Within a year or two, the home PC (including laptops) will start to die out. Smart devices such as the smartphone, tablet and smart TV will make them redundant. We’ll have a variety of different screens around the house which can either be TVs or workstations for us to work on … but the processing power will mainly come from portable mobile devices & connected with peripherals such as screens/keyboards/mice/speakers wirelessly.
We are surprisingly close to this. Our data is already moving into the cloud and the capabilities of today’s smart devices are there or thereabouts in terms of performance. Check out the video below for a look at how the Samsung Galaxy Nexus works as a desktop replacement …
It is worth mentioning that the Galaxy Nexus is not the most powerful smartphone available, and significantly more powerful tablets are already on the market (the iPad 3 is also imminent). It is also worth noting that Android has not been optimised for desktop use whatsoever!
Windows 8 should be available late this year and will be the World’s first truly cross-device OS. It can already run on both ARM and x86 processors. You can switch between a traditional ‘Windows 7’ desktop experience and Microsoft’s ‘Metro’ touchscreen UI for smartphones & tablets. It is rumoured that with some clever memory-saving tricks, Windows 8 can run in <256Mb of RAM … less than the 500Mb of RAM found in today's mid-range smartphones.
Android can also already run on both x86 and ARM processors, with Apple rumoured to be working hard to get their MacOS working on ARM chips.
So, with smartphone/tablet processing power set to at least double this year, do we really need a PC/laptop? Wouldn't it be more economical to simply buy a docking station – assuming it can't all be done wirelessly – and a monitor/TV?
TVs/monitors may have additional GPUs inside them to enable more serious game play. Nvida demonstrated a game running on a smartphone at CES … it worked with an external GPU to give full-HD game play rivalling even the most powerful gaming PCs or consoles. Smart TVs have already started shipping and there is no reason better GPUs could not be fitted to help do the heavy lifting for gamers.
So it seems to me like the home PC is about to die. RIP.