Invasion of the padroids!

Is the success of the new gadgets a consumer rebellion against desktop operating systems?

By Rick Jelliffe
July 15, 2010

Articles on the success of the various hand-held devices recently tend to emphasize the gadget-y aspects like touch screens or form factors, or they emphasize the 'curated experience' angle. The positive reasons pulling consumers.

But I wonder whether, with all that, there is also an aspect that a decent chunk of the public that is just fed up with desktop operating systems. Fed up with hardware incompatibilities, fed up with license fees, fed up with virus insecurities, fed up with troubleshooting, fed up with impersonal computing. I cannot exclude Linux/BSD/Solaris and Mac OS from being more like Windows than unlike it in these areas, by the way. (And yes I know Android is based on blah blah blah)

Steve Job's recent comments against Flash can be interpreted as one aspect of that, I suppose. The WWW fits into the zero-configuration/zero-clash/zero-cost tool-for-connection-and-interaction model of the new gadgets.

If this is the case, then it would seem sensible to expect a series of bigger and larger padroids encroaching steadily into the notebook market. I went to a few computer shops this week: big vendor stores as well as more than a handful in Chinatown: the ratio of notebooks to desktops on display was about 10:1. The desktop is now the office machine not the home machine, and the home machine market is prime takings for the padroids, it seems to me.


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