The future of personal computing

According to Nicholas Carr, it’s captured in a single simple equation: Google plus Apple.

The future of personal computing was divulged by Mr. Eric Schmidt, the chief executive officer of Google, on March 23 of this year during an interview with Wired’s Fred Vogelstein. Vogelstein asked Schmidt why he had recently joined Apple’s board of directors, and Schmidt responded:

“Google’s architectural model around broadband and services and so forth plays very well to the powerful devices and services Apple is doing. We’re a perfect back end to the problems that they’re trying to solve. And they have very good judgment on user interface and people. They don’t have this supercomputer I’m talking about, which is the data centers.”

At this very moment, in a building somewhere in Silicon Valley, I guarantee you that a team of engineers from Google and Apple are designing a set of devices that, hooked up as terminals to Google’s “supercomputer,” will define how we use computers in the future. You can see various threads of this system today – in Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, its dot-mac service, its iLife and iWork applications as well as in Google’s Apps suite and advertising system, not to mention its vast data-center network. What this team is doing right now is weaving all those threads together into what will be, for most of us, the fabric of cloud computing. (This is so big, you need at least two metaphors to describe it.)

Damn. I’m going to have to get an iPhone…