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Doug's Mailbag: A Windows 8 Future

Readers share some thoughts on what kind of devices will take over the traditional PC:

It would seem that there will be people who leave PCs (be they desktop or laptop) for tablets due to the simplicity of tablets. However, there will be people who stick with PCs, BUT IF AND ONLY IF Microsoft and its partners give them a reason to. 

One of the things that iPad and Android tablets are currently lacking is an open device driver environment that allows for plugging in third-party hardware devices (USB TV Tuners are but one example). Microsoft's (and its partners) challenge is to make sure they keep a steady stream of these types of devices that enable the PC to interact with hardware (via USB, Bluetooth, etc...) to do those things that tablets can't or won't do yet.

With respect to my next PC, I would expect it to be a mid-level laptop with a touch screen. Hopefully this gives me the best of all worlds where I can do touch if I want. It should also have an embedded GPS (so I can also use it in place of the tablet for Navigation/Location functionality), and still have a Physical keyboard and trackpad (mouse if I want it) to do the things that work better on a laptop.  Finally, I think Microsoft and manufacturers need to be able to supply the above for about $550 or so (not as cheap as a less-functional netbook, but not as expensive as an 'ultrabook' either). 

Combining the two (extra hardware device connectivity that tablets can't match as well as touch capability) should hopefully make the new PC a device that get's it all done, much as PCs have been doing since their early days. 

I will be waiting and watching to see if Microsoft and its partners can deliver. 


Alas, it is sad that when we get old, we get 'stuck in the quagmire of yesterday.' 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 its desktops that makes it 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!

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Posted by Doug Barney on 03/21/2012 at 1:19 PM


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