End of the PC era

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It was fun while it lasted. Several pundits have been saying that the era of PC’s are over. The final nail in the PC’s coffin have come from one of the PC designer himself.

Dr Mark Dean, who worked on the original IBM PC, the 5150, wrote in a blog post commemorating its 30th anniversary, that ?they?re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs?.

He wrote that ?PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device?though there?s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets?but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it?s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people?s lives.?

?While PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they?re no longer at the leading edge of computing,? he said. IBM launched the 5150 on 12 August 1981, and it quickly established the look and feel of PCs in general. Dr Dean owns a third of the patents for it, and claimed he did not expect to outlive the idea. Now, however, he says that even his own main device is a tablet computer.


Dean’s comments echo those of some other industry executives.

In a blog post in October 2010, soon after he left Microsoft, Ray Ozzie talked about the need for the software giant and other tech companies to understand where computing is headed and to embrace that which is technologically inevitable — a future of varied devices connected to the cloud. The days of the PC-centric environment, which helped fuel Microsoft’s success, are declining as the use of mobile devices and cloud computing rises, implied Ozzie, who had been Microsoft’s chief software architect.

At the unveiling of the iPad 2 in March, Apple CEO Steve Jobs also talked about a post-PC world dominated by such devices as smartphones and tablets. Some other vendors view tablets as something new in the PC market, but that is not the right approach to this, Jobs said.

PC Growth

In March 2011, the IT research copmany Gartner has said that the Personal-computer shipments will grow at a slower pace than previously forecast as consumers reach for Apple Inc. (AAPL)?s iPad and other tablet devices. ?We expect growing consumer enthusiasm for mobile-PC alternatives, such as the iPad and other media tablets, to dramatically slow home mobile-PC sales, especially in mature markets,? said George Shiffler, a research director at Gartner.

Arabiangazette.com spoke to some people in Dubai regarding PC’s, we received mixed reactions:

Jonathan a tech analyst in Dubai told that he believes that the PC’s have become old and cumbersome and its time for them to be in a museum.

However, Mary a mother of three told us that more than a Tablet she prefers the PC and believes that many mothers she knows also share the same view. “Just because there is advancement in technology does not mean that we forget the past? Further teaching children to use the computer is easier through a PC than any other means”.

Based on the results of the survey, its clear that the “need” is changing depending on what “function” you want to do or perform with your machine.

PC’s have transformed the lives of millions worldwide, it has bought smiles to many in the most remotest areas in the world. Though its glam may diminish in the west, for the less fortunate one the PC is still a miracle. It will take a long time for this miracle to diminish!

Source: Times of India, Bloomberg, Gartner. CIO Index

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