We are at the beginnings of another watershed moment in personal computing folks. Motorola displayed the “Atrix” phone running the Android operating system at CES 2011 a couple of weeks ago: http://engt.co/eFkLlf. This “phone” is actually more than just a phone. With the docking station plugged into your monitor, it can become a desktop PC or TV. With a laptop shell that the phone plugs into, it becomes a sort of netbook. The key is this phone will have a dual core 1Ghz processor. Soon there will be quad core processors coming out for small form factor devices: http://engt.co/ifwI4q.
This is huge! Why? Think about it. You will only need one device (and some accessories) to do all of your computing. You go to work and plug this device into its docking station and through the Citrix interface connect to VDI backend. Basically VDI is a server running in your companies or third party datacenter that has multiple desktop sessions running on it. You then connect to your desktop that is running on the backend server via the Citrix interface over the network and do what you normally do like opening up Word documents, fill out Excel spreadsheets, check your email, etc. All of the heavy lifting is done on the backend servers with your phone just displaying the graphics. You undock your phone and go out to lunch all the while staying connected just as you would with any full featured smartphone that is available today or over a 3G/4G network stay connected to your work desktop session if need be or running locally stored apps and games as you do now. Later that day you need to take a plane flight to a customers site. You grab the laptop accessory and plug in your phone and finish your presentation in route. Later when you get home, you plug your phone into the docking cradle at home and watch Netflix on your large screen HD TV and check your email. If you think about it, this will also reduce the impact on the planet as theoretically you won’t need multiple PC’s and laptops anymore.
Now will you be able to play a very graphic intense game or do heavy photo or video editing on these types of devices? Certainly not (for the the foreseeable future anyways). These devices will appeal to road warriors looking to trim down their necessary equipment to take on a trip and people that need simple machines to check their email, browse the web, etc. This is what cloud computing is all about (well mostly). It means a simple device that gets you connected to the wireless network be it 3G/4G or WIFI and then you are off and running.
Sounds like science fiction huh? Years from now this device will be remembered as THE device that changed computing….again.