Converging A Smartphone And PC

Most of today’s smartphone users don’t realize that they are using a converged device. Before smartphones many people used two devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular phones, and smartphones combine those two into one device. If you thnk about it, combining PDA functionality with mobile phones makes sense because the two devices have similar form factors and are the type of thing one carries with them all the time. Rather than carrying two devices, people prefer to carry only one device.

Consider for a moment the amount of computing power that is in today’s smartphones. Most smartphones today have 1 GHz processors, which provide the same computing power as the desktop computers that we used just 8 years ago, and the next generation smartphones will have dual core processors with the same computing power as computers of only 4 years ago. Is it possible that smartphones and PCs could converge?

The Motorola Atrix is an Android smartphone announced at CES that will run on AT&T’s network and attempts to converge a smartphone and PC. The PC capabilities are implemented with a dock that connects to a full-size keyboard and monitor. When the Atrix is inserted into the dock it automatically runs the Citrix Receiver application that provides a virtual desktop that can run regular Windows programs. The following video shows how quickly the virtual desktop starts and the capability it provides.

Video courtesy of Citrix Systems.

AT&T says that the Motorola Atrix will be available in the first quarter of 2011, and the price has not been provided.