Given that we're well into the new year, I figured it was safe to make a few predictions about what I think 2011 will hold.
People will start to use four distinct types of "computer". Roughly in order of usage, they are:
1. A Smartphone.
New smartphones are quickly becoming a legitimate replacement to a laptop. If you're like me, you'll use your phone for nearly everything, all the time (I already do). The only reason you'll use a tablet (and you will) is for the screen size.
2. A Tablet.
Internet-connected tablet PCs will sprout up everywhere with all sorts of resolutions and sizes. The iPad was just the first, but it certainly won't be the last.
For people in my industry, that means something new to consider when writing websites. If you have a menu on your site that drops down on mouseover, change it. Seriously. There'll be no mouse for most of your visitors.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you have a website, by the end of the year more people will visit your website using a phone or a tablet than a traditional computer. If you don't cater for those devices, people will stop visiting altogether. Don't wait, do it now.
3. A PC or Notebook.
They won't go away, but you'll notice I put them at number three. That's perhaps a bit unfair as they'll continue to be the "main" computer in workplaces, but I predict that a lot of people will find they don't really use their home PC any more.
4. A Gaming Console.
Purely a gaming machine, so obviously this depends greatly on the person. If you're spending 20 hours a week with your Xbox, you're probably not going to stop. On the flipside, there are people like me - I have a Wii that never gets used. That probably won't change either.
And that's it. Short and sweet. Feedback welcome as always.