Free Computer, Subsidized by Advertising

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 04/09/2007

So, I love blogging about the big game-changing technologies. When it’s about driving traffic to your site (and getting and keeping customers in general), I use the HitTail blog. When it’s specifically about the public relations industry, and the changing nature of the media or technology, then I use the Connors blog. Finally, when it’s a little to whacky for either of those sites (or if it’s under-developed, but I still want to get it out there), I use Mike-Levin.com.

This is of the later sort.

Someone’s going to release the free tablet PC in the very short term. It’s coming. The ultra-mini’s, like Paul Allen’s FlipStart are a sign. All the ultra-mini’s from the likes of Sony, Microsoft and others are a sign. The rumors of the Google phone or GooglePod are a sign. Even the OSX-running iPhone is a sign. And finally, and perhaps ultimately, Nick Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is, not merely a sign, but a kick-in-the-butt catalyst.

All it’s going to take is an advertising subsidy scheme that pays for it.

Then, computers are free.

Software as a service (SAAS) takes over from that point.

No one buys anything anymore, but subscriptions and micro-transactions.

PCs are the new magazines.

But your user profile, documents, and entire work environment moves with you wherever you go, so long as there’s decent bandwidth.

Then, marketers jockey for your time and micro-transaction. Kids won’t need credit cards, because phone-cards and escrow accounts will make the whole online economy chug along.