Click here to close now.


Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Elizabeth White, Jim Kaskade, Pat Romanski, David Bermingham

Blog Feed Post

Laptops Are Drowning in a Sea of Smartphones

On Monday, Barack Obama’s second inauguration marked the start of the second term for our country’s 44th President as well as proof (on a national scale) that we have officially entered the post-PC era.

Chances are you’ve seen this picture floating around the internet:

A Sea of Smartphones

What’s the first thing you notice? Maybe it’s the POTUS and FLOTUS partaking in their traditional first dance. More likely, it’s the sea of screens that dominates the lower two-thirds of the image.

Phones are more powerful than ever before. Along with tablets, they are killing the laptop and desktop market. This was crystal clear at CES 2013, where North Hall was flooded with all things iPhone, yet you could count on one hand the number of companies showing off a laptop. The complete and utter lack of laptops was so jarring that Gizmodo’s “Best of CES” article for laptops was titled, “What laptops?”

Further marking the end of an era, Intel announced earlier this week that within three years, it is ceasing production of desktop motherboards. Tablets… what have you done?!

Rest in Peace, Computers

Smartphones and tablets are not only killing off the PC, but big retail chains like Best Buy as well. When you walk down one of Amazon’s physical showrooms… sorry, I mean Best Buys… you see aisle after aisle of technology that we pack into our pockets on a daily basis. GPS… check. Digital cameras… check. E-readers… check. The list goes on.

If you happened to walk into a Best Buy store a mere two years ago, it would be hard to be sold on the idea of a tablet, or the idea that they would kill the laptop. Of the few lining the shelves, none were cheaper than $499 and the only model with any brand recognition was, of course, Apple’s iPad.

Cheaper, Cheaper, Cheaper

But here we are, at the start of 2013, not only with multiple tablet options under $200, but with multiple good tablet options at that price point. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is as cheap as $169. Google’s Nexus 7 is $199. Even Apple, King of the post-PC market, entered the cheaper tablet market in 2012 with the iPad Mini and its $329 price point.

So where does all of this leave laptops? Before we get to the really bad news, it’s important to note that some tablets can actually help boost laptop sales.

Savior in a Seven-Inch Form Factor

It’s estimated that tablets can do 80 percent of what a laptop can do, with the only exceptions being typing intensive or processor intensive processes. While accessories like Bluetooth keyboards further blur the line between laptop and full-sized tablets, the expansion and popularity of 7” tablets with fewer capabilities means that more and more people are still going to need a workhorse around to get lots their real work done. 7” tablets can be an effective e-reader, email checker, internet and gaming machine, but it’s not truly a work unit. If your only tablet is a Nexus 7, chances are you’re going to have a laptop around, too. Of course, that’s today. It will not be true for long.

But Then, There’s Bad News

In December, technology research firm IDC published a study that said laptops growth would rise 31 percent in the next four years, while tablet sales would grow by 131 percent in the same period. Even if the laptop growth number is right – which no other numbers I’ve found seem to suggest is true – the tablet growth is more than four times that of the laptop. That’s not just a defeat – that’s a massacre.

Things are so bad for the laptop right now that laptop shipments declined for the first time since the dot-com bubble burst in 2001. Things aren’t about to improve, either. Experts predict that tablets will start outselling laptops by 2016.

What Kind of Numbers Are We Talking About?

In September 2012, Apple sold its 100 millionth iPad. By 2014, we’re going to be buying more than 200 million tablets annually. We’re still buying 300 million laptops and desktops per year, but that growth has stalled. While IDC seems more optimistic about the four-year growth of laptops, the firm also projected that laptop growth would only increase by 1% in 2013.

But let’s not forget about smartphones. Earlier this week, Apple released its quarterly sales numbers, which show that the company sold 47.8 million iPhones last quarter, en route to the second most profitable quarter in tech history.

The iPhone’s biggest competitor is the Samsung Galaxy, the fourth installment of which is projected to hit store shelves on April 22 and, Samsung hopes, will sell 10 million units per month.

Who Will Fight For the Laptop?

Traditionally, talking about computers means talking about two companies: Apple and Microsoft. It’s clear that Apple’s moneymakers are its iDevices. But even Microsoft isn’t paying as much attention to laptops as it once was. Windows 8 and the Surface seem to be its main focus.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its fully-powered Windows 8 Surface Pro will be available on February 9. For just over $1,000, you can get the 64 gig model along with the optional – but vital – keyboard accessory. While it’s true that the price makes the device comparable to Ultrabooks, its form factor can’t be beat. The full power of Windows 8 (with no application restrictions) in a 10” tablet size? Good luck, laptop manufacturers.

Change We Can Believe In

President Obama entered his second term wading through a sea of smartphones and tablets… poor laptops… we hardly knew ya!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, will show how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He will use a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors to web services, and cloud integration to connect accounting and data, providing a Bluetooth...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.