In nuclear fission reactors and bombs, “critical” is the configuration in which the release of neutrons triggers an increased rate of neutron production above the rate of replacement of lost neutrons and things really heat up fast.
In consumer electronics, Android/Linux is at a critical juncture. At a recent consumer electronics show, manufacturers of tablets presented a great array of Android/Linux tablets, but… many announced delayed releases and mentioned that Google asked for the delay… The only reason I can think for that is that Android/Linux 4.0, aka Ice-Cream Sandwich, is imminent.
“Then again, it’s not the only company at IFA admitting that the Android 3.2 tablet it’s showing won’t be out until later in the year. Toshiba said the same, and so did Sony. Other, lesser vendors said as much too, some implying this was at Google’s behest.
Something is a-cooking in the Chocolate Factory, clearly.” see Medion hides Android 3.2 tablet behind closed doors
I think this could bring several results:
- Smart phones and tablets running Android/Linux will have more or less the same OS running them,
- an onslaught of new Android/Linux gadgets will swamp the market pre-Christmas,
- people who like to buy the newest gadget every year will be very happy with Android/Linux on smart phones and tablets, and
- 2011 will be the last year that iPad will be considered by anyone to be the leader in tablet technology.
My reasoning is thus: Google would not risk giving Apple a bigger lead in tablets if Google was not convinced that the next release of Android/Linux would make up for the delay. Another release of 3.x would not be that powerful. 4.0 would because there is synergy with tablets and smart phones running the same software. Apple believes that. M$ believes that and HP believed that. I think consumers will believe that as well. I think it is true as well. It is much easier networking between identical operating systems than different ones, for instance. Then there is the convenience factor of not having to be schizophrenic switching egos to use one gadget or the other. I also expect this unity will spread to the “ordinary PC”. Consumers are not locked-in to M$’s stuff as much as businesses and could easily embrace Android/Linux on their PCs of all kinds.