It's alive and well
Best Argument: It's alive and well
Alive and well, enabling software
While it’s clear that for consumer solutions it is mainly about the user experience, which is a software driven aspect of product design, it can’t be forgotten that merely adequate hardware does not make for a good long-term user experience. If for that reason alone, continued hardware innovation is critical.
It’s also obvious from our debate that continued hardware development in the areas of battery technology, mobile data delivery, and general networking bandwidth delivery are lynchpins in the continued growth of cloud services and mobile devices, two of the fastest growing technology sectors.
And I don’t believe that there was ever any question that continued technological development for datacenter hardware, upon which the cloud and related services will live, will continue to allow the growth of current and the development of future cloud technologies.
In short, hardware innovation is alive and well. While much, at the moment, might seem to be behind the scenes, it is still going on and enabling software to realize its developers’ dreams.
No awesome new advances
Never have we seen more evidence that we are truly in a “post-PC era.” While hardware manufacturers are pushing ultrabooks hard at CES this year, the only place where exciting developments are actually occurring is in the cloud. In all seriousness, will you be buying an $1100 ultrabook? Because this isn’t just a post-PC era, it’s post-recession 2012, when value is king and businesses that want to compete must cut corners and introduce efficiencies wherever possible.
Consumers as well love their gadgets, but need those gadgets to be inexpensive, have solid ecosystems, great battery life, and access the web at high speed. While hardware innovation is tied up in this, the real story is software and Internet infrastructure, not awesome new advances in hardware. And frankly, awesome new advances have, appropriately, gone by the wayside in favor of evolutionary platform advances.
Practically a draw
As much as I agree with Dawson that hardware doesn't matter---and ultimately won't---I have to go with Chernicoff. I'm not about to say that hardware development is tapped out yet. In fact, if I had the option I'd call this debate a draw since both and Chris and David made good points. As we stand today, however, I declare Chernicoff the winner.