Schmidt calls time on the PC

Outgoing Google chief Eric Schmidt has called time on the PC, telling delegates at the Mobile World Congress that smartphones are set to dominate the online market and that “it’s already over” for the PC. “People have moved on to new devices for their games and other interactions,” said the Google CEO.

Schmidt pointed to the role of cloud computing and imminent arrival of LTE as instrumental in “creating the opportunity for a whole new set of applications” in the smart device space. “Cloud computing coupled with massive data stores such as Google’s have huge implications for what your phone can do, especially using social networking connections,” he said. Schmidt added that the cloud was unifying everything, creating a device-agnostic space in which “you really can do magic.”

Schmidt told delegates that “everything’s changing again” and that “this isn’t about a phone or a platform, it’s an ecosystem,” before moving on to describe the changing role of the mobile phones from communications device to platform and, now, what he called a “serendipity platform” in which users will give their permission to allow their data to be used to introduce them to new people, ideas and information. “This is the future,” said Schmidt. “Start thinking about the implications of device smartness combined with location-based services and permission to use your and your friends’ data.”

Schmidt said that Google’s core strategy for the future was to “make our offerings better through using social information.” Describing near-field communications as a “megascale opportunity coming for us,” he went on to say that e-commerce and payments will be revolutionised by the upsurge in personalised information. “Models around consumerisation work really well when they’re tied to location, personalisation and advertising,” he said.


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