Uncommon Wisdom

Mar 2 2009   3:58PM GMT

IBM’s cloud computing position: Make the PC obsolete?

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

IBM is using its clout with universities to pull the computer science curriculum n a more “cloudy” direction, to build awareness of and skills in cloud computing. According to our sources, IBM’s radical shift is based on simple economics.

IBM believes that as network bandwidth costs fall, what happens on the network and not in it will determine the future, build profit and revenue growth, and change user and business behavior. Distributing computing power in new ways is clearly an example of something facilitated by declining unit cost of bandwidth.

It is also true that a shift in power from personal computers and laptops with general-purpose missions toward netbooks that are little more than browser platforms with local storage suits IBM, which no longer makes PCs. The cloud craze, so our IBM sources tell us, is revolutionary because it will ultimately make the personal computer obsolete, and that its impact on personal computing will be far larger than its impact on business.

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