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Will Smart Phones and Tablets Replace Laptops and Desktops?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

There's a lot of interesting opinions that are circulating on the web about laptops and desktops being replaced by smart phones and tablets. With current mobile devices' small screen space and lack of a full keyboard, I doubt very much that's going to happen any time soon. Imagine creating a spreadsheet or writing a document on that type of interface. It would be painful and frustrating.

Office productivity software leverages keyboard shortcuts and mouse interactions such as right click to give you quicker access to features. In addition, screen real estate is VERY important. I've used two monitors since 2000 with one monitor for my active work space and the other as displaying resource content such as a secondary text document or a webpage. That has significantly increased my productivity. Don't believe me?

Microsoft Research's VIBE (Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) team did a study on using multiple monitors. Findings showed that there was a 9% increase on productivity. In fact, there were some tasks such as copy and paste that increased productivity by 50%.

Mobile devices are a great read-only device such as reading documents or using it to present a slide deck. Specifically for business intelligence, they are great for monitoring operational measures such as inventory levels and time of delivery.

Office productivity software vendors have to start working with mobile device manufacturers if mobile devices are to replace laptops and desktops. Otherwise, they will stay a read-only device. At least to me and the majority of other practical business users.

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