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RIM, Apple both say no to netbooks, but increase commitment to mobile, a trend is emerging!
Mobile computing is the "in" thing to do (apparently), 13m units were sold in 2008 alone, according to Pyramid Research. Whether it be on your mobile device (Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile) or your super compact netbook, everyone is tuning into the "future of computing", cheaper devices with less power intensive and smaller specifications are creating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere, and according to Om Malik of Gigaom.com are turning into "personal cloud computers"
Reports at the beginning of the week from AllThingsD.com suggest otherwise, citing that both RIM (creator of the Blackberry) and Apple (creator of the iPhone) had a similar agreement on how the netbook movement was not something the companies wanted to be associated with, saying that it was "not a good consumer experience" and not something "you can hold up to your ear and clip onto your belt."
What they mention is something that critically many of the netbook providers such as Asus and Dell just aren't clicking onto, sure these computing devices are small, compact and lightweight, but where is the practicality of having two devices when you can just have one, an all in one device which harnesses the true mobile computing experience is within the iPhone and Blackberry!
Consider this for one second, Apple created the "Apple Macbook Lite", think of the limitations in experience as opposed to actual Macbook (in full form), and then consider this RIM makes a netbook, stuffs Linux on it, and has absolutely NO competitive edge over others in the market, which one out of Apple or RIM wins in that round.
The main thesis of Om Malik from Gigaom.com was that netbook would represent true cloud computing, and yes, I am all for the introduction of solutions which store our data in a cloud environment, take our photos, music and documents into an omnipresent storage area, but firstly let's just make sure Google doesn't have another outage which affects 14% of the Google.com traffic (potentially of the entire internet) and that Amazon.com doesn't have another Amazon S3 outage, as it did in February.
If you were to measure the uptime of both Amazon S3, and Google.com in 2009 so far against the recorded data from Pingdom.com, I would be interested to see how much of the downtime has affected the overall service's respective reputation for being reliable providers for your data.
Somewhere in the broader scale of mobile computing lies the inherent issue of security within the cloud computing arena, a recent report from Forrester Research noted that Boeing chief security architect Steve Whitlock said:
"Like many others, we see huge potential and benefits for moving into ‘the cloud,' but we see risks, security issues, and interoperability issues. The community has much work to do to make the cloud a safe place to collaborate."
And it's through these minor points of impact that I wonder if even mobile devices, ever more tethered to storing data in cloud would fare well in the grand scale of things, it's a matter of morale principle as to whether or not you trust companies with your data, I know I store masses of my computer's data on a online backup service called Mozy.com, now, if that were to be compromised or taken, I don't know what I would do, especially if I didn't have alternative backups in place.
I mean, how will mobile devices evolve to the point where netbooks will become obsolete in a moment's notice, PiperJaffray Analysts seem to think Apple is developing an Ultra Mobile tablet (further confirmation appears to be arriving from Techcrunch.com, although in very basic form)
Will Netbooks rise to the ultimate challenge of becoming more evolutionary then revolutionary, they need to do something to make an impact after the "craze" dies down, but what that may be, I can't be too sure right now, but it's worth keeping a close eye out for!
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