According to Bob O’Donnell, the future of personal computing lies in centralized, cloud-based services running on low-power devices. Writing for Fast Company, O’Donnell argues that declining sales numbers indicate that both PCs and tablets have hit their peak, while similar sales patterns suggest that smartphones may be next.
With no obvious technological successor, cloud-based services will be able to capture new segments of the market, O’Donnell writes. Cloud-based devices may be less-sophisticated, requiring “little more than an audio input, an audio output, and a wireless connection,”, but they will be able to offer better services and greater convenience.
If O’Donnell’s prediction is true, it also carries major privacy implications that he does not address in his article.
If consumer data is increasingly stored in centralized locations or available over accessible mediums that are not fully encrypted, government surveillance and demands for companies to turn over data could become greater, meaning that continued close oversight of government policies and actions will be necessary as cloud-based services expand.