I am, as you may know, a huge fan of MIDs -- they fit in so well with my vision of the wireless future being much more network-centric and much less thick-client-based. Most PCs are regardless now money sinks -- too complex, and too expensive to buy and especially own. Microsoft is doing everything they can to kill Windows, and I certainly hope they succeed. Pre-announcing Windows 7 (which some have described as Vista SP3) is clearly an act of desperation, a mea culpa that resonates around the planet. Vista is the classic cost center with no meaningful return -- so far, the only real benefit I've seen is improved memory management -- and Microsoft, after 20+ years of OS experience, is just learning how to do this? The cries from Redmond resonate: please, please buy our current hunk of junk, Vista, and we'll fix it, really, we mean it this time, honest, with SP3, I mean, Windows 7. Give me a break, guys, and stop trying to extract ever more cash from me with new products that have no (or negative) ROI. I'm not in business to keep Microsoft in business.
The plan thus remains to convert mainstream IT here to Macs over the next few months -- I'm just waiting for a replacement for the Mini that includes .11n and between that and a big iMac already in place and an aluminum Macbook (yes, the little one) I'm pretty much good to go, although a Mac server is undoubtedly going to make an appearance on our net around a year from now, complementing and then replacing the PC servers.
But MIDs will also be a component of our solution. My Asus Eee 701 (the original) has indeed served me very well. I travel with it regularly. It's small, lightweight, inexpensive, and very high-function. But it's perhaps too small, in terms of keyboard and especially screen resolution, so I've just replaced it with a shiny (OK, maybe too shiny; everything you've heard about the fingerprint-magnet problem is true) new Eee 1000 that I picked up from Newegg on one of those Black Friday specials (US$400). It's obviously larger than the 701, but that 10-inch 1024x600 display is a lot more useful. It's also Atom-based, with 1 GB RAM, 40 GB of SSD, b/g/n, an SDHC slot, and a six-cell battery. I may install Ubuntu on it, as I'm standardizing on Ubuntu for all of the older PCs around here. If you're interested in Ubuntu, BTW, the 8.10 release works much better than 8.04. 8.04 had a serious bug in accessing SMB (Windows) shares; 8.10 mostly fixes this. Anyway, I'm still getting the 1000 configured, but there's no longer any question that MIDs are mainstream. And they're selling -- globally, BTW -- like hotcakes, although I suspect that corporate use still lags. It won't for very long, though. Macs are cheaper to own than PCs, but a lot more expensive to buy than MIDs. Most corporate users could get by just fine with a MID or similar lightweight notebook.
The next purchase around here is a replacement for the Q, but I'm still thinking about getting an Acer Aspire One with XP as my last, final, that's it Windows PC. Withdrawal is a -- well, you know, it's hard.
This story, "MIDs: The Wireless Future" was originally published by Network World.