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This is certainly a rapidly evolving area with lots of folks that think they know what will happen ... rather like the market! And, they are just as likely to be wrong.

Mobile is clearly a big issue going forward ... but it isn't at all clear what the landscape looks like. It certainly isn't clear how much is tablet versus phone. Personally, I find the screen real estate on a phone extremely limiting, but it is also clear that phones are much more ubiquitous. There is also a big split between consumer and business, where business is much more likely to make significant investments and commitments while consumer seems to be dominated by the 99 cent (or free!) app.

As it happens, I am writing this from a nephew's Chromebook, another interesting subcategory which is nearly as portable as a tablet, but has a much more reasonable UI if one actually needs to do any typing or whatever.

I think you underestimate laptops. Many higher end laptops now are more powerful than most desktops and I know people who use a laptop in place of a desktop because they can move it from place to place. Personally, my desktop has two 24" screens, so it blows the socks off my laptop which is a mere 17" (and very heavy). But there is no question that I could use my laptop for most real work and do just fine. And, I'm in IT, so my demands are pretty high.

There is a big consumer/business split here. Both are going to use mobile devices much more heavily ... but for the consumer, this may be instead of using more conventional devices, while for the business user, the conventional usage will also increase and the mobile stuff will be new usage where no computer was involved before.

One smallish company with an interesting story in this space is PRGS. They have been around since the mid 80s and have a very large ISP network which is selling applications built on their technology. Over the last year, they have made a couple of interesting announcements. One is OpenEdge Mobile, an adaptation of Tigazi, which provides an HTML5 client within a container that provides full access to the features of the mobile device like scanners, GPS, cameras, etc. This is going to give their ISVs a leg up on delivering mobile extensions to their apps. The other, which is less clear so far, is the announcement of Progress Pacific. This is the acquisition of a PAAS company that has an interesting platform for creating applications with a click and assemble and customize structure, with a notably strong multi-tenant model. Progress is adding their more sophisticated database, BRM, BPM, an unusually strong multi-tenant DB solution, and, a bit later, support for applications written in the Progress 4GL ... of which, there are millions of users world wide. Disclosure, I am a long time PRGS ISV specializing these days in modernization of applications.
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