Item One: There’s a rather interesting interview with the chief technologist at IBM.
One short quote should intrigue: “Folks assume performance improves as one shrinks a part. That is no longer correct.”
He goes on to say that big performance improvements will come from innovative design, not more of the same crammed in more closely together.
Perhaps a bit more dubiously, he also talks about new reasons to justify recentralizing computing, most notably power conservation.
One might poo-poo this more a bit, of course IBM would want a mainframe comeback, but let me add a product and a couple thoughts to the mix.
Say hello to the JackPC. Don’t look at the current product, look at the form factor and imagine a beefed-up one some years down the road. If you could provide new buildings with computers in the wall the way you provide phone and Ethernet jacks today, that might be quite appealing to a lot of corporations.
This wouldn’t have to be just for corporations, either. Think home network, and add computing to communications. Does the average family really need four or five full-blown PCs in their house, each with its own cost and problems? Might there be advantages to having one serious machine feeding all the people and spots that need computing power?
Yes, the world is getting mobile, but people have to go to home base sometime, and any PhonePC will almost by definition be a “thin client.” Probably would be easy enough to work a wireless capacity into this.
Again, not for tomorrow, not for next year, but certainly something to ponder for the next decade. As increases in speed and capacity become largely irrelevant to the average person, and environmental concerns become more important, computing is likely to start marching to the tune of different drummers.