Bookmark of the end of the WinTel PC era

WintelFor myself, Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement is the final bookmark of the WinTel PC era. Sure, desktop and laptop PCs will be with us for the foreseeable future but the overwhelming center of gravity has shifted from the desktop to the pocket.

This shift has been made possible by coupling cloud services and the plethora of powerful Android and iOS mobile devices on the market. Apple and Google have locked us into their orbits via the App Store and Google Play coupled with their associated content and accessory ecosystems.

We all carry powerful easy-to-use mobile devices, and we all prefer the cloud-based easy-to-consume application experiences to go with them. As a result, the desktops and laptops are getting less use and the tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming our primary go-to devices.

And overwhelmingly these devices are powered by Android or iOS. Google and Apple have captured the operating systems market for the mobile world we are rapidly rushing towards. The old IT-standards of Microsoft and Blackberry were crushed by consumer-based Google and Apple.

Consumers have made their preferences clear – they want to do more and more of their computing with their smartphones and tablets.  IT has no choice other than to embrace this and it’s up to enterprise IT organizations to figure out what to do about it. We face a new reality.

For myself, I consider Steve’s announcement as the close of a chapter in the technology timeline.  A dividing line where the Win-Tel era shifted to the Cloud-Mobile era.