@mejiac: Agreed. It's a far more sensible, flexible and extendable business model for distributing content and apps of all sorts, for enterprise or consumer users. I'm convinced that this is the direction we're headed, and in 5 years time I"ll be looking back on my concerns with bemusement.
It's really a change in mindset for me, more than anything else. I do think there's a divide between those of us who grew up in the era of physical media and those who did not. That gap is definitely narrowing; my 80-something father in law now buys all of his music in iTunes for example. Need I say more?
@Mejiac: It certainly seems to be headed in that direction, though I wonder how we'll be able to avoid "lock-in" then.
Maybe I need to get over my ideas that I have to physically "own" a copy of something in order for it to really be mine. After all, plenty of phyiscal distribution media have come and gone in my lifetime. Recent history is littered with obsolete recording/playback options that are basically useless.
So, I suppose this is a better way because it takes the pressure off the user to keep up with changing technology and places that burden on the company that's offering the solutions.
The mobile device market is the fastest growing market sector today being let by smartphone users worldwide. Wireless Intelligence had stated in its report "1.5 billion subscribers will be added to 3G networks in the next two years." The smartphone market is expected to grow to 18.3% compounded annually through 2016. It is estimated that 1 in 7 of the world's population owned a smartphone in the third quarter of 2012. Global growth has yet to penetrate in the market. It is forecasted the next billion growth of smartphones to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015.
Your setup of having a home server is what I think will become a standard solution across the board. For schools, governments and businesses, the user will end up mainly using an access the point (thin client) letting the servers do the heavy lifting. And with high speed internet so easily accessible, limitations will mainly come from licensing software instead of hardware
@Mejiac: Your usage is probably indicative of where the future is headed indeed certainly that's the behavior I engage in as a consumer as well. In work settings, my laptop remains my primary tool. I haven't used a dekstop computer with any reqularity since 2006. My home desktop is basically my home server now -- it stores all of my thousands of music, photo and movie files. It's the home jukebox I've always wanted. :D
I'm actually struggling in justifying the use of the devices I own.
If I were to meassured the level of use, I use my smartphone 90% of the times...I'll use the tablet maybe 8% mainly for gaming (bigger screen) and streaming some movies. I mostly use the laptop when download so that I can later stream to my tablet LOL.
So I think things are evolving, to the point that the concept of a PC/Laptop/Tablets are being challenged, mainly because of the use we give them (obviously this is from a consumer point of view, since business/students will always have there markets)
@Mejiac: Yes, though sadly our top pick did not win in the final voting, bested by public Internet access.
I guess one might argue that without the public Internet or smartphones wouldn't be as fun, but I say without our smartphones the public Internet wouldn't be as fun! I'd much rather access things from my mobile device than from a computer or even a tablet.