Altabel Group's Blog

People say: Is the PC dead?

Posted on: September 5, 2011

IBM engineer Mark Dean, who helped design the first personal computer, recently proclaimed that the PC was dead. Also of note: Google some weeks ago bought Motorola Mobility, not a PC maker. Are you ready to trade in your desktop or laptop for a tablet or Smartphone?

Some interesting thoughts from LI members bellow:

«I do not think the PC will be dead any time soon. You cannot compare a tablet or even a Smartphone to what you can do with a PC or Laptop. At least not until both are as powerful as a PC or laptop, and have peripheral ports for external monitors and input devices.
I have used a laptop as my main computer for about 7 years, but last year decided to move back to a PC setup. It was faster, and less noisy. I am glad I made that choice.
Some people and companies envision that the PC will give way to a ‘thin client’ that will hook up to the internet and access everything from there as SaaS applications. I doubt that will happen any time soon either. I do not think I’m the only one if I say that I like to be in absolute control over my PC and what is on it. I decide if I want to go online, and do not want to be forced to go online because of SaaS software that requires it. And I do not want to store anything in the cloud either, because there is no one I trust more with the data I own, than myself.»
Jeroen Wierda

« I use both a MacBook (a great PC) for desk use & long work sessions and an iPad for on the road presentations, checking email and reading eBooks. I use just a simple flip-phone for voice calls since the iPad is so much better (internet and emails) due to the large screen.
Both are types of PCs and I don’t see them disappearing any time soon. We will see new forms (smaller) and applications but personal computers will be around for a long time in one shape or another…»
Bryan C Webb

«The future is convergence, where one mobile device, perhaps with docking to support peripherals, is all we need. Motorla’s Atrix is a step in that direction. Before long time most of us won’t need peripherals. Cloud technologies, which eliminate the need for disk drives, are another step. Do we really need printers? If it’s stored electronically why do you need to print it? Scanners? Cameras are getting to the point where they can do that. Mouse? More accurate than finger on a tiny screen, but that will improve. Keyboard? I used to type 90 wpm, and that was on a manual typewriter with no correction capability. I’m not about to give that up. But voice recognition, etc. will soon kill the archaic QWERTY keyboard. Thumb pads on Smartphones have already eliminated it for many people. Bottom line, the PC is on the way out. But it isn’t dead yet.»
Don Strayer
Owner, Don Strayer Consulting LLC

«Absolutely not, the PC, Tablets and Smartphones have different markets and applications. But of course, what it is happening is that many people is discovering that with Tablet or Smartphone, they don’t need any netbook, laptop or PC only for surfing, sharing pictures with friends and playing some casual games in their spare time.
If I should bet for something, I would bet for a Smartphone/Tablet for mobility (depends of how big you want/need your screen), and probably a Laptop (PC/MAC) as main computer, with an external wireless Monitor/Keyboard/Mouse at office/home»
Ivan Salinas
Engineer and Musician

«Depends on the user. Yes I can access a lot of info from my Smartphone but there are a lot of technical applications that need a PC with a large screen. Ever try to use AutoCad to design a mechanical part using a phone or tablet PC? What about an electrical schematic or floor plan? How about writing large documents/manuals/etc without a full-size keyboard?
Sales to the average consumer/homeowner may have reached saturation but business and industry still require the workhorse PC.»
Tat Chiu

And what do think? Has the PC outlived its usefulness?

Best Regards,

Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager



Altabel Group

Professional Software Development


2 Responses to "People say: Is the PC dead?"

Is the PC dead? Depends upon why you use a computer. I think PCs (desktops & notebooks) will be around for some time to come for business users. Where I see the PC dying is among home consumers especially with the younger generation. My daughter (she is 8) gets online, sends email, plays games and video conferences – all from her iPod touch. She has a netbook but would rather use her iPod although she really wants an iPhone or an iPad…🙂 So will the PC die for people like myself who write software? No. But for my wife and daughters who only email, surf the web or play online games it is already dead.

Say PC is dead.

Then we develop apps for tablet/smartphone using … what? Or do some above-average photo editing that even non-professionals still do on their laptop/PC.

Currently there are no IDE/professional apps for smartphones/tablets.

So, the PC is not even close to death. It may become limited in use, in time, but I don’t see death even in long-term future.

There will always be some niche for it:
– home servers: personal web/proxy server, media servers, media station. This is important because dedicated proprietary media stations tend to muscle out open/free file formats (eg: PS3 doesn’t support MKV, only DRM types). Some multimedia HDD can take this role but why limit yourself to storage/media when a PC can do more for the same cost?
– game stations: PC’s are still the most powerful gaming stations yet.
– professional workstation: programming, design, etc, any professional IT productivity activity is currently supported only on PC’s

In time when computing power of a tablet will grow and better operating systems emerge (Ubuntu has an ARM variety but it’s still in infancy and many Linux apps are not supported) we will see niches restricting, but I don’t see a death for the PC market yet.

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