Is the desktop dead? Scoble and friends face-off on mobile

Is the desktop dead? Scoble and friends face-off on mobile

Summary: Watch this engaging panel discussion on trends in consumer technology and their impact on the enterprise.


As part of the BusinessNext and (New Media Expo) conference, held this past January in Las Vegas, I asked a couple of interesting and highly accomplished friends — Robert Scoble and Vala Afshar — to discuss the impact of cloud, social, and mobile in the enterprise.

Read more from the Beyond IT Failures blog

Famous blogger, author, and Rackspace executive, Robert Scoble, spends significant time with large and small companies to learn about their latest products and innovations. Robert is widely regarded as one of the most influential startup evangelists in the world, and he is currently writing a book on contextual computing with co-author Shel Israel.

Vala Afshar is an author and Chief Marketing Officer (also Chief Customer Officer) of networking equipment manufacturer Enterasys. [Disclosure: Enterasys is a consulting client for market strategy, positioning, and messaging.] Vala's role at Enterasys gives him a unique perspective on mobile, with projects like providing wireless for 70,000 seats at the New England Patriots football stadium, specifically to help the team enhance its fan experience with social computing, video content, marketing, and other mobile applications.

Also read: Professional sports innovation: Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins

The panel discussion covered a range of topics including:

  • Consumerization of IT
  • Impact of "bring your own device" (BYOD) on employees and the organization 
  • Growth of mobile computing
  • Machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of things (IoT)
  • Contextual computing
  • Big data and "weird data"
  • Future of call centers and customer service
  • Implications for the CIO

This panel was great fun for both participants and audience, as evidenced by great enthusiasm in the room and high ratings received afterwards.

Watch the entire panel in the video below; I'm sure you will find it enjoyable and informative.

Topics: Mobility, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise

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  • Apple propaganda

    The headline is classic sensationalist post-PC propaganda.

    ZDNet is too desperate to write link/click-baiting headlines.
    Tim Acheson
    • Looks like Linux won the war...

      1. Android Linux 42%
      2. Apple OS 24%
      3. Windows 20%
      4. Other OS including other Linux distributions 14%

      Figures by Goldman Sachs (2012). This year is even much worse for Microsoft.
  • May I be excluded?

    I prefer my desktop to my smart phone for computing purposes.
  • Large screen vs. small screen

    After you have consumed content on a large screen Windows 8 device, you never want to go back to a small screen unless you have to. Mobile has its place, but Windows 8 will make users fall in love with the desktop and other large screens all over again.
    P. Douglas
    • Re: After you have consumed content on a large screen Windows 8 device

      "Consuming content" is what I do with my TV. With my computer, I expect more two-way interaction. I am sorry to hear that Windows 8 is so focused on passive content consumption. It sounds more suited to running a TV than a computer.
  • Slow news year...

    I spend about 7 hours a day at work in front of dual 23" widescreens. Then I come home and spend 30 minutes to 3 hours more on my desktop,with a single 23" widescreen. For most real work I need a good keyboard and screen real estate. Work needs to get done. Yes, mobile is a new frontier, but it's got a long, long way to go to shutdown a real WORKstation.
  • Fallback vs. Primary Tools

    Back in the 1980's those of us who worked on mainframes had "dumb" (i.e. firmware-based) terminals to access what we called the "host", with high speed in-house links to it, in the office. Those of us who, on rotation or permanently, had to fix problems from home, carried various dial-up terminals to log in to the host remotely. These devices ALWAYS took several minutes to dial the connection and log in, the communications link speed was ALWAYS at least an order of magnitude slower than in the office, in some cases we had to give up the semi-graphical interface (3270, for those who remember) for pure command line (TTY) at even SLOWER speeds, and of course, we only had access to the documentation we took home, meaning MORE online traffic was required to refer to said documents.

    The point is, having the dial-up device was better than NOTHING, meaning better than having NO CHOICE but to go into the office (or spend the night there), but as much work as possible was deferred until we went back to work, where we had so much better tools than at home. And we NEVER wanted to work on a new project from home via dial-up.

    Mobile vs. desktop is the same argument. When I am out and about, away from my main computer, it is nice to know that quick inquiries can be made on the smartphone or mini tablet. Fortunately, my laptop CAN be brought with me, with a little extra effort, and if I expect that considerable work will be done away from home, I do so. Basically, the small screen mobile device is the FALLBACK tool for times when internet access, contact info, or schedule info is needed away from home. Oh, and a telephone as well. Heavy work is done on the bigger tool, with faster internet access, at home. And company work mostly at home, with remote access from home the primary fallback, mobile the secondary fallback.

    Mobile will not REPLACE desktop (or big laptop) until voice and/or brain wave input, and reliable laser projection on any available surface (or "magic" glasses), is perfected. Even then, your voice may be overheard, and the projected image may be visible to others, in public places.
  • Desktop versus Mobile

    I have both, but prefer the Desktop for a lot of creative things that I do and the Tablet for the consumption. The person who has both of these technologies is best off. In the age of Wi-Fi, fortunately we can have both with minimal trade offs. I doubt that very few people who have both will gravitate 100% to one of the other. Desktops seem like a V8 to me versus my Tablet being a 4 cylinder sub compact. Of course my desktop consumes over 3.3 gig or ram when I am doing anything versus a whole lot less on my 2 gig Nexus 10 and 1 gig Nexus 7. For both technologies, the O/S and supporting programs take up a goodly portion of the total available. To each his own!!!