Can you imagine your desktop or laptop without Hard disk? In current situation, absolutely not! But in near future, we will to say bye-bye to our hard disk.
No doubt, hard disk plays crucial role as a secondary storage medium but technology is growing very fast. When I started my computer science study in 2000, I started with 10 GB hard disk. Now-a-days, it is in TBs. By technology advancement, not only storage capacity increased but also dimensions are decreased. 2X1 cm data (memory) card can store no of GB data.
In 21st century, human’s life is very fast, we need instant things like instant coffee, instant food, instant money, etc. Human’s life become very easy with the use of ICT, but for that we need instance access to personal data and applications. If you don’t have access to your data, i.e. you don’t have your desktop PC or notebook with you then you are wedged to this situation. To thrash such situation, you have to keep your all data and applications in your pocket which is not good and feasible solution or you can keep your data and applications at some remote location and which can be accessed through internet. Currently, similar concept is implemented as thin client in our client/server model. In thin client, there is no hard disk attached to PC, all data will be stored in and accessed from central hard disk, i.e. server’s hard disk. This architecture saves not only the cost but also electrical energy.
World is shifting towards cloud computing. The cloud computing is a technology which allows you to store your data and applications over internet in a protected form. You can store everything like Softwares, Movies, Music, and Documents in the cloud (storage center). Now-a-days, cloud computing is not a regular practice, large organizations are using it, but in near future it will be a common practice. Currently, companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon are providing the cloud computing on commercial as well as free basis (Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive)
In June 2011, Google has launched its next generation laptop named as Chromebook. The Chromebook will not have its own Hard Disk (only minimal space for secondary storage); all data will be stored in the Google’s cloud. This is the step towards using the cloud computing at personal level. Recently, IITs have launched world’s cheapest Tablet PC named as Aakash II. Tablet PC has very less internal and external storage so they will also alternatively use cloud computing technology. Cloud computing requires a Web connection to access the contents of cloud. In the country like India where we are struggling for a getting Web connection, that’s why it will take time to widespread use of cloud computing.
Nanotechnology will play crucial role in storage technology of computing. Currently magnetic technology will be replaced by nano-chips to store a large amount of data. In nano-chips, we can store ample amount of data with a very low cost.
DNA computing is a form of computing which uses DNA, biochemistry and molecular biology, instead of the traditional silicon-based computer technologies. DNA computing, or, more generally, biomolecular computing, is a fast developing interdisciplinary area. DNA has capabilities to transfer the data faster than electrons to have effective communication in computer system. These computers will be eco-friendly computers. The research and development in this area concerns theory, experiments and applications of DNA computing.
In future, we may have chemical based computer. Chemical computer also called reaction-diffusion computer, BZ computer (stands for Belousov–Zhabotinsky computer) or gooware computer. These computers will be based on a semi-solid chemical "soup" where data is represented by varying concentrations of chemicals. The computations are performed by naturally occurring chemical reactions. So far it is still in a very early experimental stage, but may have great potential for the computer industry.
Ultrabook is the slimmest version of laptop. These laptops are the very expensive in cost but they are very versatile, you can easily make them move. This kind of laptop will be popular in business but I think this will not good buy for common people.
Tablet PC (or simply tablet) is a small (not smallest) size handheld PC. By dimension, it lies between smart phone and Netbook. Tablet PC comes in 7” or 10” sizes. Tablet PC’s touch screen, GPS and motion sensor are the very attractive features to users. People loves touch experience (which is lacking in laptop and desktops). No doubt, tablet PC will be popular because of their low cost, but doubt about the usability of tablet PC. For miniature work or entertainment, it’s fine to use Tablet PC but if you want to work hard (say for 5 hours) then surely tablet PC will not good deal. Second thing that I experienced that you are getting that working feel like laptop because apps are in compact version. You have to rely on laptop or Netbook.
Netbook is a small size laptop which is low configured small screen laptop. Netbook is internet ready machine to easily access the Web. It has very less internal storage memory so we can keep our documents in cloud.
This is a snapshot of future computing but science also experienced magic which is called Eureka, so you can also expect some Eureka in computing also.