As I write this post I'm sitting on a plane heading to Las Vegas. This is my second year in a row going to CES after taking a break for a number of years. Last year the mood heading into CES was grim, and the bad news just kept coming in daily. Now a year later while we are not near a full recovery things are clearly picking up and optimism is much higher. It will be interesting to see what's in store - there's already been a lot of pre-leaks coming out talking about some of the new gadgets. E-Readers and Tablets , and mini projectors seem to be talked about everywhere.
Thinking back, I got my first tablet computer in 2002. Now 8 years later I see people get all excited about a tablet and I just have trouble joining them until I hear the "Wow". Rumors are everywhere that Apple will announce a tablet/ slate whatever later in the month and Ballmer will show off a Microsoft one later tonight in his keynote. The tablet announcements themselves are a who cares event. When you should get excited is when they announce they have an experience that allows you to easily go from your phone, to your e-reader/tablet, to your net book - laptop and finally the desktop sitting somewhere in your house and finally for good measure your TV all with a unified transparent experience. Just as you wouldn't hammer a nail in with a screw driver it's all about using the write tool for the right task. But now were taking it a step further to talk about having a transportable user experience that flows across the different devices in without intervention to the user. This impacts not only the hardware but the applications we all build on the platforms. In the new decade, I think there will be a lot of focus on this convergence of the devices and improving the ease of use. For those of us that build applications that means it's time to move on from just thinking about how to make applications more responsive to how to make applications ready to provide that transportable user experience across their device of choice.
Steve Ballmer in getting warmed up for his keynote tonight did a guest blog post on the Huffington Post that you can read here. He too talks about the connections and convergence that is happening and how it will expand to reach 4 billion people in the future. In his keynote I expect him to really drive home Microsoft's position on the connected, converging world we are heading towards. As someone who builds applications I'm particularly excited about the fact that Microsoft via .NET can build on these different devices without having to start from scratch to learn something new. In the future as Silverlight comes to mobile and other non traditional computer devices it will allow more applications to conform to how people want to use applications - that is on the device that makes sense at any given point in time. Last decade was about using the web to reach people everywhere, this next decade will be about reaching all their connected devices. Are you ready? Is your application ready?
I will be covering Ballmer's keynote tonight via Twitter (Twitter.com/DavidYack ) and if you reach out and let me know what you're interested in will try to keep my eye out.
That's all for now, I will let you know if I find the WIFI enabled toaster!