The ‘municator’ is a very small PC that costs 146 US$. With its 40 GB Harddrive and a CPU that is as fast as a Pentium III it offers what we had couple of years ago as a desktop computer. Imagine the following: If you sign up with an ISP you get this box and a DSL modem. Maybe put them in one box.
The system comes pre configured with firefox and open office. Maintenance could be done by the service provider remotely. The user would use it for web browsing and text processing. The service could include automated backups of your own data and bookmarks. All this would be pretty inexpensive to run once set up.
For 25 US$ a month you could get:
2. Text processing
3. digital photography
No update costs, no virus hassles, no worries. The box is broken? You’ll get a new on in the mail. Your data has been backed up to the service provider anyway. In the future you just push more features out: IpTV, Voip, you name it.
The user experience can be made seamless. How many people actually do like to mess with software installs, security settings and driver nightmares?
AOL should offer this now. Or Google or even Sony or Microsoft could do this. Or At&t or Verizon. If they would not be stuck in their own perception of what their business is, then each of those companies could easy make billions with this.
This machine is really fast enough for 80% of all people being connected to the internet right now. OpenSoftware is available, and ‘just’ needs to be made available automatically. The bandwidth needed to implement this is available too. There is a market and a need. It just needs a little bit of imagination to see this work.
If you should have fifty million dollars lying around then let me know, it could be up and running in 18 months. But I am not holding my breath: Imagination is not in ample supply these days.