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by Franki

I’ve been watching the latest technology releases with anticipation for years now, and with the advent of hi-end gaming consoles and smart phones, PDA’s and such, there is much more then just PC’s to get excited about nowadays.

Tonight I started thinking after reading about the Xbox 360 release. Is it really innovation to essentially build a networked PC into a gaming console? By the same token is it innovation to build a PC into a tablet form? or to embed a PC into a phone? Basically all of the current innovation in these devices is simply building PC functionality into them. Should that really class as “innovation”? I suspect not. We’re now building PC’s or PC functionality into everything from watches and music players to cars. but it isn’t really innovation is it? For the most part it isn’t worthy of the raft of patents it is creating. After all, that was the whole idea behind PC’s in the first place. Multifunction programmable devices. I don’t remember any of the original specs insisting that they be shaped as a big box and have drives on the front. We are not really making smart phones for example, we’re making really small PC’s that have phone software and hardware built in (heck some even run Windows). The old Xbox was actually a low end Celeron PC with different connectors and a TV for a display. How is that really innovation? My first half decent PC was a Commodore Vic 20, which could run games and business applications and used a TV for a monitor and that came out decades ago. All this new tech gear is great and useful, but keep in mind that we are not inventing new stuff here, we’re just making PC’s into new and unusual shapes. As far as I am concerned, if a device can have software installed that add to it’s original functionality, (in essence “programmed”) and it displays an interface on a screen of some sort, then it isn’t a new device, it’s a modified PC. Hang onto that thought the next time you hear a big company touting their latest “innovation”.

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