|Issue:||Europe I 2011|
|Topic:||The tides of change|
|Title:||Intel Vice President and General Manager, Intel Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)|
Christian Morales is an Intel Vice President and the General Manager of Intel Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); he is responsible for Intel product sales and marketing in the EMEA region. Mr Morales has held senior international management roles in sales, channel operations and general management including as Intel’s Vice President of the Sales and Marketing Group and Co-General Manager of Asia Pacific and General Manager of Latin America. Mr Morales joined Intel in Paris as a field sales engineer and soon became Director for Spain and Portugal. Christian Morales graduated with an electrical engineering degree from the Electricity, Mechanics and Electronics Engineering School in Paris and later completed the Young Managers Program in the MBA program at INSEAD.
Mobile systems will shape the consumer market during this decade. ‘Companion’ computing devices- smartphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks and such – with wireless Internet connections, truly powerful processors and access to an amazing variety of apps store systems will dominate consumer ICT. Devices designed for visual computing will lead the market; context-aware computing systems will use hardware and service provider information to ‘sense’ users’ moods and anticipate their needs; and ‘client-aware’ clouds will provide an online experience optimised for the user’s needs.
Change and innovation in the digital world are things that we take for granted; they are almost considered constants. More obvious is the way it is changing our lives at home and in everyday life, but also in the workplace. The constant rise of the consumer, something that is regularly remarked upon as a demand driver in Europe and indeed in other parts of the world, should not obscure the challenges that mobile computing poses – and offers a solution to – in business. Moreover, the notion of mobile is also evolving rapidly. Not so long ago it was terminology confined to laptop computers. In 2007 the iPhone gave new life to the smartphone and 2009 was the year of netbooks, companion devices for some, and first-time devices for others. Last year, 2010, saw tablets, yet another form of companion device, finally make an impact in the marketplace. Three new devices in four years tell this story of relentless and increasingly rapid change. It also makes foretelling the coming year in terms of one or two trends or devices very tricky, so it is necessary therefore to cast the net slightly wider for 2011. Going visual One trend that stands out is visual computing. This means different things to different people, but here we are talking about the advent of a range of new experiences that all have a strong visual component, all underpinned by devices and components designed explicitly for enabling such experiences. The figures speak for themselves. Over two billion photos are uploaded every month to Facebook, adding to the 20 billion already uploaded. On YouTube, two billion videos are viewed every day. And it is not just content consumption. Content creation is no longer the domain of a privileged few: 24 hours of video (an entire day’s worth of content) is uploaded every minute on YouTube, more and more of it in HD. Gaming too has emerged into the mainstream. More people than ever enjoy games, whether it be casual, mainstream or the more traditional hardcore gamers. All are enjoying increasingly rich content. The implications of this shift to visual computing are significant, and the profile of the Internet will change, as visual content increasingly becomes the main bulk of content. However, the growing data flood needs to be carried by a world of heterogeneous networks that will need to support billions of new devices, leading to smarter client devices that can move seamlessly across different networks, wireless or wired. In a sense, the device is almost irrelevant – all it needs to do is consume content or create it. While the PC is undoubtedly the device for creation, smartphones, netbooks, and tablets will all consume this rising tide of content. Fusion of devices, content and smart TV The morphing of form factors will also continue apace. Previously stable devices will shift with new shapes and sizes blurring together to create compact devices that include touch screens as standard and the first context-aware interfaces. This fusion will also be accompanied by an increasing amount of content. Take, for example, smart TV, which is gaining increased popularity among consumers. It collates reams of programming and images from sources as diverse as websites, personal photograph libraries, film libraries and more. It presents this wildly diverse content via a super slick interface, signalling an evolutionary movement from passive TV watching to active engagement with what appears on the screen. However, ‘smart TV’ will not be confined to TV and the living room. Smart TV content will spread to mobile devices. People will naturally view their favourite TV shows on mobile devices while travelling, for example, and finish watching on their TV screens when they get home. We’ll see continued fusing of content across mobile devices. Companion computing devices The year 2010 saw PC shipments reach one million per day. In the coming year we expect laptop demand to stay strong. The visual experiences and the technologies that enable them will be the main drivers of this, alongside perhaps an increased uptake from small business. From the vendor’s side a noticeable push this year will be the profusion of Tablet PCs. Having seen arguably only one tablet dominate the market in 2010, this year could see that number rise considerably, offering differing sizes, operating systems and capabilities, and all of course at different price points. Also in the companion device space, netbooks are likely to continue their popularity, offering throughout 2011 an increased range of capabilities and form factors. Also serving to keep this category fresh and invigorated, the nascent app store infrastructure will offer to users of these devices what tablet and phone users have had all along. In the smartphone category, the only prediction here is that they continue to go from strength to strength. Protecting mobile computing As the wave of mobility reaches even greater heights there’s going to be a corresponding need for enhanced security and protection. Today, hacking is largely confined to hidden attempts to extract money or information from servers and desktop PCs. However, as mobile computing becomes more prevalent with new usage models, such as the cloud and numerous CE (consumer electronics) devices connecting to the Internet, security will remain one of the highest priorities for the IT industry, both to protect our data and identities online, but also to handle the growing number of financial transactions – expected to reach two trillion by the end of this decade. This year, 2011, micropayments are likely to grow strongly as the uptake of subscription-based apps increases; micropayments will be among the most important drivers of online financial payment volumes. Over the next year, the industry may have to focus on such basic capabilities as hardware-based security, enhanced by software to protect the infrastructure and safeguard personal, business and government information. New mobility The definition of what constitutes mobile computing continues to change, and an industry that has its emotional heart in Europe is set to take this a step further. The automotive sector, the leading light of European industry, is leading the way in in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. It may well lead the world in making this a reality in 2011. These IVI systems promise much the same in terms of experience as other mobile computing devices, based as they are on the same hardware, software and connectivity building blocks as every other type of device I have so far mentioned. I am genuinely excited not only at the prospect of this technology, but also that it is Europe that will be in the vanguard of making this a market reality. The Internet of things Taken together the dynamics I’ve outlined above are incremental steps in the movement towards more ubiquitous mobility. And in the coming years the continued realisation of Moore’s Law will enable us to add computing capability and Internet connectivity to literally billions of devices. In turn this will lead to new computing usage models which will define new categories such as the smart home, the smart car and smart energy. As you are reading this, hardware and software development is going on all over the world that will create an era of context-aware computing. Mobile computing devices will use sensors such as cameras and GPS-based information together with a service provider’s information about, say, their users’ food preferences to make on-the-spot recommendations regarding nearby restaurants. This combination of ‘hard’ data and ‘soft’ information will be used in a wide variety of situations to ‘sense’ users’ moods and anticipate their needs. Finally, ‘client-aware’ clouds, which know what types of applications, commands and processing power your computer uses and needs, are coming closer to reality. Network infrastructures will be central to making this a reality. However, we’re not that far away from the time when a mobile computing device will take a user’s profile and device features to provide an online experience that is absolutely optimised for the user, whether it’s business or pleasure. We’re on the cusp of a brave new world of mobile computing and content delivery that is going to change the face of how we interact with each other and the world around us.