Tuesday , 25 September 2018
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IDG Contributor Network: What’s wrong with PCs as a Service

(Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.)

One of the fascinating things about the technology market is how it goes in circles and not only forgets the past but misses the point. For instance, let’s take the recent mega trend: PCs as a Service, or as we’ll call it, “PaaS.” Most think this is brand new, but it is in fact an attempt to return to what we had with the mainframe. An appliance on our desk and like it was back then the hardware is, and should be, largely transparent and, I expect, as these services mature they hardware will change dramatically and alternatives like Windows on ARM will start to look more attractive.

What is also interesting is that just about the time the last large mainframe/terminal implementations were being yanked out by their roots, IT started demanding desktop computing as a service again. This was back in the 1990s, and now about two whopping decades later, major OEMs are putting programs together to make it happen and reinventing the wheel to make it happen.  

What Is PaaS really?

What is being requested is desktop computing as a service, but because this request is being filtered by the PC vendors they are seeing this as PCs as a Service and creating a huge opportunity for firms like Amazon. You see much like Amazon did with cloud, they could skip the interim step and move directly to an optimal solution which might be a higher-end version of Fire TV or industrial Kindle coupled with a cloud service that provided desktop computing at a massively lower cost.

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