Google: Desktop PC will die off in three years

The rise of smartphones and the cloud will render traditional desk-based computers all but obsolete within three years, claims Google Europe boss.

desktop pc

A senior Google executive believes the rise of smartphones will see the desktop PC all but obsolete within three years.

Google Europe boss John Herlihy told delegates at the Digital Landscapes conference at University College Dublin that the move towards the cloud would see mobile devices capable of increasingly rapid and complex applications.

He cited Japan as an example, claiming the majority of research there is now done on smartphones, not PCs. And with that trend likely to emerge in western markets too, Google is shifting its focus increasingly to the mobile space.

"Mobile makes the world's information universally accessible," Herlihy told delegates, according to Silicon Republic. "Because there's information and because it will be hard to sift through it all, that's why search will become more and more important. This will create new opportunities for new entrepreneurs to create new business models ubiquity first, revenue later."

Herlihy's comments largely echo those made by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt at Mobile World Congress last month, where he announced that the company was shifting to a "mobile first" strategy, having already built strong foundations through its Android mobile operating system and key role in the Open Handset Alliance.

"Culturally it is time to figure out a way to say yes to the emergent new services and ideas that will not come from Google but from those literally millions of companies and programming shops that will be built on this new platform," Schmidt said.

According to Herlihy, part of Google's success was down to its willingness to try out new ideas, embracing those that worked and discarding those that didn't with "relentless brutality and execution".

"Here's an analogy the Roman legions used to send out scouts in different directions," Herlihy said. "If a scout didn't return, the army didn't head in that direction. We seek feedback at every opportunity on something we either kill it, adjust it or redeploy resources.

"When we build something we strive for ubiquity in usage and adoption. That helps us understand how customers react and then we build a revenue model."

He also revealed that fear of "the next Google" was one of the primary forces behind its seemingly relentless expansion.

"The fear is the next Sergey and Larry will come up with a disruptive technology or service that will eliminate the need for Google," Herlihy said, referring to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. "That spurs us on to deliver the best quality return on investment to advertisers in an open and transparent partnership that works for them."

Featured Resources

Shining light on new 'cool' cloud technologies and their drawbacks

IONOS Cloud Up! Summit, Cloud Technology Session with Russell Barley

Watch now

Build mobile and web apps faster

Three proven tips to accelerate modern app development

Free download

Reduce the carbon footprint of IT operations up to 88%

A carbon reduction opportunity

Free Download

Comparing serverless and server-based technologies

Determining the total cost of ownership

Free download

Recommended

Gmail vs Outlook.com: Which one is better?
email providers

Gmail vs Outlook.com: Which one is better?

26 Nov 2021
Compromised Google Cloud Platform instances are riddled with cryptominers
cloud computing

Compromised Google Cloud Platform instances are riddled with cryptominers

26 Nov 2021
Podcast transcript: Can the US take on big tech?
Policy & legislation

Podcast transcript: Can the US take on big tech?

19 Nov 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: Can the US take on big tech?
Policy & legislation

The IT Pro Podcast: Can the US take on big tech?

19 Nov 2021

Most Popular

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?
Sponsored

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?

17 Nov 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

30 Nov 2021
Access brokers are making it easier for ransomware operators to attack businesses
cyber security

Access brokers are making it easier for ransomware operators to attack businesses

1 Dec 2021