So we’ve had quite a number of innovations from manufacturers trying to get our money by coming up with many shiny things that promise to be shinier than others. Top among them are convertible PCs, that seem to have taken a slow down because consumers still buy more full laptops than convertibles. Now there is also plug and play computers, think Android boxes, Intel compute stick, HP Stream, Chromecast etc.
Quite a number of solutions for the boardroom and living room (they can’t make it to mainstream computing). I will focus on the Intel compute stick, that in it’s invention, looked quite promising. A computer just slightly larger than a USB modem. That in itself is a winner, till you realize how cumbersome using one is. First it plugs via HDMI, as would any other plug and play, meaning it will need external power source (has the world figured out how to pick power from HDMI yet?).
Then it has one USB port, initial set up does need a USB keyboard and mouse. Then since it’s a sturdy HDMI port device, it will need to be plugged in horizontally at the back of the computer, not convenient for wall mounted TVs and displays, a problem the first gen Chromecast has as well.
Now it seems like desktop OS is losing the game to Android. Majority of plug and play is Android, and it goes right onto the living room. Not what Intel and Microsoft had envisioned, small computers that you can carry in your bag and plug onto a hotel room TV, or boardroom display. With desktop OS, it starts with ease of use then quite quickly processing power, RAM and storage become a problem, because the desktop environment hasn’t moved from local storage, processing power and RAM as the main points to address in a product.
With Android boxes, addons for streaming and speed of streaming are most important, not how many movies can be stored in local storage. That’s why devices like Samsung Dex can make sense. Anyone remember Samsung’s Homesync?