Recent innovations such as the iPad provide an exciting glimpse into the future of computers. Before looking forward toward future computer trends, let's take a quick look back to gain a better appreciation of the evolution thus far. Do you remember when the first primitive computing machines occupied entire buildings? The massive machines from the mid-20th century consisted of row upon row of vacuum tubes and wires. You had to use stacks of punch cards to program these beasts. The Future of Computers: Home Computers
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were both instrumental in bringing the computer down to size. With the introduction of the personal computer and its widespread acceptance, computers shrunk while processing power increased. Even the bulky CRT monitors got a makeover with flat LCD monitors now the norm. In addition, costs have fallen so much over the years that many households own several personal computers and wireless networks. Future technology won't necessarily render the home PC obsolete, but it will change it. For example, modern televisions and appliances are now Web-enabled. Expect future technology to blend appliances into the home network. The Future of Computers: Laptops, Netbooks, and Ultrabooks
First there were laptops, then there were netbooks, and now there are "ultrabooks." These mobile devices share several characteristics including the integrated folding design and portability. Differences include size and storage (laptops use hard disks, netbooks rely more heavily on the cloud, and ultrabooks use Flash memory). Despite their similarities and differences, future computer trends point to a lesser reliance on keyboards which could potentially render this category obsolete. The Future of Computers: Tablets
Apple's iPad has significantly influenced future computer trends. It was soon followed by a flood of tablets. With small sizes, simple designs, extreme portability, Internet access,...