What would one expect out of a culture programmed to be consumers and not creators?
Consumption devices rule the day.
I think this is what is a bit disappointing about the whole Devices + Services revolution.
Computing power used to be about empowerment, now it's about consuming, and like any other consumption paradigm, it all leads to obesity.
At what point is one service/subscription more is too many?
At what point do we push the chair back, and say enough is enough.
The PC/Computer was the great equalizer, (and still is at this moment.) At what point in human history could we create so much so easily. The idea of becoming a world class film maker in the Pre-PC world was impossible, now it's so easily achievable, that any person with a computer, a decent camcorder, and software can rival the great directors of yesterday. When in time could a person write a novel, illustrate, and publish with a fraction of cost?
The race towards the consumer app model will never bring us to that level but instead is a race to dumb down things. I won't say it's not necessary, because for the vast majority of individuals the "it just works" model is sufficient. My worry is what we lose in the meantime. The whole Google apps vs. Office debate is a prime example. Yes, Google apps does meet most people's needs. Unfortunately, if I have to do a research paper or a professional publication, I WANT WORD at my side. Then it comes to a business decision for the software maker, more features or cut features to compete. Make less complex, for more accessibility. In the meantime, for those that are used to these "power tools" we find our power saw exchanged for a hacksaw. Outlook vs. Mail app for example.
And for all this doom and gloom, there's still a bright future. The future of Windows with Azure has unbelievable potential. The pricing just needs to be tweaked a little lower to make the "future is now" achievable.
Computing as a utility has unbelievable potential, it just has to be priced differently.
Imagine a world where you paid 20 dollars a month for your computing needs. Not 300 to 1000 every 3 to 5 years. You pay a lease for a thin client that attaches automatically to your Azure Virtual Machine, unlimited bandwidth and storage. Every MS Software product available included. Complete computing power, and the only thing your bandwidth uses is the bandwidth for RemoteFX. No longer are you limited by your processor, your ram, your storage or your bandwidth, you will only be limited by your datacenter.
(A smart businessman would tell you that 12 * 20 is 240 dollars and by 3 years is 720 dollars, more than you would pay for an outright buy of a cheap computer. But that fact is only for those that can do math.)