PalmSource's recent acquisition of China MobileSoft is an expression of the firm's commitment to set a new strategy for survival, especially in the hotly contested cellular phone market. We expect the Palm OS to evolve from its current status as an embedded OS to a focused user environment.
Through 2009, Windows-based personal computers will remain the dominant computing device for corporate and consumer users (80% market share), particularly for information creation and sophisticated collaboration activities. However, smart phones and information appliances will play an increasingly important role as users exploit multiple devices for information consumption, entertainment, and basic collaboration needs. As the line between corporate and consumer computing continues to blur, IT organizations will face an increasingly demanding and technically savvy user base, mirroring the initial PC revolution.
As companies move critical applications to wireless devices, users will need access to multiple wireless networks to maintain reliable connectivity. This will require mobile persistence middleware to enable transparent mobile network roaming.
CIOs face the dilemma of user demand for wireless and pervasive technology deployment while confronting stagnant or shrinking budgets as well as rapidly evolving technology. CIOs can take steps now to prepare for the inevitable wave of wireless/pervasive deployments in two to three years.
Many personal digital assistants (PDAs) are appearing in enterprises. Although most are currently user-acquired devices, we expect an increasing number to be company-supplied in three to five years. Enterprises must evaluate and plan for PDA TCO (total cost of ownership) and assess the impact PDAs will have on cost of operations.
Government use of mobile and pervasive technologies will increase during the next three to five years. Yet several challenges must be overcome before government agencies can exploit this opportunity to streamline government and deliver improved public services.