Rohan Jayasekera's thoughts on the evolving use of computers -- and the resulting effects

Occasional thoughts by Rohan Jayasekera of Toronto, Canada.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

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Monday, April 06, 2009

"No OS" computer on its way

Further to my post More on the evolution of netbooks, ZDNet’s Andrew Nusca points to a story printed today in the New York Times. The NYT has obtained confidential documents saying that cellular carrier T-Mobile will next year launch in the USA a tablet computer that uses the Android operating system. This would be an example of the device I expect to largely replace today’s personal computers: one without a conventional operating system, and pretty much just a smartphone that has a much larger screen and a full-sized keyboard (which in the case of tablets may be an on-screen keyboard).

Replace, that is, for those of us who feel the need for more than a phone in our pocket. I expect us to be in the minority, with most people satisfied with a smartphone. Today smartphones such as the BlackBerry and iPhone and Treo/Centro are priced much higher than regular cellphones, but as the category becomes more popular, and as all the cellphone manufacturers get into the market, the prices are coming down. Already, new lower-end phones and plans increasingly include browsers and some Internet access, leaving out only smartphones’ larger screen and full keyboard (physical or on-screen). I recently heard a Torontonian who is originally from India tell a story of a recent trip back to India: when he pulled out his laptop, his nieces laughed at him and said “Oh, uncle, you’re so old-fashioned – you and your laptop!” They just use their phones now, and they think that’s better!