Chris J Powell

Death of the PC by 2014?

IT Research Firm Gartner is going on record and saying that the Post-PC Era is not only here but the death of our beloved Personal Computer is literally right around the corner.  In a press release issued yesterday titled “Gartner Says the Personal Cloud Will Replace the Personal Computer as the Center of User’s Digital Lives by 2014” the research firm has boldly marked a line in the sand and called out all Enterprises to prepare for the the demand of consumer’s cloud expectations.

Personally I think that there is some Merit to the statement that we as computer users are moving in that direction but even with the new iterations of Microsoft’s Windows8 and Apple’s OSX Mountain Lion having tight integration with the Cloud, I don’t think that there is sufficient always on Bandwidth to support the move to a ubiquitous Personal Cloud in less than 2 years.


I have built quite an extensive Internal Cloud for all of my personal Data and with more than 2 TB of information at my disposal…for me to back that Data to a Personal Cloud the overage charges with my ISP would make it very prohibitive for me to make the shift in any way shape or form to a Personal Cloud any time soon. 

My Twitter Pal and Blogging Colleague Todd Nielson recently posted some wonderful insights into the brewing Perfect Storm of Cloud Computing.  The time is close when the need for a Desktop tethering us to one location will be gone but I just don’t see it happening as fast or as completely as was predicted by the folks over at Gartner.    The one thing that I really liked about Todd’s article is the formula to calculate the coming storm:

(Technology Innovation × Commoditization) + (Internet Availability × Commoditization) + (The Generation Factor × Commoditization) = A Perfect Cloud Computing Storm.

The Commoditization and Consumerization of current technologies that have become an integral part of our lives (I don’t remember the last time I did not relax in front of the TV without my iPad or my Smart Phone) but the fact that at least here in Canada there is no “Always On – Unlimited Super Broadband” means that the Personal Cloud is still light years away.  The Perfect Storm that Todd defines in his eloquent equation is just not possible…because of that one missing component that would give the consumer the ability to create a Personal Cloud.  The speeds are here (I have had the pleasure of experiencing 75 MB) but the cap of just 250GB per month would mean that an instant push to the Cloud for me would cost (ISP charge and the $0.50 per GB overage charge) $1236 and that does not include the charges by the Cloud Provide:

Box.net1 TB = $15 / month
Google Cloud StorageVariable Monthly Usage
Amazon Cloud StorageVariable Monthly Usage
Sugar Sync500 GB = $39.99 / month
Mozy125 GB for $9.99 / month
Free Storage5 GB for Free is the standard


As you can see from the table above, not only making the move to the Cloud would prove to be cost prohibitive here in Canada but so to would the Monthly charges for that storage.  I would be better off to build a robust File Server at home, invest in a static IP address, point a dynamic DNS service at that server and then share to all my devices with a VPN, which would give me the ready access that I want, that is available but my biggest expense will be increasing storage to meet my own growing demand.

The experts out there may be liking the idea of a Personal Cloud but in today’s economy…there is only so far that ease of use will take a service.  Extortion is not legal but yet our ISP’s and these Cloud Storage providers think they can hold our Data hostage!  I say no more.  The tools are available to build your own personal Cloud and with a 2 TB drive costing around $100 right now…can you really go wrong?


Chris J Powell

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