Eric Schmidt, in his predictions for 2014 said that "mobile was winning; it's now won".

Eric Schmidt
Photo by TechCrunch

Why does mobile have to win?

There is a crazy mindset out there with this mobile vs. PC concept. To be fair, Eric Schmidt was noting the trend of tablets and phones starting to outsell PCs. Still, it's crazy. Of course they are! They are cheaper. That doesn't mean mobile has won. It means mobile is important, but people like to act like in 2 years people won't even have laptop or desktop PCs. That is just crazy. Sure, sometimes kids only have a smartphone or tablet, but that's just because it was the cheapest device with Angry Birds.

The reality is that we are in a multi-device world. No one has decided to go "all mobile" and if they have they are including their laptop in that statement. I laugh to myself everytime when Felicity (in the show Arrow), pulls out her Microsoft Surface to "hack into the mainframe". It's just not how it is done.

Kid playing Angry Birds
"Angry Birds on the Kindle" | Photo by Tim Wilson

It's not about a device winning. Sure there are implications when people buy more Androids and iPhones or more tablets than laptops. It doesn't mean we can start ignoring PCs or anything. There is a fabric created. When it comes to doing real work on these devices, the content and tools have to be portable and in-sync. You've probably heard of something called "The Cloud" by now.

I remember when the iPhone came out and people were frustrated by email accounts that would only hook up with POP (meaning when someone read an email on one device it would still be marked as unread on the other). It would drive people nuts. The whole issue was that they were using multiple devices and needed to keep them in sync. Most major email providers started taking IMAP support a lot more seriously about then.

All in all, the "war" is really more about eyeballs. From a marketing standpoint, Schmidt's statement is relatively valid. Mobile viewership is up drastically and people love to impusively buy apps. It's a new and exciting market.

...devices aren't part of a war, they are part of an ever-changing landscape.

Wearable computing and other new technologies will eventually take hold too, but we probably won't see the same revolution. The thing we need to realize is that devices aren't part of a war, they are part of an ever-changing landscape.

It's a unique challenge that has started the whole responsive movement. I know I've started making 100% of my websites responsive and we've made all of our templates in Zesty responsive. Responsiveness is just the tip of the iceberg for making content adaptable for different devices in the future.