Last night I had a nice chat with my Mom (@mcuniverse) who with her various blogs, websites and gadgets is by all means someone way ahead of the technology curve for her generation. Yet even as a "Computer Buff" she still describes herself as a late adopter of technology. Beside being my Mother and the person who first introduced me to technology, she's a great sounding board when it comes to insights into the technology adoption curve of the boomer generation.
Back to the discussion ~ during it occurred to us that back in the day, (late 1980s) all the best apps were distributed via shareware or freeware specifically for the MS DOS and later Windows PCs. Fast forward 20 years, all the best apps are for, as she said are for "phones". She feels like she's missing all the best stuff, she said she'd love to use instagr.am but it's only available on phones. Like many other phone only apps.
And you know what? She's right. For the mass market a.k.a "the consumer", the PC has quickly become little more than a web browser with a few office type apps. Thats about it. Anything worth using or doing is either web based or in a walled phone only garden. There are attempts to re-create the mobile app scene on PC's with Google, Microsoft and Apple all trying to recreate this eco-system, but sadly they're little more than a mechanism for the delivery of traditional software of the past rather than a conduit into the new and exciting world of mobile apps. The problem with a desktop or laptop is, they aren't really personal. They aren't extensions of you. They're cumbersome additions, not integrated extensions of your persona.
So herein lies the problem, it seems that the boomer generation has little need or interest in smart phones. They see it as a phone. But are they really? They've quickly become the personification of true personal computers and to be honest the phone part of my iPhone is probably the part I use the least. Although I still lug my laptop on my various business trips, it most sits in my hotel room. What I do bring to presentations, meeting and escapades is my Tablet and smart phone. It's all I need, more to point, it's all I want.
So as the world debates the move to cloud. It's already happened. Just ask my mom.