The inexorable shift

It used to be that information technology trends started in business and then moved into the consumer space. “Enterprise” edition meant the full-fat, no expense spared version, “consumer” the lite, hobbled, crappy version.

And then it all changed. To my mind, starting around 15 years ago as home broadband started to become available, then wireless and most recently with 3G/4G and smartphones, “Consumer” is now the prestige version and “Enterprise” the one that doesn’t work properly because IT say so.

So we should look now to the Consumer space to understand where technology is likely to take us, and anyone who is still under the illusion that proper computing only happens on a PC, trivial stuff on mobiles, should take a long hard look at two numbers published yesterday in Facebook’s quarterly report.

90% of Facebook’s daily and monthly users (90% of c. 1bn and 1.4bn people respectively) are on mobile

80% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile (up from 69% 12 months ago).

PCs (of whatever flavour) are the new mainframe. They’ll be around for many, many years to come. But they aren’t our primary places for computing any more. They’re legacy. And Android and iOS is the new Windows and Mac. This five-or-so-year-old duopoly is extremely unlikely to be broken – the next pairing will come along when mobile gets usurped.

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