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Google Says Desktops Will Be Irrelevant in 3 Years

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Google's VP of online sales and operations has made the bold statement that in three years time desktop computers will be irrelevant.

Speaking at UCD in Dublin yesterday, Google Chief John Herlihy said that smartphones enhance Google’s mission to make information universal, adding that in Japan, more research is being done on cell phones than on PCs. Herlihy predicted that soon smartphones will be the center of it all.

“Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible," he said. "Because there’s more information and because it will be hard to sift through it all, that’s why search will become more and more important. This will create new opportunities for new entrepreneurs to create new business models – ubiquity first, revenue later.”

Herlihy's statements have caused quite a stir in the tech world. There are those who wholeheartedly agree but Silicon Republic, who first reported the story, says that audience members were baffled. Indeed it's hard to imagine office cubicles without desktops and even harder to imagine laptops meeting the needs of hardcore PC gamers.

But, whether you agree with his sentiments or not, it is clear the direction Google is taking as a company. Silicon Republic reports that, not too long ago, CEO Eric Schmidt told an audience at the Mobile World Congress that the company was working on products from a 'mobile first' prospective.

"Every recent product announcement we have made – and of course we have a desktop version – is being made from the point of view of it being used on a high-performance mobile phone on all the browsers that are available," SR cites Schmidt as saying. "Now the programmers want to work on those apps for mobile that you can’t get on a desktop – applications that are personal and location-aware."

Read the full story on Silicon Republic.

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  • 5 Hide
    mi1ez , 5 March 2010 21:24
    Google's VP of online sales and operations is an idiot.
  • 1 Hide
    Lewis57 , 5 March 2010 23:12
    Screw you, i love desktops and hate laptops.
  • -2 Hide
    dextermat , 5 March 2010 23:19
    Yeah as if im gonna play l4d2, Crisis or any other games similar on a stupid too expensive gimmick implying crook companies...

  • Display all 16 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , 5 March 2010 23:19
    all I can say is good luck to the opposable thumb. Smart phones aren't exactly ergonomic when you consider how long a lot of people spend working on machines.
  • 1 Hide
    princeofdreams , 6 March 2010 01:11
    Never heard so much twaddle in my life, of course were all going to do gaming, photo & video editing, word processing on our 4 x 3 inch screen, and of course our spread sheets will be truly clear on these little marvels.

    What with M$ trying to rent us cloud space & Google going all mobile it really does seem the execs of theses companies really have lost touch with their target audience, guess its a case of too much time and not enough brains
  • 3 Hide
    Fueled , 6 March 2010 01:17
    Yeah, they also said we were getting flying cars soon.
  • 2 Hide
    malphas , 6 March 2010 01:33
    Who the hell is going to do Photoshop work, or do their taxes, or write code, or edit video, or any other number of tasks on their cellphone?
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , 6 March 2010 01:35
    Ah, I didn't see Princeofdreams already beat me to it on that point.
  • -1 Hide
    tranzz , 6 March 2010 02:00
    you can imagine a call center of tomshardware being published only on phones and not desktops LOL
  • 1 Hide
    Dr Smith , 6 March 2010 04:11
    I like a big screens & desktops, high end gaming & other high end phones, LOL small screens powerless shitboxes, laoptops suck too. Phones are phones thats it....
  • 1 Hide
    roots , 6 March 2010 04:38
    Just shows how some muppets are getting paid big bucks for talking rubish.
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 6 March 2010 14:48
    tranzzyou can imagine a call center of tomshardware being published only on phones and not desktops LOL

    they already have it's just crap
  • 1 Hide
    codefuapprentice , 8 March 2010 02:09
    Imagine trying to develop software on a Smart phone...ugh....completely pointless!!
    I would never go for a laptop for gaming, unless it's an older game, even on my NC10 i use mostly for work, and websurfing and a bit of development when i can't get to my desktop.
    I would never trust my data to a cloud system
  • 1 Hide
    metatasian , 8 March 2010 16:46
    If Eyefinity works with my 3 mobile phones i'm in!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Jimmy22 , 8 March 2010 17:46
    Lol, could you imagine the size of a phone that would be able to play the newest games! 11" graphics card - 11" phone! Battery would be on the large side too.

    3 years is very optimistic google!

    Although, a nice PC CPU powering a phone would be pretty nifty, couple that with some docking station solution and of both worlds. Portable web-browsing / small apps at stupidly fast speeds coupled with gaming in a stationary desk.
  • 0 Hide
    tstebbens , 8 March 2010 18:59
    This is talking about desktops for businesses, not personal desktops for gaming. Of course mobiles won't replace desktops for things like gaming in the near future! That's just stupid to think he was even talking about that.

    He does have a very good point about office machines. I for one don't like carting a laptop around. In my last job I used my XDA to give presentations from, meaning I could leave the laptop back in the office.

    I could imagine a scenario where your phone connects wireless to your monitor, keyboard & mouse on your desk and the corporate wifi network. Keep your phone in your pocket, then just get up, walk-away with all your work in your pocket and sit down somewhere else and carry on working. Go to a client site and it's still there in your pocket.

    Vendor lock-in has always been an issue so it's no different with cloud computing. But I can see big businesses liking the idea of being able to equip their staff with just a mobile and not a mobile + laptop/desktop. The IT infrastructure/support savings alone would be huge, let alone the cost of hardware refreshes every couple of years.