July 24th, 2016.
Josef Konsumer, a home-based employee and portfolio manager for ICBC/CiticorpChase, a Chinese-owned multinational investment bank, wakes up to hear his alarm clock go off at 8am, and gets out of bed, his 47-year old body aching from an aggressive personal trainer session from the day before.
His morning double espresso with frothed skim milk and mocha is already waiting for him, thanks to his new Korean-made LG RoboCafe, which brews and extracts a perfect crema every time using pre-portioned, mess-free nitrogen-sealed pods imported from Brazil. He considers nudging his wife, Mindy, to get up and make him breakfast, but decides to leave her alone. Best not to wake sleeping dragons.
Josef walks downstairs to the kitchen to grab his coffee. "12 pods left in the magazine" he mutters, as he notices the SUPPLIES ORDERED indicator on the status display.
"Thank God for Amazon and that thing's wireless connection or I'd be done for. The new Indonesian flavor should be here by Friday."
After finishing his coffee, Josef moves into his home office to start the day. He's been a home-based employee for several years now, since Citigroup and JPMorganChase merged with the folks out in Shanghai and they had to downsize.
To cut costs, Josef lost his nice office in midtown Manhattan on Park Avenue and has to use a group admin based out of Bangalore, but he doesn't mind. When he's at home, he gets to see his family all the time, and no more horrible and expensive commute from Edgewater to New York City, even with today's super-efficient electric vehicles.
Who wants to pay 20 bucks in tolls and 60 bucks in municipal parking each day anyway? "F@#$ing city occupancy tax."
Josef waves his hand in front of his Linksys N2 wireless ThinTerm, and the first of his 3 energy-efficient HD 1080p OLED display units comes to life.
ACCESSING REMOTE DESKTOP: 300Mbps, 32-bit color, SolidICE 5.0. CONNECTED. DEFAULT SESSION: Ubuntu 16.04, 128-bit. VMID 0x01EF3FF0x001. BIOMETRIC LOGIN, AUTHENTICATED.
Gotta love that 5 second commute. "Need to buy more CSCO."
Josef turned off his terminal last night before he went to bed, but it doesn't matter because all his windows, browsers, and net-based applications are running, just the way he left them.
He could have just turned on the HDTV in his bedroom, and issued the login voice command to the high-end Motorola-Sony PS5 DVR/entertainment set-top, but that probably would have pissed Mindy off with that thing's loud Led Zeppelin splash screen music.
Oh well. Time to look the portfolio. "MSFT at $12.25? Crap, Time to dump."
Josef remembers what it was like before FIOS 2.0 and the subscriber Ubuntu NetDesktop service. He had to boot his machine up every morning, which always took forever, because Windows always kept getting more and more bloated. And all the viruses and spyware… and installing and upgrading applications… yuck.
OpenOffice 6.2 does everything he wants, and what better browser is there than Firefox 8, anyway? People really had to buy a new PC every 3 years and go through porting all their data and email each time? Worrying about filling their hard drives up? Personal data backups? Hard drive crashes? What a huge hassle.
"Oh that reminds me… How's my EMC stock doing? $72.81, after a 3-way stock split. Excellent."
Oh sure, Josef could subscribe to the "Premium" service for Windows 7 Subscriber Edition, or get a Apple TV with remote Mac OS XI Bobcat on Mobile Me Corporate Edition, but why pay the extra $400-$600 a year for the base OS image plus expensive metered software licenses for the productivity apps?
He'd rather download the latest direct-to-video Batman movie using On-Demand Pay-Per-View, although admittedly Christian Bale is really starting to look like an old fart.
With his basic $120 monthly fee, Josef gets his super clear VOIP service, 200 channels of HDTV programming, and all his computing needs using Open Source software. Besides, all his important line of business SOA-based J2EE apps are provided over secure VPN connection from the Verizon virtual cluster using web services. Personal data? His 50GB GMail account alone dates back to 2004.
"What are those guys in their green data centers in the flyover states using these days, anyway? IBM Z15s? Hyper-V? Parallels Server 4 or SLES 17.0 128-bit on IBM iDataPlex with POWER12? HP Integrity? Niagara 4? Who cares. It just works."
Yes, it just works. Of course, years ago, people thought this was science fiction. But by 2012, a lot of stuff changed to make this a reality. Corporations wanted to dodge the "Vista and Windows 7 Bullet" by waiting as long as possible to do major desktop upgrades, and started to move more and more desktops into virtual infrastructure using software like Qumranet, Sun Secure Global Desktop, Microsoft Citrix XenDesktop and VMWare VDI.
In 2014, Linux finally caught up on the desktop for corporate use and more apps went on web servers. Green datacenters with various hypervisor and containerization technologies on mainframes, mid-range Linux superservers and lower-power x86 processors on blade clusters made it all possible.
Downsizing of corporate IT also meant less people to do PC support, and it was cheaper to outfit each desk with a $200 solid-state Cisco ThinTERM 5000 with an effective service lifetime of 10 years running on 10GigE over Cat-6 or 2gigabit multi-mode encrypted Wi-Fi, which could be swapped out by building services instead of a trained PC technician.
And in 2016, once they perfected the technology for use in corporations, the next step was to shut down the office entirely and send just about everyone home, once FIOS and high-speed 50 megabit DSL was finally rolled out to everyone.
"Yeah, those lower level executives who travel like maniacs and earn frequent flyer miles with their solid state SUSE LINUX laptops, iPhones and WiMAX 6G can freakin' keep them.
PCs! I can't believe they didn't toss those stupid things earlier."
Will you still be using PCs in 2016? Talk Back and let me know.
The postings and opinions on this blog are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.