Monday, December 31, 2012

ARM devices coming to the desktop

 Before computers can be sold in the marketplace they need to be certified for radio and electrical interference levels. This is a good place to find out what is planned for the next devices to be manufactured. They must be the end product not just a prototype.  Giada is a well known manufacturer of small desktop fanless computers in the commercial sector and has just put up an 'ARM' chip (phone chip) computer for registration. It is also listed on their website but no price yet. It comes preinstalled with Android 4.0 but will take Ubuntu or possibly 'Windows 8 RT'. Libreoffice now works on an 'ARM' chipset and I am running the latest version on my 'Raspberry Pi ' without any problems which also uses the 'ARM' chipset. This is not a stripped down version and has the Spreadsheet, Presentation, and drawing packages complete. With the Firefox Browser and VLC media player already working this should satisfy most computing needs. Standard Windows 8 and earlier Windows versions do not run on 'ARM' chipsets, but Windows 8 RT does but will not run standard Windows software. It looks like the cheap phone systems are going to make a push for the Desktop computing area.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013, Year of the disappearing laptop

The desktop computer was noticeably missing from the retail shops by the end of 2012. By the end of 2013 the Laptop will probably meet the same fate. Looking at the projected manufacturing for all internet ready computing devices brings the following numbers:

Smartphones: > 800 million
Tablets: > 200 million
Smart TV's > 200 million
Laptops < 200 million

Only one in five computing devices will be a Laptop.

Laptops were designed for mobile computing but the Smartphone and Tablet do it so much better. They are capable of surfing the net, doing e-mail, viewing photos, playing movies or music and editing documents. In fact everything a computer does but easier. Advantages are as follows:

One third the weight
No Virus checking needed
No maintenance on the operating system
Long battery life
Small portable size
Always on, ready to use
Can be much cheaper
Can Pinch to Zoom and Pan

Although some Laptops will have touchscreens these are very tiring to use as there is no wrist support like a mouse has.

Typing on a small screen takes a while to get used to but is helped by using word prediction and pinch to zoom for seeing the words. As Pc's have progressively got more complicated and harder to use the Apple and Android systems have been made simpler and more logical to use. Microsoft will try to come back in 2013 with Windows 8 RT not Windows 8. There is a vast difference but the RT version ( that cannot run traditional windows programs ) is not on the shop shelves yet.