Feeds

back to article Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'

Google's European sales chief says that desktop PCs will be "irrelevant" in three years. This week, as reported by Silicon Republic, Google Europe boss John Herlihy told a "baffled" conference audience that very soon the smartphone will completely eclipse the desktop. "In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant," he said …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge

Gee, that's a surprise.

And purely by coincedence, it directly benfits Google's "cloud".

Wow, who would have thought?

4
0

Really?

"In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant," he said. "In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs."

So why my friend working at a robotics lab in Tokyo is not allowed to use his mobile device during business hours? He must be using an abacus to replace his PC....

3
0
wim

because google research != research

title says it all

google research = people looking things up on google.

research = looking and testing and trying to understand

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Hello from Japan.

Ok, I'm posting this from Japan. A quick 360 degrees look and I see about 50 people happily tapping into desktop PCs. Nobody is using a smartphone. Could be because I'm at work and not on a train.

Somebody just shut this flake up.

Instead of making PCs irrelevant, why doesn't google work on some real 2013 technology promise and build a damn flying car? Kthxbye.

12
1

Same here....

We have over 1800 desktops which are used alongside smartphones (presumably because it is easier to use both than one or the other). Clearly this idiot thinks that computers only ever use the google website, and dont do other work. Unless they invent a smartphone with a 17 inch screen and a keyboard and an effective touchscreen and then let you use it somewhere you wont be interrupted...like a desk or summat.... wait, that makes it a desktop!

what a nob.

2
0
Pirate

Funny thing

my desktop PC just told me Google will be irrelevant in three years.

Somehow I don't think either one of them are right...

1
0
Thumb Down

What are they smoking?

Expecting "cloud computing" to eliminate personal computers is a pipe dream, and it isn't tobacco they are smoking in that pipe! There is a place for the cloud, but only as a supplement to localized data processing. As soon as you have handed your "company jewels" over to another party to manage, you are at their mercy. There are applications where it makes a huge amount of sense, and there are others where it is totally absurd! I do sensitive consulting work for a number of clients ranging from small law offices to major corporations. Asking me to trust some of this data to the "cloud" is asking me to abrogate my responsibilities to my clients because there is no way that I can assure them that no one else has access to their data. With the security processes I have in place, I can assure them of that currently with a reasonable level of confidence.

2
0
FAIL

So I'm going to edit video and encode HD on my phone?

Ok, eventually sure, my desktop pc will become a handheld doodad with several terabytes of data and tons of cpu and all the 3D rendering power needed to create the next blockbuster film at 4K resolution with tons of special effects. But in three years? Really? My desktop PC has 5TB of storage and less then 600GB of free space. It takes hours on my desktop PC with every core pegged to encode HD videos that I've edited/recorded. I'll be doing all that on my phone in three years? And I suppose Macs will ship with BluRay and the iPhone app store will allow bikini applications then too?

1
0
Bronze badge
Happy

I think you missed the point

Mobile computing may not be for everyone (eg security issues) but a lot of people can already use their phone as a remote control device. Your 5TB could easily become 10TB at a click, and you allow the remote machine (or 10) to do the number crunching/encoding etc. Again not for everyone, but he is talking about most, not all. He may have a point as mobile connection speeds and screen res. improve.

0
0

yeh right

You are going to need pretty big pockets for that 22" iPhone though.

0
0
Rob
Bronze badge
Stop

Still no chance...

... you forgot you'll need even more processing power now to deal with HD 3D, I seriously don't want a phone with all that capacity and power sitting that close to my knackers.

Google clearly have the head up their own cloud!

(Reg, we seriously need a 'Do be Evil' Google icon)

0
0
Megaphone

Desktop computers will be...

Cheaper, smaller and more powerful.

Smart alecs will be...

Complaining about how limited their smartphone is.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

re. So I'm going to edit video and encode HD on my phone?

Not to mention the required developments in battery technology for that amazingly smart phone!

1
1
Silver badge
FAIL

I can hear the screams from the accts dept now

As they are told they have to give up their dual 24" screens because spreadsheets are so much easier on a mobile.

Dear Google, stop talking bollocks.

7
0

Do keep up at the back!

Of course, you plug your smartphone into your 24" monitor, and your choice of keyboard, etc. The builtin screen is only for times/places when something bigger is more trouble than it's worth.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Righto!

Then the device boils your bollocks off when you put it back in your pocket because that kind of desktop replacing processing power in that small a space doesn't have the laws of physics apply to it any more eh?

1
0
Silver badge

If nothing else, screen res

Lets see the Google coding staff do all their stuff on a 3.5" screen. I've got twin 22" widescreens at work, and three 19" TFTs at home. Still not enough, as far as I'm concerned.

And then there's the question of input. I always buy phones with a keyboard, but I've yet to find one that makes it relatively easy to get at things like {braces}.

I *love* my smartphones, but God almighty, doing everything on them? No.

1
0
Flame

True actually

Google does not want the carriers to become dumb bitshifters.

Google does not act to make the carriers dumb bitshifters.

Google however, has no intention to prevent the carriers from becoming dumb bitshifters because of being terminally dumb in the first place.

The carriers have designed themselves into a corner with a delusional service architecture that is not and cannot be competitive versus the like of Google. They have spent the last 10 years in the 3GPP (and a bit of time in the mobile ip groups in the IETF) to ensure that they have an architecture that is not competitive in the long term.

And now they reap what they saw.

That is the only place where Google is being adamant as far as its strategy of dealing with fixed and mobile carriers is concerned - they shall reap what they have sawn. If they have created networks which cannot deliver a competitive service offering it is not Google's fault and they shall not use any form of anticompetitive behaviour to prevent google from doing so. Plain and simple.

0
2
Thumb Down

Not really, no.

Just because the carriers are evil doesn't mean that Google are good.

Sow there.

1
0
FAIL

HR fail

I thought Google only employed intelligent people? Or did this muppet work his way up from bog cleaner?

I've just decided to move back to a desktop from years with a laptop - the increased power, reliability, ability to upgrade anything, screen size - do I really need to go on?

1
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Numbers, Lies, and Damned Statistics

99.9% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Spot the lie.

0
0

mainframe?

One word for Google - bollocks. Until I can have a spare internet connection to access this "cloud", me having a spare PC will always trump that. If my PC goes boom, I take another out of the closet and I'm going again in minutes. If my internet connection goes boom.... I'm well and truly fucked if I'm using a "cloud" based system. Given the way internet is provided in the countries I've worked in so far (UK, France, Canada, Japan, USA), having a truly reliable backup internet service would be prohibitively costly, even if it was possible - which it often isn't.

"Cloud based" is just another way of saying "remote terminal to large, remote mainframe over which I have no control". Way to bring us back to the 1960s and 70's.

1
0

I'm old enough to remember

the same prediction in the mid 1990's.

Sure the internet in a hell of a lot faster now and we don't have to wait up all night just to see half a woman. However I still think that highly publicised cloud outages, hacks, and a general mistrust of big corporation man will still prevent enough people wanting to dump all their private information onto a server run by someone else.

A step back in time to the day when computing meant a connection to a central mainframe has already occurred with the likes of Citrix. I have never worked anywhere where people say, ooh good it's a Citrix environment. Usually the response is a dull moan followed by synchronised visits to the coffee machine when it all goes wrong.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

"relentless brutality"?

Whoa, talk about showing your true colours

0
0

Demise of companies from idiotic comments

"In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant..."

This must rank close to the "We sell crap" comment by Gerald Ratner that brought about the downfall of the Ratner Jewellery chain of business. One of the factors that make Google such an influential player in IT is their clarity of vision (possibly perceived) backed by an intelligent (again possibly perceived) team.

John Herlihy might be endowed with the above mentioned qualities but he must have been immersed in his own sales and marketing hype for far too long (an we all KNOW sales and marketing is mainly vapourware and BS - please don't even bother defending this statement). It is idiotic comments like this that precede the downfall of giants.

Let's try this: "In three years time, Google will be irrelevant."

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Googletards

I'm really starting to get sick of Google, streetview, cloud, excessive hubris. I really look forward to ditching my workstation with two 24" monitors so I can design circuit boards on a phone? FFS! My phone is a 1999 Samsung clam type. I use to make and receive calls. I plan my trips before I go, so don't need a bloody "smart phone". A smartphone btw is nothing more than a toy, smart refers to the marketing hype that gets trendies to pay for things that in all honesty the don't really need.

We need an antiGoogle icon, the evil empire is not just Gates and Jobs.

2
0
FAIL

Google easier to replace

It strikes me it's more likely that Google stands more chance of becoming irrelevant than the desktop PCs. You can replace Google by just pointing your browser somewhere else, unlike the footprint of desktops in the home and office...

0
0
FAIL

If we're really lucky...

...It'll be Google that is irrelevant in three years time.

I can see that computers will continue to become smaller and more mobile, with the big suitcase-style base unit disappearing and being replaced by a laptop, netbook (not in the office) or by a super-mini low power machine like a Mac Mini or the Dell Zino. Bigger, power hungry highly configurable desktop hardware will become more of a niche. But the desktop computer in all its forms will be alive and well for a long time to come.

0
0
WTF?

The Google hubris goes on and on

So yesterday, Google told us it is a 'country'. Today, Google tells us it is an 'army'.

What's next? Maybe tomorrow, Google will tell us that it is a 'nude woman, complete with fully functioning, moist [That's quite enough]

1
0
Grenade

i'd go further

and say Google are a bunch of [That's quite enough]s

0
0

Funny

I seriously doubt that PC manufacturers and OS manufacturers are going to stop what they're doing in three years, oh you'd like that wouldn't you, Google?

I don't have a "dumphone" now, and I won't in three years, some of us have big fingers and broken eyes you know!

1
0
Grenade

baloney

biggest load of crap since adobe said "our flash plugin has no vulnerabilities".

secretaries typing up reports - on hand held device ? no

CAD people designing buildings - on hand held device ? no

web/graphic designers - on hand held device ? no

storemen updating stock records - on hand held device ? no

etc...

0
0
Silver badge

Or try processing

100 Mpixel to 1Gpixel images on a smartphone. Do that quite regularly now on my desktop

0
0
Thumb Down

You can take my desktop

From my cold, dead hands

0
0
Coat

Roman Legions

I seem to remember the Romans losing 3 legions in Germany and never going back.

Aren't the Germans now agitating against Google?

Mine's the one with "Made north of Hadrian's Wall" on the label.

0
0
FAIL

Famous Stupid Quotes

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers" , Tom Watson, IBM 1943

"640K is Enough For Anyone", Bill Gates Microsoft, 1981

"The smartphone will completely eclipse the desktop in three years time.", John Herlihy , Google 2010

0
0
Silver badge

sounds like another "paperless office" forecast

3 years! Just close enough (i.e. one depreciation cycle) to make people pay attention, yet far enough away that in three years it'll have been forgotten (a bit like telling your boss the project only needs another "couple of weeks"). No doubt in 3 years time, someone else will cough up the same forecast again - for another 3 years.

What does worry me is all these Japanese trying to do research (presuming they don't mean the kind of research on websites like www.dirtysmuttypiccies.com (oooh, the name's available .... excuse me for a few minutes)) on a screen the size of a postage stamp. It's intuitively obvious that a persons creativity is proportional to the amount of information and context they have to hand. That NEEDS large screens, not beermats. On a 3x2 screen the overheads and interrupts from having to scroll all over the place is crippling. So if that's what the Japs are doing, we can say goodbye to any more innovations from them.

0
0
FAIL

Ah...I recognize this

I believe it's what used to be referred to as the "Ellison Hypothesis" before he got treatment and stopped shouting at the bins about how the PC was dead and the network computer was going to take over the world...

"Nurse! Thorazine for Mr. Herlihy, please! No, the BIG syringe that we got from the equestrian vet..."

0
0
Grenade

"Cloud" Cuckoo land

What planet do these 'tards live on? Things must be lagging in the cloud world if they have to keep talking it up like this.

My data is MINE.. I keep it close to ME.. I don't trust the likes of Google or Microsoft or any other abusive mega-corp to look after it for me, and that extends to any data I am responsible for processing/storing. As for working exclusively on a smart-phone - clearly this guy has far to little REAL work to do during the day if he thinks that really is a viable alternative.

1
0

internet is not everywhere

.. nor is access consistent.

In the UK they are promising 2mb for everyone by 2150 if we all pay 50p a year from now until then.

0
0

50p a month....

not year. we are all out £6 so that the boss of BT can have fibre broadband to his country mansion!

0
0

The Google Plan

I think Googles Plan is to have a dumb terminal smart phone (oxymoron ahoy I know) that pulls processing power from 'THE CLOUD!!!?!?' - couple that with a pico projector built in to the phone and a small bluetooth keyboard and they could be onto a winner.

That would suffice most people as a desktop replacement, it wouldnt do for us tech nerds obviously - once you've enjoyed the pleasures of dual screens you just dont go back.

0
0
FAIL

how incredibly self-serving, arrogant and manipulative

that is all

0
0
Thumb Down

Muppet

If a roman scout didn't return I think you would find out why, by maybe sending more, or the sending the legion. No commander is stupid enough to think. "hmmmm scout dead, must be really safe in that direction." If you must use an analogy use a proper one.

As long as people play games on Pc's the desktop will rule, laptops can't cut it and mobile games are not exactly fantastic. That is until a console can match a Pc which is sadly not going to happen anytime soon.

Imagine an office environment of people sitting at their desks typing on their mobile. As if.

Another Google employee proving he is a moron.

1
0
WTF?

Contradiction much?

"If a roman scout didn't return I think you would find out why, by maybe sending more, or the sending the legion. No commander is stupid enough to think. "hmmmm scout dead, must be really safe in that direction"

Don't give up the day job...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Actually I agree with Google

My phone is obsolete, and yet packs a reasonable amount of processing power (2 x 200MHz processors IIRC). There are plenty of 1GHz plus phones now. In three years' time phones might well be able to crunch numbers hard enough to do video editing, transcoding etc. pretty respectably.

The tiny screens and nasty little keyboards aren't a real problem; it's just a matter of getting the phones to chat to 'real' human interface devices when they're in their 'desktop' roles and fall back on dinky screens and small or missing keyboards on the move.

Even storage capacity probably isn't an issue. Given the history of microcomputers I suspect in three years' time we'll have at least hundreds of gigs of space on the move, and again the phone could have extra storage when 'docked' at home or work.

I would have thought, though, that if anything this reduces the need for cloudiness. Access to all my data anywhere? No probs, carrying my computer in my pocket.

I can easily imagine a smartphone with this sort of power. It would be a home PC, car PC and work PC in one pocket-sized package and I personally fully expect that to happen. I'm less confident about the three year time scale, but computers do keep surprising me.

In three years' time, I'm pretty sure I'll still own at least one 'desktop-sized' PC, but I doubt it'll be on my desk. More likely tucked away in a rack somewhere providing additional storage and processing resources.

0
0
Unhappy

BS

Are companies going to run their finance systems on the cloud? Or their personnel systems? There is as much likelyhood of this as there is of the UK shutting down FM radio by 2012. (But that's another story)

0
0

Interesting analogy

"Here’s an analogy – the Roman legions used to send out scouts in different directions," he said. "If a scout didn’t return, the army didn’t head in that direction."

Um, if you were looking for the enemy you would head in that direction really quickly. This infers that Google learnt its tactics from Monty Python's The Holy Grail - "run away, run away"

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"Just take a couple of legions and go out and look for things to kill, would you?"

Sometimes you're not looking for the enemy. You can find it in the dictionary under "Tactics".

0
0
Silver badge

But how about...

... a pad that can work independently, but can be dropped into a cradle with keyboard, mouse and screens attached, which works a lot like a PC.

I think that you can already see some of this happening in netbook space. I was surprise how well my EeePC 701 worked with a normal keyboard, mouse and screen attached. Looked like a normal computer!

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.