Wow, another genius discovers the cloud
So he discovered google docs on his iPad and thinks he's solved all the puzzle's of IT strategy.
This post is such a typical opinion for people who make very senior level IT decisions that they have forgotten the fundamental reality, that IT is plumbing and plumbing depends on the technical details they have forgotten - systems, software architectures, services buitl into the software stack, availability of infrastructure...
OK, so: (1) it's been true for almost a decade that few workloads require that much of a desktop experience. The trouble is that the little they do require still IS a full desktop experience. That's why all thin client models are at best marginal. Will it change in 10 years? Maybe. But I still think for real work, locally installed software with local processing hardware will still be he reliable sensible choice.
(2) The ubiquitous WiFi stuff is nice, except it will never be 100% ubiquitous. While travelling, I find thousands of places where neither WiFi nor 3G reach. In 10 years these places will be fewer, but they will still exist, which means anyone depending solely on the cloud will SOL.
(3) We're finding ways to make wireless networks more secure all the time, but so do criminals find ways of hacking them. Let's not count them out, until they are out.
(4) Doing work is about more than having relevant information on hand. I can see a massive role for tablets, as information access devices, replacing mountains of paper (assuming that info can be digitized). I can't see tablets (I mean non-computing tablets) being much use to someone who needs to process the information. Quite a lot of people do that you know.
(5) As for MS and the value of the OS, let anyone who thinks it doesn't matter, try to do real work on a cloud based device without all the heavy OS integrated services. Try working on an iPad only to discover things like built-in network and file sharing protocol support matters, messaging stacks matter, file systems matter. And without them you are left with a fragmented nightmare of workarounds (what apple calls "apps"). Then suddenly Microsoft is your hero;-)
Fail because the guy forgot the fundamentals of what pays his salary.