A glimpse at the future of client computing

To look forward and try to predict what is going to happen, sometimes you have to first look back and gauge where you have come from first.  Have you ever stopped to look at how much technology has changed in your day to day workplace in just the last 5 years?  If you were to look back to 2005, there wasn't anything like an iPhone, definitely not an iPad.  Instant messaging was something you used at home and they tried to prevent you from using at work.  3 hour battery life on a laptop was nirvana and a cell phone was just that, a phone. We were just starting to use wireless in the workplace and nobody had it at home, much less in their DVD or Xbox system.  We have definitely come a long way in 5 years. There are 2 main forces at work now pushing on your corporate environment, technologies and trends.  Technologies that are changing the way we compute and trends like Consumerization, bring your own device and a changing skillset in the workforce changing the demands on computing.  As we look at technologies, we see that there are more and more coming to market every day. And sometimes it seems as though many of the requested technologies were designed for home or personal use rather than corporate.  But as we look forward we see that changing.  The world of personal and professional computing are no longer so isolated from each other. With hardware and software virtualization available now and as it evolves over the next few years, we see these world beginning to blend, more and more. 5 years from now we may look back and ask ourselves, why was it necessary to have a work laptop and a home computer.  Why was it always so focused on one device.  If anything that we are seeing right now is a marker to where we think the client footprint is going, just take a look at the device ratio.  even as early as 2-3 years ago, most people had a device.  1 system they primarily computed or accessed information from, but today most have at least 2, a laptop or desktop and a small form factor device like a smart phone, PDA, iTouch etc.  TV's now have computer chips and Internet access, consumer electronic set top boxes in the next few months will have the same, your car no longer just has a radio, but on board navigation, local info and even compute power.  We are seeing more and more that the user of the future is indeed a mobile one, but more than just carrying a device to allow this, it will be about accessing corporate services across all these devices.  Not the same computing bubble on each device, but layers of compute services, specific to what that device can offer.  The combination of these devices and their compute offerings will make up the corporate user of the future's compute environment.  And who knows, maybe I will finally get to travel to work via Jet Pack!