System-on-a-Chip – a new wow from Vegas

The history of computing is one of more and more power using less and less space with an ever more compelling user experience. The CES show in Las Vegas witnessed another chapter in this story yesterday, when Microsoft unveiled its plans to launch the next version of Windows on a System-on-a-Chip or SoC.

What is SoC?

It is simply a very tiny computer system, integrating all components of a computer into a single integrated circuit (chip).

While a PC motherboard with processor, memory and other components is normally about the size of a magazine, the SoC is smaller than a playing card.

That will allow smart phones, tablets and just about anything else that fits in our pocket to run Windows 8 and many other applications smoothly, quickly and efficiently.

Consumers will enjoy the full power of the PC across a wide range of form factors or devices without having to compromise on speed or portability.

This is a very different strategy from a slimmed down operating system on smaller thinner machines – a compromise that offers consumers a PC lite experience rather than the whole enchilada. What does that mean in practice? Some tablets are mainly consumption rather than equally consumption and production devices. Any form factor enabled by SoC could now in theory be both.

If we bring the cloud to this picture, we can have whatever computing power we want from any device. That is a game changing transformation in the power of computing.

Thanks to the quantum leap in user interface technology, we can access any rich social media content through the internet through any channel – ubiquitous, continuous, connected services. We can deploy touch, speech or simply gesture to control our new devices thanks to the new capabilities of Microsoft Kinect.

From a banking perspective the implications are profound – a world of continuous services wherever our customers are – in the branch, within the home or on the go combined with an enriched, interactive, always connected  user experience This new world isn’t fully with us yet. But we should start preparing for it today.



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