There will come a time in the not so distant future when we don’t make the delineation between mobile, laptops, desktops and tablets. It will just be “computing.” We will expect the same computing power, operating system and access to information -- no matter the device/access point. Interfaces will be the same, office walls will span from the beach to the mountains and traditional IT barriers will be broken.
We all know that we are moving to this future state of computing nirvana. But, the questions are “how long will the journey take?” and “how will we get there?”
The answers to those questions may be getting a little clearer after last week’s news about Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia. In a recent FCW article, writer Adam Mazmanian posits: “From the point of view of the federal market, adding more Windows-powered devices, whether smartphones or tablets, potentially helps Microsoft preserve its desktop dominance and perhaps extend it into mobile devices.”
Microsoft owns the federal desktop while Apple has made its inroads in the federal market via the iPad and iPhone. Both have their own unique operating systems (OS). With the Nokia purchase, now both also have full ownership of the devices that use their OS.
What will this mean for the federal government IT community?
It means more competition, better device/operating system integration and choice. Even in the age of sequestration and debt reduction, the federal government is a highly lucrative and valuable market. Now, this market has three major players (don’t forget Google !) that offer a full portfolio of OS and devices that will enable ubiquitous computing to become a reality.
Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel recently said, "We're on the edge of a phenomenon where [mobile and desktop] are the same thing."
Three leading vendors now are making significant investments in mobile and desktop, our future vision of mobility may be the present view in no time.