September 13th, 2007
To quote from one of the four prior posts with this title:
â€œWhile in many areas it might be difficult to see into the future, in the area of technology the future can be readily seen. The speed of technological invention and innovation moves so quickly that we have barely assimilated a recent breakthrough when another shows up to knock us back on our heels again. While these innovations do provide a glimpse of our future, they can be disorienting in that they show us that the Present that we are struggling to accept and assimilate will soon be outdated.â€
Cloud computing is the name given to the rapidly growing movement of software and storage onto the web. Rather than having all of onesâ€™ software, documents, pictures and email files stashed on the hard drive of a desk top or notebook computer, it will soon be possible to have all of ones digital life reside on a secure place on the web. While on-line back-up has been around for a while, the breakthrough for cloud computing is that the software one uses will be on the web, not in the computer. This is the high level battleground between the decadesâ€™ old PC model of Microsoft and the more recent Net-centric vision of Google.
Perhaps Bill Gateâ€™s most famous quote is his founding vision for Microsoft: â€œA PC on every desktopâ€. The manifestation of that vision is the world domination of the Microsoft Empire. Whether one likes Microsoft or not, this manifested vision helped …
This week at the Consumer Electronics Show there are hundreds of companies touting new gadgets that are â€œrevolutionaryâ€ â€œinnovativeâ€ â€œat the cutting edgeâ€ and â€œtotally coolâ€. I will leave the descriptions of all these to the mainstream media as they already excessively cover this convention. Instead I will give you some view on the larger trends that are clear.
We are rapidly moving to total connectedness. Whether you are in the office, in the home, on the road, or anywhere in the world you can be connected to information, data and billions of people. Bill Gates spoke of the fact that the home is soon going to be completely connected. Computers, televisions, phones, everything in the home will be connected. Ed Zander, Chairman of Motorola spoke about the home as being a hub of â€œseamless technologyâ€ and that mobile devices provide â€œseamless mobilityâ€ wherever we are in the world. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia speaks of â€œa world where everyone can be connectedâ€ and of â€œmobility, interconnectivity, community and convenienceâ€
Compare how much more connected you are now than you were 10 years ago. That is how much more you will be connected in 3-5 years than you are today. How we use that connectivity is up to us and is the human variable in the equation. Technology is providing us with connectivity that twenty years ago was only imagined in science fiction and in the minds of a few visionary futurists.
We are moving toward a world where practically every type of …
June 22nd, 2006
The announcement last week that Bill Gates would, over the next two years, relinquish day to day oversight of Microsoft made me think about history and the future. The first thought of course was that in some way it was the end of an era. The second thought was, well, what era, where does that fit historically, and how will it be described in history books in the future? The third thought was that there might be some precedent to Gatesâ€™ decision worth investigating.
The Transition into the Information Age
When Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, the United States was just starting to make the transition from being an Industrial Age country to being an Information Age country. The personal computer, communications satellites, cable television and the Internet were all just beginning. Alvin Toffler, in his landmark 1970 book, â€œFuture Shockâ€, called this coming the â€œThird Waveâ€; following the First Agricultural Wave and the Second Industrial Wave of human history. The values and structures in 1975 were all Industrial Age. Thirty years later, in 2005, the structures and values in the United States, and in all developed countries around the world, was Information Age. So, the â€œGates Eraâ€ coincided with the transformation of the world from Industrial Age, Second Wave, to Information Age, Third Wave. When history books are written about this time Gates will be one of several prominent people who will be linked to, and therefore given some credit for enabling this fundamental historical shift.
I see it this …