Rebooting the Computer Platform

whatsappWintel has been dominating desktop computers since the early 80’s. Never heard of Wintel? Wintel = Windows + Intel. The combination of software from Microsoft and the CPU from Intel powered the desktop computer revolution. The saying used to be, what Intel giveth (in increased computing power), Windows taketh (their crappy software would slow down the computer). Here we are in 2014 and people are still using Windows XP and when they download something, they have no clue where the file is. You almost need a PhD in forensic science to find the file.

No matter what Windows does, it just can’t compete with new platforms like iOS and Android that have been built from scratch. Windows has too much legacy attached to it and they have tried several times to make a run at tablets and phones but have never succeeded. I’m really glad to see the Wintel platform being challenged by smartphones and tablets. If you look at the average user of a computer they are mostly consuming content or typing out emails to friends and family. For them a desktop/laptop computer is a bit like having everyone drive an F1 car to get around…it’s overkill. With the advent of the smartphone and tablet it allows most users to consume content in a very easy to use manner.

I got my first personal computer (PC) in 1984 and it was an IBM PC. For the past 30 years I’ve been hearing my mom tell me she’s going to learn the computer and till this day she hasn’t. However, she just got an Android phone and has started to use WhatsApp. Baby steps, but I’m sure within a year she will start to consume news from websites and potentially start using her Gmail account that was created when she got her Android phone.

In India, WhatsApp is like a gateway drug to many other things available on the internet. Once people get hooked, they start looking for more and more things to do on their phone and tablet. Even my driver was asking me what Samsung Android phone he should buy. I asked him what he wants to do with the phone. His response – WhatsApp, what else is there to do.

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