Networking

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Is convergence a fiction?

Or could it finally be happening…

Written on the London Liverpool Street to Stansted Express and dispatched via my home LAN later the same day.

For about a decade now the established industry wisdom would have us believe technology is converging. The vision is that we will watch, play, communicate and browse on just one terminal, with all content and services appearing on all platforms.

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So I keep watching and waiting. But all I see is a growing divergence - more OSes, apps and media and comms formats.

Just recently I think I caught a glimpse of something that we can actually claim to be true convergence, and it has to do with Intel.

The processor giant's chipsets will now support OSes from Microsoft and Apple, as well as Ubuntu, Be, Linux and more.

That development is really significant. It is a pro-user move because it means we can actually run what we want and use software that ranges from free right up to a few hundred dollars.

Perhaps best of all we can also simultaneously run two or more OSes on one machine. This approach might be the route to true convergence - by spanning the gulf created by OS wars and allowing anything, on any platform, in any format.

It will be interesting to see how it all looks in another five years. But for now I'll keep watching and searching for more evidence of convergence.

About

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.