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The PC Ain't Dead, It's Just Waiting on Win 8

Tablet makers, pundits and rabble-rousers are still touting the death of the PC. And how do they write these scathing words? On a PC or laptop, of course.

Clearly tablets are hot -- many buy them for a truly mobile computing experience and as an adjunct to a real computer. That is far different from replacing them with a real computer.

Analyst firm Gartner seems to understand this and believes PC sales will increase nicely in 2013, which is when Win 8 will really get rolling.

This doesn't mean the PC regains its total dominance. Cloud services mean much of processing and storage takes place off site, though I'd argue that the primary window into all this is still Windows. And smartphones can do more and more, but only the young have eyes good enough to stare at one of these things all day.

How do you see your computing habits in the next year or two? Out-do Gartner with real-world predictions by writing to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/16/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 John Canberra Australia

The alternatives to the full PC (including Mac) require the "cloud" to function. This means data is under the control of someone else and becoming a progressively larger and more lucrative target. PCs are attacked because the pay-off is adequate. What does that say of the "cloud"? It will be the most attacked target ever, and if current security flaws are anything to go by then it will fail miserably and its data will be available to many. Also, the alternatives require essentiallyu continuous communications to function, making them inherently less reliable than PCs. I don't want my data and processing subject to these potential failures.

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 JW West (Desert West) Phoenix AZ

Alas, it is sad that when we get old, we get 'stuck in the quagmire of yesterdays'. The demise of the desktop PC is already written. The eulogy will be warm, eloquent and full of historical relevance, but just that… a tribute. Not to stop there, the laptop, as we old ITs know it, is equally lifeless. Reading between the lines, Apple (leading the way, as usual) has already moved on; creating an operating system for their desktops that makes them look like an iPad (synonymous with tablet). Even Win-8 is tablet-ready with major touch screen capabilities. As for me… I await the implant. Then I will only have to think about it!

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 OLAPMonkey

It's clear to me that Windows 8 Ultrabooks with reversible touch screens will offer a true cross over device that can handle the portability requirements of the tablet and still provide a full keyboard / mouse interface for input. The key will be battery life...if the device can make it through a typical wake up go to bed sleep cycle and be fully recharged come morning then the utility of the current day tablet experience will be dramatically decreased. ARM will be critical for this...if for no other reason than to hold Intel and AMD's proverbial feet to the fire.

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 Same person as the second poster here...

"f all of the PCs are dead and gone. How do you make your iPhone and iPad work without connecting it first to a PC, any flavor, with iTunes?" If you use IOS 5 and iCoud, Apple is slowly but surely making them independent devices no longer needing a direct connection to a device...

Fri, Mar 16, 2012

PCs and real computers have the computer power to do real work. Tablets such as the iPad do not. I use PCs, Macs, and iPad and have found that the programs on PCs and Macs are able to do MUCH MORE than APPs on iPads. Droid Tablets and iPads have their place, but to do real computing you need a PC/Mac with a decent processor and RAM and storage. There is a reason by programs for Droid Tablets and iPads are referred to as APPs. They just cannot do the job. Good examples are out there. Take the Pages for the iPad and Pages for the Mac. The iPad version has comparatively few features compared to the full blown Mac version of Pages. The iPad just does not have the computing power, nor does it have the 'space' to store a full blown version. Same with Keynote. Same with MS OneNote. PC version vs IOS version. PC version is more powerful - hands down. Is there a place for iPads and Droid tablets...sure. Will tablets built around Win 8 be powerful enough? We shall see...

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 Roger Riediger Pacfic North West

If all of the PCs are dead and gone. How do you make your iPhone and iPad work without connecting it first to a PC, any flavor, with iTunes?

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