A few months ago I blogged about the Three Horsemen of the Coming Network Revolution. One of those “horsemen” was the netbook computer. Now Microsoft wants to rename it. Maybe it has something to do with the impact of the netbook on the hard drive PC market and the powerful relationship with robust, pre-loaded operating systems and software.
The netbook could decouple that relationship, hence the silly idea of a name change and a recent JavaOne Conference headline: “Ellison: Java-based Netbooks on Sun’s Horizon.” Netbooks could disrupt the playing field by transforming how endpoints interact with the cloud versus the hard drive.
That won’t be an overnight change, but it is one of notable proportions. Various service providers (and endpoint players like Apple) can offer suites of applications architected for cloud demands; flash memory players can compete with the hard drive posse; and new cloud architected semiconductor chips can unhinge the power of legacy expertise and architecture.
We’re possibly entering a new and exciting era for network infrastructure that will force innovation out of what has become a tired network and a stagnant pre-load PC industry today docked in the port of commoditization as the cloud storm approaches. New competitors, new potentials and new relationships will have more opportunity than ever; and the old guard needs to rethink the new infrastructure 2.0.
This is a bigger challenge than a netbook renaming project. It will require vision, agility and momentum. For some players these are not core strengths.