This guy is completely nuts. This “cloud computing” thing? Not gonna happen—at least not this way. This “we’ll store all our files and apps on the network and download them when we need them” is an odd, pundit-driven fantasy that has little to do with what innovators in the mobile space are actually thinking about and working on. Intel, NVIDIA, AMD/ATI, ARM, and mobile device makers like Apple and Nokia are planning to put more transitors and more storage into more pockets and purses; they are not planning to see the bulk of the rising amounts of compute horsepower and storage density go into datacenters, so that the few users who can get good reception and who like to wait for things to download can pull things from “the cloud” onto handhelds with miniscule storage capacities and performance-starved processors.
Why go truly “thin client” when transistors and memory are plentiful enough and cheap enough that “thin” doesn’t really save you any money, battery power, or size vs. “fat”? (Actually, “thin” kills battery power, because you have to run a wireless radio. Adding local storage is much easier on the battery.) Storage is cheap, and it always wants to be as close as possible to the CPU’s execution units; this is why the technology landscape is littered with computing schemes that struck the wrong balance between bandwidth and local storage/MIPS (either at the system level or the network level).
And this business about Google and Apple teaming up to make an underpowered network computer so that Google will have something to do with its datacenter capacity? It’s crazy talk. Apple is buying tons of flash, and they’re going to put it into the iPhone, which is where users want their files and apps to live. But this is also the kind of crazy talk that one can bring up a year from now when the next iteration of the iPhone features some new Google-designed apps and go “see, I was right! It’s the Google-Apple cloud computer! Please ignore the fact that Apple keeps boosting the amount of flash storage and CPU power in the unit.” Anyway, right now, Google and Apple are the Brad and Angelina of the tech world, and everyone is going to fantasize about their love-child for as long as they stay on the A list.
Update: I see (via Wes Felter) that the young Aaron Swartz has already beat me to the Apple/Google debunkery, but from a different angle.