The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new report on June 11, 2010: “The future of cloud computing”
“By 2020, most people won’t do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC. Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones.”
What will this mean for libraries? Some possibilities:
- Less servers = smaller electric bill for the library
- PCs purchased for patron use will not be configured the way the PCs we are buying today are; may possibly be just a box and monitor connected to the internet = cheaper hardware, less manufacturing
- Size of PCs can diminish, taking up smaller footprint in library space
- the report predicts that “the desktop will not die out but it will be used in new, improved ways in tandem with remote computing“
- Apps for smartphones from the library (catalog, databases, library’s web site) = digital library will take on new and different forms, people using services and facilities in different ways
- Robust broadband connection = more, more, more
- More power outlets for charging laptops/smartphones = design considerations
- Software licensing a thing of the past? Open source options (Google Docs, Linux, etc.) meet the needs of patrons without costing the library = staff training issues, budget impact?
- More to come… I’m sure!