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Report: 'Personal Cloud' Eclipsing PCs in 2014

In the near future, the landing point for computer users will be the "personal cloud," rather than the PC desktop, according to Gartner.

By 2014, the PC will no longer be the primary digital device for most users, the research firm predicts, in a report. Instead, digital information will be accessed from a variety of devices via the Internet. Cloud services will be the connecting factor that will drive this shift, according to Gartner Research Vice President Steve Kleynhans.

"Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices," Kleynhans said in a released statement. "Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the Web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life."

Gartner analysts identified five "megatrends" that are contributing to the shift toward the personal cloud:

  • Consumerization. As users have become more technologically adept -- and more plugged into the Internet and social media -- they are demanding devices and connectivity on their own terms.
  • Virtualization. Thanks to virtualization, users are no longer tied to specific devices or OSes, even in the workplace.
  • "App-ification." Applications can be repurposed to work on a greater range of devices and platforms.
  • Self-Service Cloud. Personal, self-service clouds allow users to create virtual workspaces, tailored to their preferences and available on multiple devices, anytime and anywhere.
  • Mobility Shift. Improved mobile devices -- including those equipped with touchscreens and other interactive UIs -- are increasingly able to perform traditionally PC-based tasks and can act as primary devices while a user is on the go.

According to Kleynhans, "Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role."

About the Author

Katrina Carrasco is the associate group managing editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group. She can be reached at kcarrasco@1105media.com.

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