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Windows 7: The End of the Fat Client Era?

I saw a special in CNBC about Google. A few scenes had Googlers all sitting around a conference room to discuss new projects. What was in front of them? A good old-fashioned pencil and pad of paper? Nope -- state-of-the-art laptop computers. Hey, isn't Google all about the cloud? Isn't its Web-only software the death knell for Microsoft? Shouldn't Googlers be using a mobile phone or some fancy thin client?

Then there's Steve Jobs, sitting on top of an ever-rising stock price. Everything Jobs does requires local storage and processing, from the Mac to the iPod to the iPhone and even the upcoming tablet.

Despite all this, know-it-all pundits continue to write obits to intelligent clients. Latest case in point? IDC now predicts that Windows 7 will be the last old-style desktop client OS from Microsoft.

I think IDC is dead wrong. Microsoft Research has some cool operating systems in development that are flexible and secure. IDC also fails to understand the fundamentals of computer hardware. Everything is getting faster and cheaper. Flash storage, many core processors and insane amounts of RAM in a tiny space? What good is all this if the intelligence is all in the network? Why waste all this potential?

What's your prediction? Is IDC right and am I dead wrong? Shoot your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on January 04, 2010 at 11:53 AM