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The Current Trends In Computer Hardware Platforms Computer Science Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Computer Science
Wordcount: 3695 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Mobile platform: more and more business computing is moving from PCs and desktop machines to mobile devices like cell phones and smartphones. Data transmissions, Web surfing, e-mail and instant messaging, digital content displays, and data exchanges with internal corporate systems are all available through a mobile digital platform. Netbooks, small low-cost lightweight subnotebooks that are optimized for wireless communication and Internet access, are included.

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The current version is called “Windows Mobile 6.5”. It is based on the Windows CE 5.2 kernel, and features a suite of basic applications developed using the Microsoft Windows API. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop versions of Windows, feature-wise and aesthetically. Additionally, third-party software development is available for Windows Mobile, and software applications can be purchased via the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Originally appearing as the Pocket PC 2000 operating system, most Windows Mobile devices come with a stylus pen, which is used to enter commands by tapping it on the screen.[3] Microsoft announced a completely new phone platform, Windows Phone 7, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 15, 2010. Phones running Windows Mobile 6.x will not be upgradeable to version 7.[4]

Windows Mobile’s share of the Smartphone market has fallen year-on-year,[5] decreasing 20% in Q3 2009.[6] It is the 5th most popular smartphone operating system, with a 5% share of the worldwide smartphone market (after Symbian, BlackBerry OS, Android and iPhone).[7] In the United States, it is the 3rd most popular smartphone operating system for business use (after BlackBerry OS and iPhone), with a 24% share among enterprise users.[8] Microsoft is phasing out Windows Mobile to specialized markets, such as rugged devices, and focusing on its new mobile platform, Windows Phone 7.[2]

Common features

Windows Mobile for Pocket PC carries these standard features in most of its versions:

Today Screen shows the current date, owner information, upcoming appointments, e-mail messages, and tasks. (Is now Home screen in later WM6.5 builds)

The taskbar shows the current time and the volume.

Office Mobile a suite of Mobile versions of Microsoft Office applications

Outlook Mobile comes with Windows Mobile.

Internet Explorer Mobile is an Internet browser developed by Microsoft for Pocket PC and Handheld PC that comes loaded by default with Windows Mobile and Windows CE for Handheld PC.

Windows Media Player for Windows Mobile.

Client for PPTP VPNs.

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) which in mobile phones allows attached computers to share internet connections via USB and Bluetooth.

Coherent file system similar to that of Windows 9x/Windows NT and support for many of the same file types.

Ability to multitask.


See also: List of Windows Mobile devices

There are three versions of Windows Mobile for various hardware devices:[9]

Windows Mobile Professional runs on (smartphones) with touchscreens

Windows Mobile Standard runs on phones with regular screens

Windows Mobile Classic which runs on ‘Windows Mobile Classic devices’ (Pocket PCs).

An O2 Pocket PC phone

A Smartphone (T-Mobile Dash)

Windows Mobile Classic devices (Pocket PC)

A ‘Windows Mobile Classic device’ is a Windows Mobile personal digital assistant (PDA) that does not have telephone functionality. It was formerly known as the Pocket PC. It was the original intended platform for the Windows Mobile operating system. These devices consisted of both standalone Pocket PC devices without mobile phone capabilities, and those that included mobile phone capabilities. The most current name of Windows Mobile intended for use on Pocket PCs is officially “Windows Mobile 6 Professional” for devices with mobile phone capabilities and “Windows Mobile 6 Classic” for devices without mobile phone capabilities.

Windows Mobile Smartphones

The ‘Windows Mobile’ (Microsoft’s term for its range of smartphones) became the next hardware platform after the Pocket PC to run Windows Mobile, and debuted with the release of Pocket PC 2002. Although in the broad sense of the term “Smartphone”, both Pocket PC phones and Microsoft branded Smartphones each fit into this category, it should be noted that Microsoft’s use of the term “Smartphone” includes only more specific hardware devices that differ from Pocket PC phones. Such Smartphones were originally designed without touchscreens, intended to be operated more efficiently with only one hand, and typically had lower display resolution than Pocket PCs. Microsoft’s focus for the Smartphone platform was to create a device that functioned well as a phone and data device in a more integrated manner.[10]

Version history

Pocket PC 2000

Grid computing: connects geographically remote computers into a single network to create a “virtual supercomputer” by combining the computational power of all computers on the grid.

Grid computing is a term referring to the combination of computer resources from multiple administrative domains to reach a common goal. The Grid can be thought of as a distributed system with non-interactive workloads that involve a large number of files. What distinguishes grid computing from conventional high performance computing systems such as cluster computing is that grids tend to be more loosely coupled, heterogeneous, and geographically dispersed. Although a grid can be dedicated to a specialized application, it is more common that a single grid will be used for a variety of different purposes. Grids are often constructed with the aid of general-purpose grid software libraries known as middleware.

Grid size can vary by a considerable amount. Grids are a form of distributed computing whereby a “super virtual computer” is composed of many networked loosely coupled computers acting together to perform very large tasks. Furthermore, “Distributed” or “grid” computing in general is a special type of parallel computing that relies on complete computers (with onboard CPUs, storage, power supplies, network interfaces, etc.) connected to a network (private, public or the Internet) by a conventional network interface, such as Ethernet. This is in contrast to the traditional notion of a supercomputer, which has many processors connected by a local high-speed computer bus.


Grid computing combines computers from multiple administrative domains to reach common goal.[1] to solve a single task and may then disappear just as quickly.

One of the main strategies of grid computing is to use middleware to divide and apportion pieces of a program among several computers, sometimes up to many thousands. Grid computing involves computation in a distributed fashion, which may also involve the aggregation of large-scale cluster computing-based systems.

The size of a grid may vary from small-confined to a network of computer workstations within a corporation, for example-to large, public collaborations across many companies and networks. “The notion of a confined grid may also be known as an intra-nodes cooperation whilst the notion of a larger, wider grid may thus refer to an inter-nodes cooperation”.[2]

Grids are a form of distributed computing whereby a “super virtual computer” is composed of many networked loosely coupled computers acting together to perform very large tasks. This technology has been applied to computationally intensive scientific, mathematical, and academic problems through volunteer computing, and it is used in commercial enterprises for such diverse applications as drug discovery, economic forecasting, seismic analysis, and back office data processing in support for e-commerce and Web servic

Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email or Gmail etc. You dont need a software or a server to use them. All a consumer would need is just an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud ( internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo , Google etc. The consumer gets to use the software alone and enjoy the benefits. The analogy is , ‘If you only need milk , would you buy a cow ?’ All the users or consumers need is to get the benefits of using the software or hardware of the computer like sending emails etc. Just to get this benefit (milk) why should a consumer buy a (cow) software /hardware ?

Cloud computing is broken down into three segments: “applications,” “platforms,” and “infrastructure.” Each segment serves a different purpose and offers different products for businesses and individuals around the world. In June 2009, a study conducted by VersionOne found that 41% of senior IT professionals actually don’t know what cloud computing is and two-thirds of senior finance professionals are confused by the concept,[1] highlighting the young nature of the technology. In Sept 2009, an Aberdeen Group study found that disciplined companies achieved on average an 18% reduction in their IT budget from cloud computing and a 16% reduction in data center power costs.[2]

Cloud Computing Segments

Applications: It’s all On Demand

So far the applications segment of cloud computing is the only segment that has proven useful as a business model.The Cloud Wars: $100 Billion at Stake, Published by Merrill Lynch, May 7, 2008 By running business applications over the internet from centralized servers rather than from on-site servers, companies can cut some serious costs. Furthermore, while avoiding maintenance costs, licensing costs and the costs of the hardware required to run servers on-site, companies are able to run applications much more efficiently from a computing standpoint.

Who is Offering On Demand Software? – The companies below are already established in the On-Demand software or SaaS business. These companies charge their customers a subscription fee and in return host software on central servers that are accessed by the end user via the internet.

Salesforce.com (CRM)

Google (GOOG)

NetSuite (N)


Taleo (TLEO)

Concur Technologies (CNQR)

Who is Offering Traditional Software? – The following companies have established themselves as traditional software providers. These companies sell licenses to their users, who then run the software from on premise servers.


Oracle (ORCL)

Blackbaud (BLKB)

Lawson Software (LWSN)

Blackboard (BBBB)


Many of the companies that started out providing On Demand application services have developed platform services as well. The platform segment of cloud computing refers to products that are used to deploy internet. NetSuite, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have also developed platforms that allow users to access applications from centralized servers.

In July 2008, HP, Yahoo! (YHOO), and Intel (INTC) announced a joint cloud computing research project called the Cloud Computing Test Bed. The companies are jointly designing and producing the internet based testing utilizing HP hardware and Intel processors.[3]

Active platforms – The following companies are some that have developed platforms that allow end users to access applications from centralized servers using the internet. Next to each company is the name of their platform.

Google (GOOG) – Apps Engine

Amazon.com (AMZN) – EC2

Microsoft (MSFT) – Windows Azure


Terremark Worldwide (TMRK) – The Enterprise Cloud

Salesforce.com (CRM) – Force.com

NetSuite (N) – Suiteflex

Rackspace Cloud – cloudservers, cloudsites, cloudfiles

Metrisoft – Metrisoft SaaS Platform

[1] – SUN Oracle direct link

Cordys Process Factory – The Enterprise Cloud Platform


The final segment in cloud computing, known as the infrastructure, is very much the backbone of the entire concept. Infrastructure vendors environments (such as Google gears) that allow users to build applications. Cloud storage, such as Amazon’s S3, is also considered to be part of the infrastructure segment.

Major Infrastructure Vendors – Below are companies that provide infrastructure services:

Google (GOOG) – Managed hosting, development environment

International Business Machines (IBM) – Managed hosting

SAVVIS (SVVS) – Managed hosting & cloud computing

Terremark Worldwide (TMRK) – Managed hosting

Amazon.com (AMZN) – Cloud storage

Rackspace Hosting (RAX) – Managed hosting & cloud computing

Explain how businesses can benefit from autonomic computing, virtualization, and multicore processors.

Autonomic computing

Benefits of autonomic computing include systems that automatically do the following:

Configure themselves

Optimize and tune themselves

Heal themselves when broken

Protect themselves from outside intruders and self-destruction

Reduces maintenance costs

Reduces downtime from system crashes


Benefits of server virtualization include:

Run more than one operating system at the same time on a single machine.

Increase server utilization rates to 70 percent or higher.

Reduce hardware expenditures. Higher utilization rates translate into fewer computers required to process the same amount of work.

Mask server resources from server users.

Reduce power expenditures.

Run legacy applications on older versions of an operating system on the same server as newer applications.

Facilitates centralization of hardware administration.

Multicore processors

Benefits of multi-core processors:

Cost savings by reducing power requirements and hardware sprawl

Less costly to maintain as fewer systems need to be monitored.

Performance and productivity benefits beyond the capabilities of today’s single-core processors.

Able to handle the exponential growth of digital data and the globalization of the Internet.

Able to meet the demands of sophisticated software applications under development.

Run applications more efficiently than single-core processors – giving users the ability to keep working even while running the most processor intensive task in the background.

Able to increase performance in areas such as data mining, mathematical analysis, and Web serving.

What are the current trends in software platforms?

Define and describe open source software and Linux and explain their business benefits.

Open-source software provides all computer users with free access to the program code so they can modify the code, fix errors in it, or to make improvements. Open-source software is not owned by any company or individual. A global network of programmers and users manage and modify the software. By definition, open-source software is not restricted to any specific operating system or hardware technology. Several large software companies are converting some of their commercial programs to open source.

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Linux is the most well-known open-source software. It’s a UNIX-like operating system that can be downloaded from the Internet, free of charge, or purchased for a small fee from companies that provide additional tools for the software. It is reliable, compactly designed, and capable of running on many different hardware platforms, including servers, handheld computers, and consumer electronics. Linux has become popular during the past few years as a robust low-cost alternative to UNIX and the Windows operating system.

Thousands of open-source programs are available from hundreds of Web sites. Businesses can choose from a range of open-source software including operating systems, office suites, Web browsers, and games. Open-source software allows businesses to reduce the total cost of ownership. It provides more robust software that’s often more secure than proprietary software.

Define and describe Web services and the role played by XML.

Web services offer a standardized alternative for dealing with integration across various computer platforms. Web services are loosely coupled software components based on XML and open Web standards that are not product specific and can work with any application software and operating system. They can be used as components of Web-based applications linking the systems of two different organizations or to link disparate systems of a single company. Web services are not tied to a particular operating system or programming language. Different applications can use them to communicate with each other in a standard way without time-consuming custom coding.

XML provides a standard format for data exchange, enabling Web services to pass data from one process to another

Businesses use Web services to tie their Web sites with external Web sites creating an apparently seamless experience for users. The benefit derives from not having to re-create applications for each business partner or specific functions within a single compan

Name and describe the three external sources for software.

Software packages from a commercial software vendor: prewritten commercially available set of software programs that eliminates the need for a firm to write its own software program for certain functions, such as payroll processing or order handling.

Software-as-a-service: a business that delivers and manages applications and computer services from remote computer centers to multiple users using the Internet or a private network. Instead of buying and installing software programs, subscribing companies can rent the same functions from these services. Users pay for the use of this software either on a subscription or a per-transaction basis. The business must carefully assess the costs and benefits of the service, weighing all people, organizational, and technology issues. It must ensure it can integrate the software with its existing systems and deliver a level of service and performance that is acceptable for the business.

Outsourcing custom application development: an organization contracts its custom software development or maintenance of existing legacy programs to outside firms, frequently firms that operate offshore in low-wage areas of the world An outsourcer often has the technical and management skills to do the job better, faster, and more efficiently. Even though it’s often cheaper to outsource the maintenance of an IT infrastructure and the development of new systems to external vendors, a business must weight the pros and cons carefully. Service level agreements are formal contracts between customers and service providers that define the specific responsibilities of the service provider and the level of service expected by the customer.


Network economics refers to business economics that benefit from the network effect. This is when the value of a good or service increases when others buy the same good or service. Examples are website such as EBay, or iVillage where the community comes together and shares thoughts to help the website become a better business organization.

In sustainability, network economics refers to multiple professionals (architects, designers, or related businesses) all working together to develop sustainable products and technologies. The more companies are involved in environmentally friendly production, the easier and cheaper it becomes to produce new sustainable products. For instance, if no one produces sustainable products, it is difficult and expensive to design a sustainable house with custom materials and technology. But due to network economics, the more industries are involved in creating such products, the easier it is to design an environmentally sustainable building.

Another benefit of network economics in a certain field is improvement that results from competition and networking within an industry.

Network Interactions

Clearly, one of the principal facets of the Network Econ-

omy is the interaction among the networks themselves.

For example, the increasing use of e-commerce espe-

cially in business to business transactions is changing

not only the utilization and structure of the underlying

logistical networks but is also revolutionizing how busi-

ness itself is transacted and the structure of _rms and


Cellular phones are being using as vehicles move dynam-

ically over transportation networks resulting in dynamic

evolutions of the topologies themselves.

This course also, under advanced topics” explores the

network interactions among such networks as transporta-

tion networks and telecommunication networks, as well

as _nancial networks


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