Some of the latest hardware developments are moving technology closer to a post PC world. On January 5, Motorola introduced a docking station that connects to a Smartphone to create a PC environment. There’s a beautiful possibility for computing efficiency in this model.
The docking station is really a dummy laptop. It has no real functionality without the Smartphone technology. The new Atrix 4G phone has a 1 GHz duel-core processor, so it’s not as capable as the hardware in today’s PC, but it’s as good as any product sold a few years ago. In a travel situation, that’s more than enough hardware juice to serve a person on the go. The phone uses an app called Motorola Webtop and this gives the docking station full access to Firefox 3.6. The Smartphone then has keyboard and mouse capabilities. For the person on the go who wants to be entertained, the Atrix will have a way to connect to a different dock that then connects to HDTV and an HDMI-compatible monitor. As was predicted fifteen years ago, it won’t be about expanding software technology as much as it will be about making hardware more compact so the software will be more portable.
How likely is it that traditional PC technology will go away any time soon? That will depend on AT&T’s ability to provide a reliable network for the Smartphone itself. Certainly, PC technology continues to compete for a share of the market. iPads are hot. Netbooks are compact and light. Skype allows for free voice and video communication.
Truth is, the latest developments don’t reduce the number of gadgets a person has to carry around and none of it can claim to be completely reliable communication technology. In today’s world, many IT departments still play it safe and hard wire PCs and other hardware to keep a reliable flow of information — and that is a philosophy that says old technology is still safe technology.