Computing is not about computers anymore

Jaap Bloem - If by any measure our good friend Bill Buxton is right, then after 20 years of long-nosed innovation, mankind is finally arriving at its destination of Being Digital. Two decades go, Nicholas Negroponte famously stated that “computing is not about computers anymore, it is about living!”

the computer for the 21st century

PC #1: Pervasive (Personal) Computing

Mr. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, deals with this today. The Microsoft Windows main focus on Personal Computers now has become a proud relic of the past. Digital Transformation has opened up the era of Pervasive Computing, or “living” for that matter. A few days ago, Mr. Nadella promised to “streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system. This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes.” OS kernel, that is! Also, Mr. Nadella talked about Universal Windows Apps. Both Personal and Pervasive, that means!

PC #2: Our Programming Century

In Scientific American’s September 1991 issue, the famous late Mark – Ubiquitous/Pervasive Computing – Weiser had his landmark article published called The Computer for the 21st Century. It was only 10 years after the birth of the legendary IBM PC, but Mr. Weiser already talked of three screens: tabs boards and pads, and moreover he alluded to both apps and the Internet of Things:

“How many tabs, pads and board-size writing and display surfaces are there in a typical room? Look around you: at the inch scale, include wall notes, titles on books spines, labels on controls, thermostats and clocks, as well as small pieces of paper. Depending on the room, you may see more than 100 tabs, 10 or 20 pads and one or two boards. This leads to our goal for initially deploying the hardware of embodied virtuality: hundreds of computers per room. [This] could seem intimidating at first, just as hundreds of volts coursing through wires in the walls once did. But like the wires in the walls, these hundreds of computers will come to be invisible to common awareness. People will simply use them to accomplish everyday tasks. [...] Tabs will take on functions that no computer performs today.”

Personal Computer graphic design

PC #3: The Pervasive Convenience of Apps & IoT

Listen up: “Tabs will take on functions that no computer performs today!” Didn’t that back in 1991 already sound like apps on the one hand and Internet of Things on the other? Now fast-forward, back to Mr. Nadella, who conveniently reduced our SMACT paradigm to Mobile & Cloud First:

“We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. [ . . . ] Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world.”

Digital First = Security First

What does this mean? That historical necessity once again struck. One caveat: Digital First, Mobile First, Cloud First and SMACT badly need Cyber Security First!

For more info about SMACT please e-mail Menno van Doorn (VINT) of call him via: T: +31 886 606 600