With little fanfare, Gartner announced yesterday that the number of computers in use worldwide had reached 1 billion. I remember many a speech in the mid to late 1990’s — Andy Grove, Craig Barrett and other Intel executives expousing the company vision of “a billion connected PCs”. Well, it’s here now, at least the ‘billion’ part. Good for Intel and the PC Industry, we had a vision and charted a course to get here, but what now?What is lost amid the simple reporting on the numbers, as important as it is, is just how pervasive computing has become. How transformational it has been on people’s lives, how “connected” we are. How we do business, work, and play. How we share and communicate. How we navigate and negotiate. Everything. Indeed interconnected PCs and servers have become the foundation of the information age — with dramatic new things happening everyday as the Internet continues to evolve. Of course underlying this is the silicon technology. That too sometimes gets lost in the admittedly exciting focus on Web 2.0 and the companies, applications, and trends that are defining it. Micheal Malone opined on this recently in an excellent peice over at ABC News. So what now? Integration and innovation is continuing at a rapid pace. Moore’s Law is alive and well, and the Internet is going mobile and going video. One thing is certain, it wont take 30yrs to get to the next 2 billion. In fact Gartner predicts the next billion will happen much quicker, by sometime around 2014.
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