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By 18 June 2018 | Categories: interviews

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In the continuation of the interview (read Part 1 here) with Jay Parker, Dell’s president of the client product group gave his view of how the PC may change, its future, and why local storage still cannot be beat, even as cloud computing comes to the fore.  

Addressing what users can expect, both in the business sphere and consumers, Parker alludes that we will likely continue to see “remarkable improvements” in the form factors of PCs.

“If you look back ten years ago at what PCs looked like ten years ago as compared to now, the designs are remarkably better. The materials being used, the overall quality of the machines and the user experience have all improved. I believe we are going to see that continued evolution,” he elaborated.

More specifically, that could look like zero bezels on the screen, better entertainment experiences, lighter and smaller form factors, and, the one feature that travellers in particular would appreciate, “remarkably better” battery life.

“I think that when look back at 2018 in the next three to five years, the PCs we are using today, which are wonderful, are going to be far surpassed by what we will be using then,” he enthused.

What’s next?

Beyond that, a bit more revolutionary changes could appear. For example, Parker believes that we may see the keyboard - which evolved from the typewriters of the late 1880s - disappear altogether.

He revealed that there are a number of advancements being made, with Dell investing heavily in them, with regards to how users input information, using voice, touch, pen, gesture and eye tracking. Indeed, the Dell Canvas is a case in point of a natural way for artists or those doing computer assisted design work to get their brushstrokes and designs onto a screen.

“I believe there is a day coming not too far away where you will have a machine with a foldable display, that can multitask on different parts of your display,” Parker enthused.

Storage in a cloud-centric world

Now admittedly, there can be little doubt that we are moving into a cloud centric world, and thus accessing your data and applications is a certainty. That does not mean though, that all PCs will become thin clients, essentially little more than a screen, or even cloud based notebooks. The latter will likely be a portion of the market.

However, Parker asserts even with the likes of 5G there will almost always be a need for power in your hands. Similarly having access to data at your fingerprints (stored in solid state drives) to complete tasks that you have, whether it is animation, or video creation, for example, where going through the network might not be the best experience, will continue to hold its appeal.

“The network is always going to be a bottleneck. Even as networks are getting better, it still pales in comparison to what you can do with your data if you have it local on your device,” he stressed.

Innovation calls, the future beckons

In terms of innovation and where Parker sees the future of the PC going, he revealed that there are three areas where Dell is investing its resources. These are:

  • Immersive Experiences - how users interact with their content and how will that evolve over time;
  • Collaborative functionality - how the collaborative nature of computing devices can be improved upon, over time, and finally,
  • Intelligence - how people can leverage AI and machine learning to let the PC do work that they don’t want to do, or predict what you want to do and help you do it more quickly.

Of those three, the most immediate future will likely be on the immersive front, with virtual reality experiences catering to consumers, bringing them more realistic entertainment experiences, and businesses alike. With regards to the latter, Parker noted that customers are coming up with remarkable ways to use VR in healthcare, in training, in military as well as in sports. So is the PC defunct or its future bleak? Far from it.   

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