Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 27th Aug 2012 13:53 UTC
Editorial The dream of inexpensive computing for everyone has been with us since the first computers. Along the way it has taken some unexpected turns. This article summarizes key trends and a few of the surprises.
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zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Last I checked, there are ~1.3 billion PCs for ~2 billion PC users - a little less than "everyone and their dog and their dog's squeaky toy" or "Computers are everywhere" (and people with 2-3 PCs of their own are nowhere near average ...but I suppose such whims are what brings this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_welfare_and_ecological_foot... insanity, and generally resulting in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_boundaries )

Meanwhile, there are more than 5 billion mobile subscribers...

Whatever the reasons for those differences (costs being of course a large one, but in a broad sense: "even the poorest person" absolutely can't easily have a P4 PC, if only because of the cost of electricity - not in a 'how much a kWh will cost me?' way, more like 'what kind of fortune for bringing a semi-reliable mains electricity to my home?'), large part of humanity is clearly more receptive to smallish, relatively inexpensive, mobile, battery-powered devices. And I suppose that large Android phones (but without the silly price premiums such models command now in the ~west) might become a dominating form of ~tablets of sorts - or "personal computer" (hey, we reinvented what that means few times already, really) - in the next decade or so; hardly a niche.
(also http://www.opera.com/smw/2012/03/ "Connecting the unconnected" section)

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