Is the Post-PC Era at Hand? Not so fast…

Not surprisingly, recent comments by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – reveal two sharply different views on the evolution of personal computing.

Steve Job’s Crystal Ball

Responding to a question at the Wall Street Journal’s D8 Conference earlier this month — about iPads eventually replacing PCs, Jobs suggested that PCs will become like ‘trucks’ where some people will continue to use them but most will transition away.

“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. As people started moving away from the farm, the car started taking over,” adding features such as windshield wipers and automatic transmission.

“PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.”

It is worth noting that Jobs, was speaking explicitly about both Windows-based machines and Macintoshes.

“The transformation will make us uneasy because the PC has taken us a long way … We like to talk about post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people.”

Steve Jobs: “The PC has taken us a long way. They were amazing. But it’s changes, vested interests are going to change. And I think we’ve embarked on that change. Is it the iPad? Who knows? Will it be next year or five years…”

Walt Mossberg/Wall Street Journal: “Well you don’t think it will be next year?”

Steve Jobs: “Well… who knows?”

Ballmer Responds

Defending his companies’ bread and butter, Ballmer insists that PC use will continue to grow – while also evolving into into different form factors.

“I think people are going to be using PCs in greater and greater number for many years to come. PCs will look different next year, year after, year after that.”

Thurott Weighs In

In the wake of the comments made by Jobs, Windows IT Pro columnist Paul Thurott has offered up this number packed defense of the PC, refuting the idea that the death of the PC is emminent.

“Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs are carefully promoting the iPad as the product that is ushering in the so-called post-PC era. But the facts refute this notion: PC makers are on track to sell more than 350 million PCs this year, and they collectively sell one million PCs every single day. Microsoft sells one million copies of Windows 7 each day and a half. But it takes Apple five weeks or so to sell just one million iPads. Sure, it’s a successful business, but it’s not replacing the PC. Not that most people in the press would ever pause to consider dulling down an Apple promotional story with such inconvenient details.”

“Even the lowly netbook will outsell the iPad dramatically in 2010. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Frank Shaw points to an estimate of 7.1 million iPad sales for this year, though the figure could end being as high as 8.5 million units. But PC makers are projected to sell 58 million netbooks in 2010. These figures refute other recent claims—baseless, but highly promoted—that the iPad was somehow eating into netbook sales and would one day replace the netbook. As it turns out, netbook sales—like PC sales overall—are actually growing pretty dramatically this year, iPad or not. And another bubble bursts.”

Paul Thurott: Microsoft Beyond the Numbers

A View from the Pit

Even though many of us here at PC Pitstop find ourselves opening spreadsheets, monitoring email, IM’ing, streaming radio stations and browsing the internet from our Blackberrys, iPhones and Droids – it is hard to imagine a future without a PC at least somewhat similar to those that we currently use.

Just how important will that PC be? Will the PC be a machine that you continue to use on a daily basis or will it become an ‘appliance’ that takes the place alongside the tablet PC, iPod, netbook, blender and the waffle maker as something you own – but only use when the need arises. Plenty of questions remain to be answered.

No doubt, PCs and other devices will continue to evolve at warp speed and deliver Jetson-esque features.

However, given the challenges associated with managing a 2,000 row spreadsheet with a 3 inch smart phone screen and others — it is safe to assume that a traditional, ‘sit at the desk’ PC will always find a spot in the future world of personal computing – and the transition to any practical alternative is further away than we might be lead to believe.

What do you think?

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67 thoughts on “Is the Post-PC Era at Hand? Not so fast…”

  1. touchscreens will fade away, fingerprints and scratches all over the screen.
    plus not very good for playing proper games on, apple should stick to making phones.

  2. GreatLakesDrifta

    What is a PC? Is it simply the box that you plug a monitor, mouse, and keyboard into? Or is it the combination of this box and aforementioned peripherals? If the answer is the former (just the box), then yes, I do think the PC (Box and maybe mouse) is going to go away. What we may see in the future is workstations that consist of nothing more than something that you dock your tablet into that, for all intents and purposes, will provide the same experience that today’s PC provides, but with the portable tablet repacing the PC.

  3. The ipad and other such objects will never replace my PC.I am 62 years old. My computer is used from everthing from email to watching movies TV and comunicating with friends overseas. My old fingers can use the key board work the mouse and so on .I cannot work my wifes mobile phone. I threw my ipod in the bin. I couldnt see it without my glasses and i never managed to press the right keys. This old guy says keep the pc.

  4. I love seeing technology evolve. Even become more portable. I bought my 12.1 inch touch screen laptop for school purposes, and now to take my music and artwork with me on the go. I bought an iPhone for the sake of a new touch screen device. But I see it as a new gadget that I can use as phone, gps, music player, on the go games, etc, all in one device. When the iPad was introduced I was curious. But I didn’t want it since the iPhone and laptop are the only portable devices I need right now. All these cool gadgets have there uses, but it won’t replace the PC. Even the iPad. There are a lot of reasons for this. PC gamers, music editors, graphic designers, businesses, etc. Hardware, screen size, devices, etc, are all an important part. Upgrading hardware is also a great part of the PC.

    So all in all, I do not see the PC going for a long time. It is a poorly thought idea that the iPad would be a replacement.

  5. I believe that the evolution of the PC to a smaller Ipad/tablet PC form factor is inevitable. The biggest complaints I see here are Monitor and Keyboard issues. I too can’t stand a small screen however, I do enjoy the light netbook that I just purchased. I got around the small screen and keyboard by utilizing an external keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Just dock it at my office and at home and no problems. If I could do the same with my Moto Droid life would be great.

  6. Remember 45 rpm records gave way to Lp’s @ 33 1/3? Then along came 4 track tape players (mine was a Muntz installed in my 12 year old ’57 chevy) They gave way to 8 track and then cassete tapes and now CD’s. The consumer will dictate what the market will be. I have a PC and no cell phone or lap top. I still make banks etc. send me paper – I don’t trust complete electonic storage (cloud) or the ability or availability of on-line access. If you put your eggs in a basket that you can’t reach – don’t cry when you find them stolen by the fox or broken or not there.

  7. PC’s simply HAVE to get better! All the wires have to go, beyond keeping the ability to physically plug-in any exterior hardware one may want. Jobs had true vision with the concept of the iMac, where the HD is within it, rather than an ugly “tower” near the PD. I cannot see something very like a “desktop” existing quite awhile.

  8. There are more ford pick up trucks sold each year than all other cars and pick cup trucks combined. sort of like the 365 million Pcs that will be sold this year and what is so great about the Ipad ihave hade a a laptop pad for the last 5 years it has hand writing regegnition software and every thing you can wite writeon the screen why would want a Ipad and you can unfold it and use it like a laptop if you prefer I can cominicate to the internet almost any where there is a hot spot

  9. I think this says it all:
    “Squatting beside a road in a backward northern China village where, once a year, a wealthy benefactor sweeps past in a motorcade on his way to dispense money, the peasant farmer whispers: ‘To us, he is like an emperor.’ It is a comparison that would probably bring a smile to the usually stern features of Terry Gou.
    A self-made billionaire who rose from poverty to become one of the world’s richest men, the 59-year-old’s hero is an emperor – Genghis Khan.
    Pick up an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad, a Nintendo game, a Dell or Hewlett Packard computer, a Nokia or a Motorola phone in Britain, and the chances are that it will have been made by poor young migrant workers in one of Gou’s massive, fortress-like factories.
    Gou’s personal fortune is estimated at £3.7 billion, ranking him number 136 on the Forbes rich list, alongside Apple boss Steve Jobs.
    And his factories possess so many technical and production secrets that some see him, rather than Jobs, as the most important player in Apple’s rise to success.
    Gou describes his own massively influential business as a ‘righteous dictatorship’.”
    Steve Jobs, Terry Gou and anything with an i….prefix can go cram it with walnuts. I would never buy any Apple product even if my life depended on it.

  10. Will James choose crunchy or smooth?????????
    But I’m sticking to my desktop thank you~!
    BTW, I’m still using Lotus123 in Command Mode.

  11. Advances in visaul display (e.g. more efficiency projector type displays), battery and thermal technologies, etc., will very much blur the difference between the now desktop and the smaller gadgets. However, bigger size means more room for the hardware, thus the capability. So, a bigger device will still be needed for the heavy users, besides the handier ones. The appearance of the bigger devices would naturally be quite different from those of today.

  12. I stood in line at a checkout counter and here comes this gal holding a loaf of bread to her ear talking up a storm. I thought is this some new edible gadget. Lo, there was some kind of cell phone tucked between the bread and her ear. I will stick to my desktop and large monitor and if worse comes to worse I can put some peanut butter on my mouse.

  13. Ipods, Iphones, Ipads – lol – replace PCs – I don’t think so ever, these are just toys we are talking about, nothing more. My top spec quad core PC struggles to perform the tasks i ask of it on my lovely twin 23 inch HD monitors – you want me to give that up for a slow, un-upgradable, unrepairable, glitchy, over priced gizmo toy, with no speakers, mouse or keyboard – let me think about this for 1 nano second – NO

  14. The PC will be around for a lot longer yet. I look forward to fairly reasonable improvements, such as; instant start up and close down; no more re-booting when adding programmes or making changes; More user-friendly access to the heart of the operating system.; better reliability and also wide-ranging,simple, secure and retrospective back-up of data regardless of the format in which it was created.Less bells and whistles, but better service.

  15. This just goes to show the state our country is in. CEO’s and company hot dogs are making more and more comments like “toottie-fruitie” cases, who snorted too much drain cleaner.

  16. I am really surprised that Mr. Jobs used an inaccurate analogy to promote the ipad.

    I recall watching a documentary done by “Modern Marvels” on DISCOVERY and apparently THE TRUCK actually had a difficult time catching on initially.

    “All cars were trucks”?¿? The innovation of the assembly line creating the first 2 mass produced products in the world, the “Model T” and the “Model A” were not trucks. Cars ALWAYS outnumbered trucks, from day one. Initially the horse and wagon outnumbered cars but that’s what we transitioned from not to.

    The number of trucks grew slowly at first, and significantly when technology finally caught up and made trucks a viable competitor to the train…they now exist in greater numbers then ever and continue to grow in numbers.

    So reality it actually opposite to what Mr. Jobs described in his attempt to pitch the ipad…what’s up with that?

  17. Jose A. Wong Perez

    …I’d been using computers for a long long time. I am a PC-Tablet user, with my new Toshiba M780-S7240 as an addition to my Toshiba R15-S822 and R15-S829 for the las 5 years, I had the best from both worlds, they gave me the classroom mobility, better than whiteboards, very versatile, while keeping the laptop functionality.

    When the iPad was with their bells and whistles, I thought, they brought the Tablet portability and functions neccessary to move on, but no “flash”, no pen to write my notes like boards in class, very limited in connectivity, OS, etc…No, I reaally don’t agree that PCs will dissapear away of our productive lives thanks them…

  18. I am really surprised that Mr. Jobs used an inaccurate analogy to promote the ipad.

    I recall watching a documentary done by “Modern Marvels” on DISCOVERY and apparently THE TRUCK actually had a difficult time catching on initially. Cars ALWAYS outnumbered trucks, from day one.

    The number of trucks grew slowly at first, and significantly when technology finally caught up and made trucks a viable competitor to the train…they now exist in greater numbers then ever and continue to grow in numbers.

    So reality it actually opposite to what Mr. Jobs described in his attempt to pitch the ipad…what’s up with that?

  19. Well I just bought a 1969 mustang, with no computer at all in it, and I love it more than any other car I have ever owned! Im not old by any means at 27, but I like the older stuff, more reliable, yeah they may have better fuel economy, but who cares. I have, and will always build my pc’s myself, and no one will tell me otherwise! I guess what I am saying is like mustang lovers, as long as people still like, to love them, they will always be around! There will always be places to find “restoration” parts, and ways to retrofit new parts into the old if needed. Long live the PC!

  20. I have always been a PC user and never saw all the hype in Macs; but I think Jobs is right. His analogy to a truck is great. PCs will always be best for business and work functions, but the iPAD hits a target for the basic peronal user that just wants to do email and specific apps. It’s easy and fast. You can get apps cheaply and quick. There is none of the antivirus etc. problems. Its easy to carry around, etc. That combo will fit the needs of most home users. The trucks will continue to be needed for all types of business work.

  21. Obviousy Steve Jobs thinks that PC’s are useless. Whoever heard of a mac gamer anyway? It’s only a multibillin dollar industry that’s not going to go anywhere. But I’m sure a pad will somehow replace all that.

  22. How about a PCPad? Essentially a wireless tablet PC peripheral that has a LCD display, with touch screen, virtual mouse and keyboard all rolled into one. Base unit plugs into your USB and has a telescopic antenna. The remote would RF wirelessly be connected to your desktop PC and you control your PC with this PCPAd remote from up to 300 foot radius in your home or office. Same look, size, and weight of the iPad, uses rechargeable batteries, and has multiple channels to eliminate other user interference. It could use spread spectrum encryption like BlueTooth to avoid unwanted interception. The GUI would look something like the iPad GUI. Only one problem… hasn’t been invented yet! D’oh!

  23. I remember when the first PCs were monolithic devices…literally an expanded typewriter. Then, some company proposed a separate keyboard and showed some woman, sitting back with her feet on the desk and the keyboard in her lap and I thought, “What a stupid scene!”

    There is a place for everything. Yeah, Steve Jobs will talk about the “Post PC World”, but hey, he wants to sell IPads. I have a desktop with serious power when I want to design, a laptop and even a Netbook. I love my iPhone 3GS! Each has a place and I wouldn’t want to have to decide which one to keep and the others to discard.

    My hobby is woodworking and I don’t have just one, multi-use tool. I figure the same for the computer stable.

    Again, Steve Jobs just wants to sell IPads while he hasn’t any direct competition.

  24. I’ll never own any kind of computing device that allows the parent company to remotely delete programs or content that I’ve installed. Job can take his iCrap and shove it.

    Honestly, I’ve been hearing all sorts of far-fetched predictions about the future of computing for as long as I can remember. Like that by the turn of the century, computers would be nothing more than cheap, dumb terminals and all software and data would be accessed remotely. Yeah, that happened…

  25. Unfortunately for Apple, it will always be a niche product because Jobs & company don’t realy understand the PC. Most new PCs are purchased by businesses. Businesses need horsepower. Certainly the Microsoft OSes can be troublesome as compared to Apple OSes, but a space shuttle is troublesome as compared to a model airplane. Server analogy is false also, as processing power will continue to be concentrated on the desktop, even more so as users require more and more power to accomplish businesses purposes.

  26. No I don’t see the IPad taking over. The PC has it’s place. Some people don’t care for looking at the little screens on the portable devices. Personally I do photography and need the big screen for working with the pictures, it just can’t be done on the littler screens.

  27. I disagree with MR Jobs 100%, why? well it is ovious the PC will change too as computers change, HELLO!! look at the lap top I rather have a laptop than this slow Ipad that I have now no wonder Microsoft has the majority of the market.

  28. I agree with the majority, I need a big screen as well.
    Barry makes a very good point, you can upgrade a PC relatively easy. You can also have as much processing power/memory as you want, which you can’t have with the smaller appliances.
    Also, the apple/ipod products are far too expensive for what you get. as suggested it’s okay if you want o be at the forefront with gimmicks? (Good technology maybe, but?)

  29. PS. My iPhone 3GS and iPad Never slow down, hang or crash, and I don’t have to pay for Virus software etc. Software is cheap etc. If only we could say the same of PCs

  30. Consider this…
    Just because you supersede the desktop PC with iPads and smart phones, it doesn’t mean you automatically supersede Big Monitors. I like the sound of using my iPhone and iPad for everything, maybe when we get home or to work, we simply dock our iDevices and use them with a normal keyboard and a screen as large as we like. Just because you lose the desktop, doesn’t mean you have to lose it’s useful peripherals ey

  31. I personally wouldn’t touch an iPad, I spend many hours on my PC and any portable device is neither suitable nor desirable. For extended use it is best to be sat at a desk with a proper chair to prevent back and neck problems and a large screen is so much better for your eyes and general comfort. I have a smartphone for the odd occasion I need the internet whilst away from home, I think the iPad is trying to fill a gap in the market that does not exist and is yet another example of Apple’s overpriced niche products. The only reason the iPhone has been so successful is because it was the first proper touchscreen smartphone but the others are catching up now and I expect to see iPhone sales dropping in the years to come as more and more apps appear for the other smartphone platforms.

    It is just not possible to get the kind of power in a portable device that we have in our desktops for a reasonable price so they are’t going anywhere in my opinion. As the comment posted by Pitstop said, Jobs is trying to sell iPads, it was a silly comment to make as the figures don’t back it up.

  32. We will all be saying goodbye to Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer long before we say goodbye to personal computers, however who knows what the future may bring. I get great satisfaction from building my own computers.

  33. TVs, radios, cameras, PCs as they are had been around for a long time, and will continue to do so. cellphones, smart phones, iphones and pads which incorporate many functions are I think good only for one thing: they’re convenient and mobile.
    Each electrical appliance has functions which can’t be fully duplicated by smaller , multifunctional mobile devices.
    (if they do then in some area they’re going to fall short of something).

  34. I have been in the PC and related industries for a mere 52 years. I have watched a lot of things, come and go. Some were great but the marketing sucked. Others were just dumb ideas created for a person with 2 years college, not the 9th grade. Those died on the vine. As long as the user interface is 9th grade, it will stay here.
    Quality products are my concern, there are no controls over Chinese QC. Stay with Intel all the way and u are okay, so far.
    The problem today is this: The education industry is turning out people we call “dopes on a rope”. Send them to a site with a cell phone. Monkey see Monkey do.
    The old geeks are being laid to rest. I could have a 1000% business interest, IF I wanted it. After all the Geek Squad and such have bashed a PC, I am asked to look at it. One was simply missing memory, it had been stolen.

  35. The only change I can see coming is Big Screens with integrated computer in the near future. It is the Real Estate on the Monitor, (I’m buying 23.5 gaming monitor from ASUS to be the third monitor in front of me.
    However what Apple and IBM gave us is the ability to customize a computer to our needs with expansion slots, memory, HDD etc.
    I just built my own gaming computer with all Black Edition components or equivalent and save a lot of money.
    Looks like the cell phone is evolving into a small portable computer, however the screen size is a little bit small! Needs display glasses or contacts and that is a long ways away.

    To sum-up how are they going to build a handhold pocket computer with a 23.5 ” screen, expansion slots with zillions of accessorizes? Not in my life time or my children, maybe in my grandchild life will the have the technology down to an affordable price point.

  36. Not too familiar with automotive history is he? It’s always been more cars than trucks. Cars got a foothold as transportation while horse and ox supplied the power on the farm. Was only later when cars (and better roads) got more common that trucks on the farm took off. Prior to good roads required by cars, it was easier to haul goods to market with wagons.

    Can’t see a move away from the PC, they may change architecture, but it will still be a computer.
    I could see, a possible move back to mainframe type systems for large companies, but not for the general public.

  37. I think the PC will be around a long time. I started out, when you had to program them (computers) on paper first, then take all these wires and plugs and program the bleeping thing. Some panels were small, others took several people to put into the machine. LONG time ago. As we ‘baby boomers’ or as they say in Canada ‘zoomers’, age and get our own computers, there will be PC’s. Our eyesight isn’t as good as it once was, nor are our fingers. So the larger PC screens and keyboards are just what the doctor ordered. LONG LIVE THE PC!!!

  38. Stephan W Gaichin

    I will have to agree with most of what I see here! Mostly with #1 As I can’t imagine reading my email on a 1.5X1.5 screen and a host of other stuff! And I am as old as #1 also. Does that make me extinct? Or just a living dino’soar!

  39. Upgrade upgrade upgrade…
    You can’t upgrade a Mac or iPad.
    I have upgraded my AMD computer (high end ASUS motherboard) several times. Athlon dual core 6400, Phenom quad 9600 Phenom 2 quad 940 BE and very soon Phenom 2 6 core 1090t BE. All with OEM Vista OS. I have also upgraded my video cards at least 4 times.
    You can also safely overclock the snot out of these chips as an added bonus.
    The only way to upgrade a Mac is add more ram, or buy a new one at a very high cost. Over the years I have owned 3 Macs, love the OS, hate the high cost of ownership and poor gaming performance.

  40. Pft… come on…
    PCs as we know them will be a around for a long time.
    Why would this suddenly change within a year or half a decade?
    If anything, the PC will still grow!
    Whether that’s in use or the amounts of them or the physical size.

    The PC will always be the main machine people will turn to,
    all those devices like those tablets and what not will always be the devices next to the PC.
    So the PC will always be the stationary house-computer, which will hold all the main information and such.
    They will probably even start to control everything around the house too, eventually.

    Sure, the form this system may take might change, depends on in what way it can still perform well enough of course.
    You can’t put a high-end PC into a Laptop/tablet-housing of course, it’s just not safe for now.
    Perhaps once there will be a lot less heat produced with SSDs and such.
    But there will always be that main block of a computer in the house with proper monitoring and controls attached.

  41. I observed someone next to me on the train demonstrating to his companion how the iPad works. Half the time, all I could see was the reflection of his fingerprints smeared all over the screen. I’m sure my keyboard also has fingerprints all over it, but I don’t have to view the screen through them.

    Windows Media Center recording two channels simultaneously to my 3GB of hard drives, 24″ 16:9 monitor, usb connections to my iPod and GPS, trade for an iPad? No way.

  42. Sorry Steve, PC’s will be here long after you are. The eye candy you are flogging can’t come close to beating a lowly netbook, let alone a PC. Apple products generally are inferior to anything PC makers have been developing ofr many years. As for Iphones, there are a load of smarter, faster phones out in the real world. Just look at Blackberry, HNC, Samsung etc. All of these makers, and more, will beat anything Apple can produce.
    Being older than dirt’s grandfather and, having been around computers since before day one, I see no reason for them to disappear because Steve said they would.
    No, I don’t own a smart phone. Just a regular one to keep in touch in case I get lost. Yes, I’m that old.

  43. I think Steve Jobs is talking out of his ass, but it is worth noting. Actually, the automotive industry has made much of its money by sell 1/2 ton pickups which yields a better profit then cars. I still see a major need for desk & portable computers to do many of the corporations business, and not the unsecured hard to type on iphone, ipad, and i-?????

  44. I have glasses just for my computer usage. I’ve looked at Blackberries and stuff, I can’t see them! The large screen and keypad is going to be needed. Wait until the younger bunch with their tiny gadgets get older, they’ll be going bigger, not smaller.

  45. No

    PC’s aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Mobile devices still have a very long way to go. The Ipad is no evolutionary step forward and neither is the Iphone or any other smart phone.

    I can see a user such as myself still using PC’s for many years to come. I will also be using mobile devices as they come along. Personally, I won’t touch an Apple product. Mr. Jobs is to full of himself and the Iphone and Ipad aren’t that good.

  46. Hi,

    Pure BS … What a naivity of that guy. I would like to see how that little thing will be able to control my Astronomical Observatory …

    On the other side my respect to him. He is really a good Salesman …


  47. Come on Richard Widman, that’s just consumer stuff, if you want a computer to work for you then it needs a whole lot more punch and a big screen than when manipulating home entertainment. I’m a digital artist and have not yet found the machine that doesn’t go pear shaped, all too often, when I make demands on it.

    Having said that, I haven’t tried a Mac Book, can’t afford one just now, so I may be talking complete nonsense.

  48. The desktop might have a place in the office, but it no longer needs the power, since servers can do it all.

    But the desktop for home is not the least necessary. Any comments that the notebook can’t replace the desktop is from someone who hasn’t given the Mac Book a good try.

    And manipulating the home theater (displaying hundreds of videos or games on different screens around the house), music, alarms and everything else can be done as my son does, either from the Mac Book or iphone, from wherever.

  49. If you need a machine to work for you then the PC or Mac is it. If you want a consumer machine to play you musak and just entertain you, then the iPad and iPod are the way to go. Go your own way, but as a business, work machine, nothing is going substitute for a decent work horse.


  51. I hate Apple and everything that goes with them so until another company comes out with a similar product, I’ll never touch it.

    And how am I going to play my PC (exclusive) games on a small, gimmicky that I could break if I sit on it machine.

    Long live the PC!

  52. “Big” is in the eye of the beholder.

    As in “Big Screen”.

    We have screens 50 to 60+ inches “wide”
    but do we need a large box to
    hold the processor?

    Do we need a keyboard?

    What if we have/use very good voice
    recognition software and/or wrap
    around key Gloves that allow
    you to move your fingers
    to do virtual typing?

    Then what would our “computer”
    look like then?

    What if we have Eye wear that
    either projects a retinal
    screen on our eye


    a small projector that puts
    the image directly on the
    eye glass itself?

    Seems our traditional
    desktop would be
    unnecessary at
    that point.

    A small pocket pack
    could hold the

    Jim Furr >

  53. Again? No, the desktop will not go, not for at least 50 years. It’s morons who want to push for the replacement of the desktop that keep this story going. The cat is out of the bag. I see that the desktop will control more and more and everything in your house but will not go away. It’s called choice. Mobile devices will gain more operability and features but will not replace the desktop.

    I HATE my netbook. I HATE laptops because of their inferior design and size and I can carry 30 lbs easy. I want to lug around full power, full service desktop and it doesn’t have to be green.

  54. “The PC development has always been an open technology with comparatively little private proprietary core technology that invites innovation by everyone in the market place.”

    Actually, that’s not really true. The original ‘PC’ was made by IBM and was every bit as ‘closed’ as Apple, except for the OS which Bill Gates wisely kept control of. Only the successful cloning of the IBM PC by Compaq made the PC ‘open technology’. If IBM had pursued the legal case against Compaq for patent/copyright infringement (for their reverse engineering of the BIOS), the PC market would be very different today. But IBM execs foolishly believed that “no one would want a ‘cheap copy’ of an IBM machine”….

  55. There will always be techno-holics who have to have the latest and greatest until someone comes up with a newer gadget and the rush is on once again to be first in line. I work from home, use a relaiable PC that does what needs to be done, DSL line, a laptop for VOIP to make all my outgoing calls, a basic cell phone, no camera, no apps, and a good all in one copy, scan fax, laser machine. To me everything else is just toys.

  56. Well the Steves can bluster and preen all they want. Yes, Apple was rescued with a bit of aplomb and crafty decision making. But…But, they still have that closed system. The PC has thrived on competition and open-architecture. The Apple products are treasures in technology, but held too-corporate-close to herald the demise of the PC. (Jobs has threatened that before) That said, the tablet concept raises possibilities of capturing a huge segment formerly occupied by PCs. The usage of a small form-factor, with more emphasis on voice recognition (or other type of input/output) bodes well for the tablet–however it evolves. Trucks/cars analogies aside (as cute as they are), the PC will be around for a LONG time.

  57. They’re all tools and just as you wouldn’t use a hammer to lossen a screw the lightweight tablet will have a significant role in a niche area.

    With 4B people in the world there are always going to be niche markets that can consume millions of the latest “Hot” gadgets.

    Evaluating the lightweight tablet for a corporate IT enviroment shows it’s role will be limited but there should be a role for sure.

    I recently grabbed an APad while in china. Hooking into our corporate email and using it for internet, email and viewing files was a learning curve but not a steep one and much easier than I thought it would be. As we like to say it was so easy even the president of the company could do it! :)While providing a much better experience than a smart phone, in some applications.

  58. I agreee with the previous posters on this subject. I’ve been around computers, both recreationally and professionally, since way before PC’s and Macs existed, perhaps even in the fertile minds of today’s brilliant engineers. Helge is older than dirt but I’m older than dirt’s parents. As for cell phones, I just got my first one and only because an injury left me partially paralyzed and my wift wanted me to be able to communicate in case I fall. I use it so seldom the battery runs down just keeping the darn thing on. The sight of people living their whole days with a phone in their ear, jabbering constantly, turns me off. Long live the PC.

  59. I am fairly young and although I own a laptop computer, an e book, and a droid smart phone there are things that desktop computers are better at. Playing games online, doing homework, teaching my child how to work a computer, and basic surfing the internet. I am looking to purchase a Notion Ink Adam tablet if they ever hit the market, but I will always have a desktop as long as they are available. I love electronic gadgets, but there is no replacement for the physical keyboard and large screen of a desktop computer. Apple computers are great for graphic design and they are a good product, but the bottom line is in the mainstream business world PC’s are king and replacing desktop or laptop computers with a tablet across the business world is not going to be economical for many many years not to mention doing large spread sheets on a 10 inch screen is not going to be very easy or cost effective in the long run, especially when there are smart phones available that kill two birds with one stone on keeping business people connected and close to email and internet wherever they are.

  60. I do like new gadgets, but I am getting older too and cannot deal with Blackberry keyboards, etc. Maybe a smart phone, but it’s the data plan prices that keep me away. More likely, I’ll (first) update my laptop. I can still work a standard sized keyboard and my old Palm Pilot (which keeps my calendar & notes just fine, thank you).

  61. I won’t be using all the newest fads either. Need to be able to read on the screen like Helge. Am NOT interested in learning to key in broken words/symbols for the smaller devices. I like a fast PC and big LCD screen. I buy new about every 4-5 years, am still on Vista and doing ok. Will probably buy new again the next M/S OS update. May buy a laptop w/large screen to save space, but will still use a mouse and a keyboard with it! HATE the small keyboards on laptops so you know I’m not going with something even smaller!

  62. Apple moguls have been making predictions like this the whole time they have been in business. But, while they have good products that work really well for certain applications, their products can hardly be considered main stream to the buying public. This is because they have a selfish marketing strategy that keeps proprietary information to themselves. The PC development has always been an open technology with comparatively little private proprietary core technology that invites innovation by everyone in the market place. For this reason the PC has prevailed and Apple products have always been “also-rans”.

  63. Let the kids make the evolution, not me. No itty bitty keys or screens for me. Like Helge, I grew up with business and technical computers, and see no need to stop using them. As far as cell phones–all I want is a phone and address book with call identification. Period.

  64. I plan to have a computer as long as the parts are manufactured. I do not own a cell phone or ipad and don’t plan to purchase either one now or in the future. The Gurus of industry will not dictate what I will purchase or use. Just about everyone I work with, not computer related, carries and uses cell phones. These devices probably take the boredom out of their jobs but does not make them more productive. There are many devices that come on the market and also leave the market. I am not a person that feels the need to keep up with the Joneses.

  65. I must agree with THE PIT. I have been using computors since the sixties( yes I’m older than dirt),when I was learning navigation computors in RAAF. Analog metal info. crunchers.I cant imagine sitting with a small netbook, enjoying emails, Flight sim. Links Golf ETC. . At my age your eyes needs BIG.BIGGER,and HUGE.Big screens will always be needed!!
    Helge Gram

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