How mobile computing is changing IT – or why the mobile revolution is really turning into a mobile war

Mobile computing has been barely noticeable in schools so far with the exception of some pilot studies. Even so, there is a large community of interested educators and there is definitely no shortage of ideas of using mobile technology in the classroom.

On the other hand most educators consider the current trend towards mobile devices a temporary fad. How much of an impact does the mobile revolution really have on IT? Judging by the big players’ competitive toughness it is anything but a temporary trend. In fact, lawsuits and all, the mobile revolution has long turned into mobile wars which might become even tougher in the next couple of years.

Only five years back things seemed simple. Microsoft was mostly a software company, Apple mostly a hardware company, Google was known for online services and Amazon was considered a media retailer. In the past couple of years there has been considerable convergence of products and services (see table). The companies have expanded into each other’s territories and the driver has mostly been mobile technology. Little wonder that tough competition can hardly be avoided.

My bet is, that in 2015, three years from now, most households will not only own smartphones, but a number of post-PC devices, such as tablets, eReaders and smart TVs. How long will it take for schools to leverage these technologies? Hard to tell, but the fastest implementation might come with a BOYD (bring your own device) strategy.

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