Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'

'We succeed because we celebrate failure'


Google's European sales chief says that desktop PCs will be "irrelevant" in three years.

This week, as reported by Silicon Republic, Google Europe boss John Herlihy told a "baffled" conference audience that very soon the smartphone will completely eclipse the desktop. "In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant," he said. "In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs."

Like Eric Schmidt at last month's Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Herlihy was trying to say that Google's number one concern is now the mobile market. "Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible. Because there’s more information and because it will be hard to sift through it all, that’s why search will become more and more important. This will create new opportunities for new entrepreneurs to create new business models – ubiquity first, revenue later.”

But Eric Schmidt did not say that the desktop PC would be irrelevant in three years.

He did say that Google doesn't want to turn wireless carriers into dumb pipes - which is arguably more ridiculous. Google's one great achievement over the past few years is its carefully executed plan to loosen the carriers' vice-grip on their networks. This certainly benefits Google - but it also benefits Joe Netizen.

With his speech in Dublin, Herlihy went on to discuss what he sees as the reasons for Google's "business success". In his mind, Google succeeds because of its "relentless brutality and execution," its determination to hire the best people, and its decision to "celebrate failure".

"Here’s an analogy – the Roman legions used to send out scouts in different directions," he said. "If a scout didn’t return, the army didn’t head in that direction. We seek feedback at every opportunity on something – we either kill it, adjust it or redeploy resources.

"When we build something we strive for ubiquity in usage and adoption. That helps us understand how customers react and then we build a revenue model."

Of course, you could argue that Google has built only one successful revenue model - selling online ads against keywords - and that it has spent the rest of its time trying to shoehorn the same model into as many new services as it can. But it's much more fun to chuckle at the desktop PC bit. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021