The Millenium Falcon, Microsoft, and the Death of Hardware

April 6, 2016

Russ Ewell

While watching “The Force Awakens” something on the periphery struck me. Hans Solo had a deep attachment to the Millenium Falcon. Even though it was an old beat-up machine, he had a bit of emotional nostalgia about it.

This started me thinking about our or perhaps only my attachment to hardware.


Device hardware is where most of us make our first attachment to computing devices. Apple has dominated the consumer market in no small part, because they understand design, and the emotional attachment people make to their hardware.

What Google understands and Microsoft now seems to understand is hardware is about to die, or at least become irrelevant. Here is how Motley Fool reported what I consider to be the most important part of the Microsoft vision at their Developer Conference.

What is mobile-first, cloud-first? Nadella noted that he has talked about it before, but wanted to reinforce his company’s commitment to the idea of being mobile-first, cloud-first. He explained that mobile-first is not about the portability of any one device, but the mobility of the experience across all of the devices in our lives.

The cloud, he added, “is not a single destination. Cloud is a new form of computing that in fact enables that mobility of experience across all our devices.”

The Motley Fool

When Nadella says, “Cloud is a new form of computing that in fact enables that mobility of experience across all our devices,” he is declaring the death of hardware.

We will no longer form emotional attachments to our hardware, because this new form of computing will make us hardware agnostic.

This is hard for me to believe after making attachments to technology for decades, but in the future the experience will be more important than the tool.

I know I will resist this new era of computing, but also believe it is better and inevitable. Perhaps I will simply get attached to a favorite Bluetooth keyboard :)