A mobile computer is effectively any computing device not constrained in its location to a desktop or data centre. In recent years the variety of mobile computing devices available has rapidly increased. In doing so, it has also turned from theory to reality a trend for ubiquitous computing, whereby computers are all around us in the world, enabling access to digital content anytime, any place and anywhere.
Many people believe that the future of computing is mobile -- and, in terms of the devices that most people and businesses use to access cyberspace, such a view is probably correct. Certainly the sale of desktop PCs is declining. The transition to mobile computing will also have very major implications. Not least it is already starting to make the provision of mobile Internet content as important as the publication of web pages aimed at users of PCs.
Since personal computing went mainstream in the early 1980s, most people and businesses purchased desktop PCs not because they wanted to turn a valuable chunk of office or domestic real-estate into a permanent home for a computer, but because it was the only option available. Today, however, this is absolutely no longer the case, with a mobile and far less space-consuming computing device increasingly able to fulfill the requirements of a great many users. So let's take a look at the various types of mobile hardware that are now available.