Technology research company Gartner Inc. predicts the increasing demand for smartphones and tablets will force Microsoft out of the picture. If Microsoft is left behind, then will it be replaced by Google? According to the technology research company Gartner Inc., Microsoft will become obsolete by 2017. In a report released Friday, Gartner Inc. said shipments of devices using Google’s Android operating system and Apple's iOS might put Microsoft out of business, according to an April 5, 2013 news report, "Gartner: Microsoft to become obsolete by 2017."
Mobile device shipments will be considerably higher than desktop and notebook computers. But this prediction is still a theory. But if Microsoft outshines Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS technology, then as usual, Microsoft could catch up. Microsoft's pattern is to wait until a product is well established and then get into the same market and try to dominate it, as it did, for example, with its browser that competed against Netscape's browser in the mid 1990s. Check out the April 5 news article and blog, "Microsoft Obsolete by 2017 predicts Gartner," and "Blog / Gartner: Microsoft to become obsolete by 2017."
Will Microsoft make headway in the smart phone or tablet market?
Many forecasters predict the best-selling items will be a device that falls in the middle between a laptop and a tablet, a mobile device that can be used as both, for example, while traveling or otherwise away from the home or office, where you'll still have to write a report and send it in using a smart device. Presently Microsoft is not catching up in the tablet market or with smart phones. Can they come up with a gadget that is a smart phone, video phone, usable as a laptop for writing reports, and works like a tablet with the touch?
People not using wireless devices because they can interfere with pacemakers still use Ethernet cables to connect to the Internet, and therefore aren't buying tablets that only work with wireless technology. What numerous consumers need is a tablet that works at home with a USB device attached to their Internet Ethernet routers, and also turns into a laptop when they need to write letters or generate reports, write books, or send information using speech that turns into text without typos or has usable keyboards that fit the finger.
As for international use of Microsoft products or other software and operating systems, China has adapted Kylin, an adapted version of Ubuntu as China's new national operating system. They may extend that operating system to the rest of the world. See, "China Taps Ubuntu To Build National Operating System." As China now has Kylin (adapted from Ubuntu) as its own national operating system, Microsoft may have less importance in China. See, "Ubuntu Kylin to become reference system in China | Bristol Wireless."
Every few years Microsoft is labeled doomed to obsolescence, but a few years later, competes successfully with a product it waited for to see whether that product became successful, such as a browser, operating system, or software.
Check out the i4u news articles that explain, how in the past two decades, Microsoft delved into new markets and tried to dominate them through branding its famous name in the video game market. To keep from being a dinosaur, Microsoft has to keep doing what it has been doing-- recreate that historical giant success story case history. To do so, the best-selling items are still tablets and smart phones and not those heavy PC desktops with towers and monitors so heavy, they bent plastic tables as you saw in the late 1990s.
As for the present, Microsoft is watching what sells best. When that market soars and peaks, the usual pattern for Microsoft is to enter the market and compete for dominance as it has done with software in the past two decades.
New technology may let you make video calls to 911
Nationwide, new technologies are being tested that will allow you to make calls to 911 for emergencies using video and also receiving text messages from the public through any type of communications device that uses video calling or texting, according to the April 5, 2013 Sacramento Bee article by Richard Chang, "Public could make video 911 calls under new systems."
Nationally, law enforcement agencies currently are testing technologies that will enable emergency operators to see what's happening using video and/or text messages.
In Sacramento, for example, on April 4, 2013, 35 dispatchers from across California began a training course on what to expect with the next wave of 911 technology that uses either or both technologies of video phoning or texting (sending text messages to and from cell phones). That way, those working on the other end of 911 calls receiving your emergency calls can see you and what's happening in the background using the video capabilities of your smart phone, laptop, computer, or any other video conferencing device you have that is capable of making a video phone call, such as Skype or similar systems.
In addition to video, you can use your smart phone to leave text messages at 911, for example, if there's an emergency situation where you can't speak. One example might be you're hiding because someone broke into your home. You've locked yourself in a dark closet and don't want your voice heard as you ask for help. So you text your message or make a video phone call for assistance to 911.
The deaf community needs the ability to text emergency messages
Another example is if you're deaf or speech impaired and use a smart phone to text and video phone other people, either deaf or hearing, who receive video from you, see your face and surroundings, and receive the text messages on their phone or other device. The goal is to get you help as soon as possible using video and texting from any device capable of transmitting information.
It helps in a scenario when you're the victim of a home invasion, your landline phone has been cut, and you're hiding in a locked, dark closet using the backlight of your smart phone to text a message or transmit a video phone call on a mobile device. The video call also can from a computer with a web camera and a video calling software system installed such as Skype, Google video calling apps, or other ways of making video calls or texting.
Dispatchers become firsthand witnesses
The purpose is to have the person on the law enforcement end witness the event not just hear background voices or noises. The new technology must integrate technology presently used for video calls into the 911 emergency system. So far, it works for Sacramento in the experimental stage, but will it work for a small town?
Incorporating text messaging and video conferencing – technologies collectively known as Next Generation 911 – needs to go through legislation processes. But it is not available for now in Sacramento. You'll have to wait several years, even a decade since this year there are no plans in Sacramento to implement Next Generation 911.
Before video 911 calls are made accessible to the public, first law enforcement will start with text messaging, which will help those with hearing issues, such as the deaf community. But again, legislation would have to come first. At this stage, it's in the training stage for law enforcement.
If text messaging is implemented for 911 calls in Sacramento and elsewhere, it not only would help the deaf person make an emergency call, but for the person kidnapped and locked in a car trunk, a cell phone with a back light would enable the victim to text 911 in the dark and get help. Presently, if the person makes a cell phone call, the talking would be heard, and the victim punished further, usually with the cell phone being take away. School children being followed or bullied also could text in places where talking isn't possible, such as a bathroom stall where someone is witnessing an emergency situation a few feet away and may be hiding or in a situation where a voice call would be dangerous.
Dispatchers using video conferencing will have a more accurate sense of the emergency
Someone with a medical issue who falls and blacks out can't press a button or make a call and needs a device that can be worn that senses when the person falls, can't talk, and proceeds to send an ambulance or other emergency help to the location. But in a 911 operators not using a video phone can't see images of what they hear over the phone. With video phone ability, dispatchers trained to read from a script can guide someone on how to give CPR in an emergency or deliver a baby in a car or at home, helping the person until an ambulance, fire fighters, or police officers arrive.
A video call shows reality better than a phone call or even a text message. The fear would be hoaxers texting, but the person texting can be traced and prosecuted for making a false report, even sued to recover any money spent sending police on a wild goose chase hoax. But the texting and video, if and when legislature gives the okay for it to happen in Sacramento, can help in real emergencies.
Video calling and texting would also increase daily stress for the dispatchers using the new technology known as Next Generation 911. Video turns the phone call into seeing a crime as it's happening as in news broadcasting on TV. Stress would come as more suicides were committed on video, more homicides, and those car accidents as they happen in real-time video.
Video technology shows violence, sudden medical issues, and accidents as they happen as the images remain in the minds of dispatchers
It's instantaneous, notes the Sacramento Bee article. The dispatchers become firsthand witnesses. As firsthand witnesses, that means possibly being called up to spend time in court testifying as to what they saw on video. And will the video calls be recorded with the same ease and cost as phone calls or text messages?
The dispatchers will see the stressful video images and have to sit at their desks without doing hands-on helping activities, especially when they find the police available are busy with other emergencies and can't respond if there's not enough law enforcement staff able to respond to an emergency, perhaps due to budget cuts.
How will the new technology affect the health of dispatchers as they passively observe the violence or accidents? Sacramento has an 80 percent turnover rate of dispatchers within five years, according to the Sacramento Bee article. It's stress. Everything you see on video stays in your mind. You dream about it or sometimes flash back to it in memory at unexpected times. Video is virtual policing, notes the Sacramento Bee article.
Although the technology is not yet in Sacramento, a few miles away in Redwood City, that police department employs an officer accepting video calls from the public. You can check out more information on the Redwood City's police department's website. But the catch is that video calling is not a place to report emergencies in Redwood City at this time.
Will it come to Sacramento for emergencies in the future? That might take another decade. It depends on training and legislation. There's always the prankster staging a drama with stage props who could make an emergency call using a video application on a cell phone or other smart device to create a hoax in a desperate attempt at getting attention or making an impact.
The big issues are separating the real emergencies from those that attract people wanting to be exhibitionists on video or stage a hoax and dealing with visual imagery-created stress on dispatchers of seeing emergencies unfold before their eyes in real time video. On the other hand, being able to text and make video calls helps those unable to hear or speak who need to call for help in emergencies.