In the digital era, where companies deal with a great amount of data and tend to digitize all their processes, it is more and more necessary to rethink the way they use these hardware resources in order to turn the current procedures more efficient, flexible, cheaper and streamlined. Now, the online giants Facebook, Google and Microsoft are the pioneers in making this idea reality from different perspectives.
Open Source hardware architecture
In this pursuit of building up a new kind of data center, Facebook has been the first to pave the way open sourcing its data server and data center designs, under the protection of a new organization called the Open Compute Project.
The main goal of this organization is to create a whole community of companies that would freely share their data center designs, hoping to accelerate the evolution of Internet hardware. Microsoft firstly, Apple afterwards and recently Google have already joined this project. Companies began selling this new breed of streamlined gear and some businesses are using it to boost their online operations.
Centralizing devices into the one and only smart device
In the same line of removing processes and make digital life easier, faster and simpler, Microsoft developed a productivity feature, called Continuum, for Windows 10 Mobile phonesLumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.
It is true that we have reached a point at an ordinary man can track his sleeping quality through his smartwatch, watch a series on their smart TV, use a smartphone to search for new furniture in the tram, use his laptop to do a presentation at work and, when finally back at home, takes the tablet to order that modern table for his new living-room.
After enumerating those devices and emerging mentally the picture of a mess of wires, sim cards and screens, my question is, do we really need all of these gadgets stuffed with own processors, memory chips, hard drives, ports and interfaces? Wouldn’t it be easier to modularize their design and focusing on their inter-connectivity?
Microsoft thinks it would be. That’s why they have developed a remote Desktop App powered by their patent Continuum, which enables users to connect their Windows 10 Mobile devices with a keyboard, mouse and monitor wirelessly or via dock to achieve a desktop-like experience, adding value by externalizing hardware-hungry processes into dedicated data centers.
For those who are still amazed and numb at this early time of the day, I kindly invite you to watch the Microsoft demo to understand the implications Continuum might have in our daily digital lives.
Implications for commerce
The Open Compute Project has more significance than it seems in principle. The more companies adhere to the project, the more benefits for the entire world are expected: Hardware prices could decrease due to scalable design, ideas could flow, new technology could be invented quicker, and difficult technical problems could be fixed faster.
At the same time, the Continuum feature allows everyone to bring their personal laptop in their pocket wherever they go. This unified platform let people do tasks simultaneously, intensifying and enhancing the communication of all the agents involved in the supply chain.
It seems the future of business and trade is digital and will be ruled from the cloud, doesn’t it?
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