The Computer is Personal Again

I attended the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit 2006 and one thing that caught my attention was the HP’s new marketing campaign – “The Computer is Personal Again”. HP showed a very cute AD and had a variety of stickers to pickup, all with this message.

They are talking of the desktop I have owned for a long time? Then what has become ‘personal again’?

It’s the focus. The focus is again on making the computer personal. More involved. No longer treating it as a window (read browser) to what anyone is presenting a website somewhere. Did we forget the desktop in the last decade of the great web app revolution?

The renewed focus on the desktop has brought change in two ways – enhancing the way the web application is written (Ajax, Rich Internet Applications) and whole new ways of building apps for the desktop, using web as a major resource (Internet-connected desktop application, desktop widgets, Branded Desktop Applications).

Suddenly the desktop is involved in creating the new user experience for the web app. Desktop-like user experience means, more desktop apps could be rebuilt as web apps.

The converse is also true. We are now bringing the web to the desktop. More and more applications (and platforms) are getting built for the desktop that behave like web apps, are always connected, and have most of their data/content coming from the web. This is well supported by web services, web site APIs, microformats and the semantic web.

Will this be a trend of the near future?

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