term) incarnations of the iPhone OS and Mac OS into a single jerrybuilt OS using baling wire pilfered from Microsoft's warehouse. Of course that would be stupid. I meant *eventually* these two will have to merge.
Eventually we'll have direct neural interfaces too. But it's highly unlikely for the the OS to merge in this way in say...Jobs' lifetime.
(And it will be more a merging of functions than a merging of code bases, but it will include some of the latter.) At that point all your objections will be nonexistent. As technology advances and the cost of computing power continues to fall, the Apple mobile device by then will be so powerful that it can easily perform desktop functions like photo & video editing, word processing, spreadsheet manipulation, etc. ['Shoehorning' will not be an applicable term by then.] The only limitation for desktop functions on a mobile device will be ergonomics (human visual acuity, typical hand size, etc.) Maybe Gen 6 iPhone is still too early, but the day will come. And it will still be software that works seamlessy with hardware in the usual Apple fashion.
That's the crux. Technology changes quickly but humans do not. Odd how the lowly keyboard has survived all this time. Why is that? Mostly because we can actually type faster than we write. Secondly, voice recognition still 5 years from really being useful for everyone. I've been saying that for about 20 years now. Sooner or later it'll actually be true.
A mobile device with limited input capabilities favor one kind of interface optimized for content display. A device intended for content creation favors a different kind of interface optimized for input. Can the two be identical?
Sure, if you prefer them to be sub optimal.
Imagine the proposition. Your mobile device is your desktop. You don't need to buy a second computer, you don't need to synch back and forth, you don't need to worry about a burglar stealing your desktop while you're away, you don't need to say "Aw, I left the data on my desktop". If the hardware has the capability to do it, it will happen and Apple will readily kill its own pure desktop business because as I have repeated ad infinitum: You better cannibalize your own product or somebody else will cannibalize it for you.
My mobile device IS my desktop today. It's called a laptop. I do have to worry about stealing it, just like folks steal iPhones too. Or even from the cloud.
Maybe not in airport kiosks. Frequent flyer lounges, hotel rooms, hotel 'business centers'. Once the 'desktop in your pocket' becomes ubiquitous services catering to it will emerge. I don't say the kiosks will be everywhere, but something of the sort will crop up to cater to a particular segment, not everyone.
This is actually a concept from the early 90's. See the Starfire video from Sun. How odd though that your vision of the future is that of the past.http://www.asktog.com/starfire/starfire.mp4
Amazing what we have and don't have from that. You'll see iChat, tactile multitouch work surfaces, augmented reality (sorta...but the tablet thing she used to drive the camera is VERY close to the device Cameron used to visualize the virtual Avatar set) and voice recognition.
A notebook with a display and keyboard built in is superior to the kiosk because it doesn't cost anything to the hotel or airline and I can use it in any old cafe.
Besides, by the time I can have a desktop in my pocket I can have a projector in my pocket too and use any surface as a viewing area. Input is tougher unless we all start learning chording keyboards.
Then you and the Japanese are not the target market for the monitor-keyboard-mouse service. And as I said above, they need not be airport kiosks. That was just an example. The people who will use them are the segment of customers who frequent internet cafes, seek out hotels with high speed access, sign up for frequent flyer airport lounges, etc.
And already have laptops.
Anyway, it looks more and more likely that mobile computing is headed this way. What this means is that sales of pure desktops and laptops to consumers are going to shrink drastically
Depends on how you define laptops I suppose. Netbooks are still laptops. Convertible tablets are still laptops.
and that spells the end of Windows dominance in the consumer sector unless by some miracle, MS revives its mobile OS business and somehow finds the programming mojo to merge (the future versions of) WinMo, Windows and Zune OS into a seamless, bloat-free package. I highly doubt that.
That'll be a long time coming even assuming that Google today is to MS what MS was to IBM.
In this future of mobile/desktop convergence nobody except Apple possesses the necessary, comprehensive skill set. Not MS, not Blackberry, not Google, not Palm, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, you name it. Even if some of these also-rans merged, there's still the colossal problem of integrating their disparate products.
Sony does even if they are executing very poorly at the moment. A good ass kicking does wonders though. They'll either start executing well again or die. Kinda like Apple in the late 90s.