2016: Welcome to The Screen

February 19, 2009

zd-thescreen by you.

In the not so far off future, computing for most of us will be reduced to remotely delivered subscriber services, running on cheap, commodity high-definition display units.

What is The Screen? I don’t think it has been well defined what the interface or the experience really is going to look like, but I have a very good idea. Certainly, I’m not expecting anything along the lines of Minority Report or even something like Microsoft’s “Surface”, although it’s certainly possible that some day, people might use UIs like that for certain niche applications. Initially, early versions of The Screen will almost certainly look very much like the platforms you use now — Windows, Mac, and definitely Linux.

The only difference is you won’t own the computing hardware it runs on — all you’ll really need is a screen (an HDTV with HDMI inputs) mouse, keyboard and broadband, and you’ll be buying your computing services like a utility, just like you pay your electric or Cable TV bill today. And like your Cable TV bill, you’ll subscribe to computing “Channels”, complete with applications and hosted data, with balls to the wall clouded backup services to match.

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