What does the future hold for the PC?
Personal computers are taking a back seat to those appealing new devices that some call tablets, netbooks or slates. They are also falling behind to some devices we still call phones but are actually smaller real personal computers that we carry around to do simple stuff we used to have to do from our laptops or desktops. Is the line between these devices finally blurring enough that people won’t use their PC’s anymore? Are these little devices actually the new PC?
In the 80′s Personal Computers came by to replace typewriters as the primary office machine. They were bulky, large and expensive, but still looked pretty cool. They weren’t near the size of a main frame, and did much of the stuff people needed them to do. We called them Personal Computers because of it, and still do today. By the end of the 90′s the PC world was so well defined that anything that resembled a portable computer had another name to it, Laptops. This gave it a different market, people who needed power had their desktops, and people who just needed the basics on the road, used the laptop (much like the original pc’s did at the office).
Things changed in the 2000′s, Laptops became increasingly popular with their new processors and batteries that let them do most of the things that could only be done with a Desktop. Some of these Laptops were called Desktop Replacements, and they were certainly that. These laptops were bigger, stronger and powerful, they even had larger hard drives, full keyboards with numeric pad, and all sorts of goodies Desktops had. We can’t deny the fact that this was the moment when the laptop became a regular PC. They were now direct competition with Desktop computers. The line finally disappeared and both products became one. It’s not that uncommon to see laptops being used as full time computers in an office anymore, it’s way more practical. They are still more fragile and have shorter life spans, but are as efficient as desktops.
So what is happening in this new decade? We now have new kids on the block. These new kids are being labeled Tablets and Phones, but all they are doing is becoming the new PC’s that will rule the future. By 2014 it is contemplated that more de 100 million people will be using tablets. This is a very interesting number; this means almost 30% of US population will be using a Tablet, easily surpassing our expectations. Tablets still can’t do the things that PC’s can, but lets be real, they will be able to do it. The line will blur to the point were you won’t be able to distinguish which is which. And lets be fair, there is no more Personal Computer than a Phone or a Tablet. These are machines that can do the basics much as the laptops and PC’s did when they arrived, and more. They aren’t as limited as those machines.
The phone is being used less and less as a phone than ever before. I bet your battery runs out because of your time browsing the internet or checking you Facebook than actual phone calls. The phone is now a personal computer whether big companies like HP like it or not. It’s all marketing you know, it is only to segment the market, but in the end all we’ll have is a PC world with different types of products for different situations. Steve Jobs knew it all along, he may have lost the PC battle with windows, but he may have already won the war with his iOS devices. It’s no wonder there isn’t any plans in updating the Mac Pro these days, there isn’t a big market for that, they are concentrating on the future, and the future is the most personal computers of them all, the handheld.