Mobile phones and tablets are affecting how PCs (especially laptops) are designed, so here are a few hints at what is likely to change, in part already a reality:
- SSDs instead of moving hard drives. Still much more expensive, but they are also much faster, and increasingly content is stored on-line or is streamed instead of stored locally.
- No optical storage drive. See PC software below.
- Large application and data caches in Flash/SSD.
- Touch screens, as a complement to a mouse or touchpad.
- Integrated snapshot/video camera.
- Detachable and/or flippable screens.
- Integrated location technologies: GPS, accelerometer, compass.
- Integrated mobile modem.
When it comes to PC software:
- Will be purchased, installed and updated via the Internet, via the established application store concept.
- Backups will be done to Internet services, in part provided by PC and OS manufacturers.
- Media will mostly be streamed instead of locally stored.
- Applications will collaborate via means similar to Android Send/Share.
- Messaging, news feeds, social networking etc will be fully integrated in the OS, so that updates are presented in a coherent way.
Will anyone buy or rent software or content on physical media by 2020? I doubt it.