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2012: The death of the PC?

Posted by DarkLordCthulhu, 04 December 2012 · 3083 views

Okay, so a few days ago I went into the store where I work, and I saw this newspaper that had the words "R.I.P. the PC, 19xx - 2012" on the front. I didn't actually read the article, but I've seen things like this all over the Internet as well as in the traditional media. I would like to share my thoughts on this.

I'll be blunt here: 2012 is not the death of the PC, and to say that it is shows a big misunderstanding of how the world works. Why do I think this? Well, because this is a classic case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Aside from their novelty, tablet computers and smartphones offer no consequential advantage over PCs as far as everyday computing is concerned, and not only that, but they leave a lot to be desired. Running your greasy fingers all over the computer screen is hardly an improvement over the keyboard and mouse. Furthermore, almost all tablets and smartphones come with lockdowns that severely restrict (and sometimes eliminate) the user's ability to program, upgrade, or in any other way utilize the full power of a computer. This means that they are far from ideal for real power users.

I think a large part of the reason people think the end of PCs is here is the fact that Windows 8 is made for tablets. That's right, Microsoft finally caught up with Apple and Google and is jumping on the tablet wagon, and the fact that Windows 8 sucks as a desktop OS means that people will only use tablets from now on. What the people saying this don't realize is that Microsoft made Windows 8 the way it is not because tablets are superior to PCs, but because Steve Ballmer is an idiot. If he had any sense whatsoever, MS would have made two OS's, one for microcomputers and one for tablets and smartphones, just like Apple did. Their failure to do this is a reflection on Ballmer's stupidity, not on any sort of inevitable trend. In my opinion, that man has too much control over the company and should be fired for being an incompetent ninny, but that's another story.

It is true that most of the trendy kids are using smartphones and tablets these days. But what the media is forgetting is that most people who use these novelty computers use them in addition to PCs, not instead of them. But another thing, probably the most important thing, is that not everyone in the world is a technophile who has to have the latest technology and gadgets. The iPhone and iPad are successful due to a cult following populated by Apple fanboys and fangirls who probably have no idea how their gadgets work, and just need them to feel cool.

Almost everyone I know still uses a personal computer, be it a Mac, a Windows box, a Linux box, or something else. The reason for this is very simple: PCs work, and they work well. You can program them, you can install another OS on them, and if you want, you can build your own. What can you do with an iPad? Play Angry Birds? Pathetic. If 2012 really is the death of the PC, then I'm sorry, but I renounce by identity as a computer geek, because computers just got infinitely more dull and pointless.

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I don't think the PC is dead yet - but its role is changing and it may not be the leader in tech terms anymore. Tablets are where it's at right now, and they're only being held back by the relative lack of power they come with right now.

I'm hoping for a desktop PC resurgence, but I don't think it's likely just yet.
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You are totally correct, what is happening now, is that a non geek or coder user does not longer need a pc.
You can watch videos, manage email, chat, read news , navigate and play games in your phone or table right now, and guess what? that is all what regular non techie people want to do.
So the line is being drawn again, like when i was late teenager, where the line was: server and working = unix, people = windows.
From now on, that line will separate PCs from mobile devices.

I almost forgot! In my opinion!

I liked this blog, +1
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Some more comments:

Desktop PCs are still the optimal choice for gamers and servers. They have more power and durability than laptops, and it shows.

Laptops are very good for a mixture of the PC with mobility. I enjoy mine at home a lot, and prefer it for power-surfing, hard-core gaming, writing, etc. If I'm doing serious work, it's on a PC or Laptop.

My tablet is used for light surfing, reading, and light gaming. I don't use it if I need power, a keyboard/mouse interface, etc. It just sucks for that. It's really good as a mobile media device. I cannot imagine wanting to do heavy coding on it, though I do have VIM installed :)
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I work with a lots of nurses and people in the health departement. For most of them, using computer or the internet is simply using facebook or youtube.
So a lots of them don't use their computer anymore, they use their cellphone, tablet, or even now their tv.

About 3 months ago, I went to a futureshop (not sure if this store is in the us too, but it's a eletronic store), they only had 3 or 4 computer model on display, but had maybe 20 model of tablet.

Computer (pc/mac) will enver completly be replaced by tablet (at least not for a while), because some people need more than what a tablet can do. I'm thinking of programmer, gamer, designer, musician...

So computer may be dying for the normal usage at home, but not for the professionnal.
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I think the immobile pc is definitely a dying breed. Yes their interfaces are better and they are more customize-able, however mobile devices are so much more convenient.

It is only a matter of time before tablets and laptops are improved to the stage at which they have all the benefits of a pc but work anywhere. While static devices will always be needed a static pc will, by my estimates be completely obsolete in 10-15 years. Just imagine being able to code or play skyrim at the park!

I think that eventually tablets will have a good ui(keyboard), abundant power and storage and have the in-built ability to modify them in any way you desire, even build your own. Pc's will last forever but desktop pc's are dying.

Eg: HUD glasses.
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