It’s Time for New Industry Innovations

on July 9, 2012

First I wanted to thank the many folks who through Facebook, twitter and other social media found out that I had a heart attack that led to a triple bypass. So many of you sent get well notes and notes of prayers and good thoughts and they were all greatly appreciated. The doctors told me I was 30 minutes from a major stroke and 60 minutes from losing 50% of my heart muscle. I am glad I listened to my body and went to emergency and that saved me.
I am now in serious healing mode and am told I will be good as new by Sept . That is why I have not written any columns here at Tech.pinions for about 6 weeks. Only now am I getting my strength back to start writing again.

One interesting by product of this is the fact that for 2 weeks I was completely disconnected. I suppose if you keep a guy on morphine you can keep him disconnected. So once I was switched to a regular room the first thing I asked for was my iPad and Macbook Air. It took me a week to catch up and when I got home I devoured as much industry info I need to do my job.

Although a lot of news passed under the bridge, to be fair, I found nothing earth shattering. Even more disappointing was as I perused the products from Computex and they all seemed the same. Most of what I saw was just some type of variation on the same theme. This was played out later in the week when Microsoft introduced their Surface Computer. It too was a variation of things already done albeit with their version with their unique touches to it.

It seems to me that the industry is at a standstill. Where is the innovation going to come from? Where is the next iPad that revolutionizes personal computing? Where is the new user interface that change how we interact with our computer? Where are the flexible screens that would change the way we view things? When does the network become the computer?

It appears to me that Apple leads and then the industry spends the next 5 years catching up. That has been good for Apple but devastating for competitors. At some point, the industry needs to step up and make some bold steps of innovation on its own. HP has one of the richest labs known to man. They need to commercialize some of their great technology. Xerox PARC is known for their technology and mostly for things that got away such as Postscript, The Mouse and the graphical User Interface. They have great stuff Inside. In fact, nearly all of the OEM’s have innovation labs of their own and it is time for them to dig deep and start innovating from within.

I expect Apple to continue to innovate and lead, but for this industry to really make some strides and start changing the compute landscape dramatically, it is going to take more then Apple to make it happen. I am normally an industry optimist but those two weeks away from everything has made it clear that we are kind of stuck in a circle. Apple innovates and the rest of the industry spends the next 5 years playing catch up. Apple should innovate but the rest of the industry needs to innovate as well and at warp speed. If they do, the future of personal computing can be bright. If not, it will only be bright for Apple.