First it was Apple and IBM. In December of last year, they created a partnership with a purpose to develop mobile applications for business. Then came Samsung and Red Hat in June. They announced a strategic alliance “to deliver the next generation of mobile solutions for the enterprise.” And yesterday Apple and Cisco announced their partnership to help bring more iPhones and iPads to business users.
I don’t hold myself out as a Nostradamus. But for more than a year, I have been prognosticating on the future of desktop computing. (See my blog from July 24, 2014 here.) All of these partnerships, alliances, etc. come down to one basic premise. The operating systems of PCs (the black boxes sitting under our desks) will become obsolete and the global workforce will be using a mobile intranet instead.
Let me prognosticate once again. In light of the above, when we come to work, what will happen? We will take our mobile device (with its Apple or Android operating system) and place it into some sort of docking station. This will authenticate us, allow us to get through our company’s firewall and provide us with all of the tools, resources and services that we currently receive from the black box under our desk (which will no longer exist). When we leave work, we will take our mobile device home with us. This represents the epitome of business mobility and is precisely what the various relationships between the tech behemoths are about.
Consequently, new software (i.e. apps) will have to be written for the Apple and Android operating systems so end users continue to have an excellent user experience. The software that was written for Microsoft’s Windows operating system will no longer be sufficient and will also become obsolete. Indeed, Microsoft has accepted this as witnessed by the fact that they deemed it necessary to develop iOS and Android apps for some of their key Office products (e.g. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.). In just a few years, Apple and Google have done an awesome job in establishing their OS’s as the standard for the future of computing. And, in doing so, they have left Microsoft in the dust.
Don’t get me wrong. Desktop computing isn’t going away. The two screens on my desk will continue to exist. It’s the engine that enables them to work that will change.