While some IT traditionalists complain about the increasing prevalence of smart phones and tablets, they (like those before them who railed against the appearance of PCs) appear doomed to disappointment. Instead, innovative vendors including Intel and its OEM and ISV partners have been busy developing solutions that bring the best aspects of highly mobile products to desktop and notebook PCs, and new tablet devices.
What's New and What's Next?
Along with delivering better compute and graphics performance than ever before, current generation (“Ivy Bridge”) Intel Core-based notebooks and PCs offer sophisticated features that many PC users would never have dreamed of. These include touch-enablement (in addition to conventional mouse and keyboard devices), near-instant booting, seamless support for Internet-based voice and video communications and significantly-enhanced battery life. In other words, Intel and partners, including Microsoft, are breaking down or eliminating the barriers between x86-based notebooks and tablets, and products like Apple’s iPad.
But just as importantly, Intel’s next generation “Haswell” processors will deliver even greater “once in a decade” system and graphics performance improvements, enhanced battery life and thinner/lighter design. Plus, these devices will also support new touch- and gesture- and voice-based features that fall into what the company calls “Perceptual Computing.”
These leverage onboard computing horsepower to natively support tasks and functions that are unavailable or can only be performed on smart phones and tablets with additional services.
Staying Relevant Through Constant Evolution
While many have heralded the success of tablets and smart phones as signifying the “end of the PC era” they seem to forget that there have been many PC “eras.” Each was sparked by new, complementary enabling technologies —networks, the Internet, search engines, ebusiness, multimedia, wi-fi, mobile wireless, social networking—which allowed consumers and businesses to communicate and interact in new ways.
The increasing prevalence of constructive business collaboration and highly mobile technologies suggests we may well be at the dawn of a new computing era. But it behooves organizations to avoid the downside of disruption by investing in IT solutions that provide better levels of performance, reliability and support than past devices. However, this new era progresses and whichever devices and vendors succeed, Intel’s long record of success and its development of new innovations suggests the company will be at its forefront.
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