A very recent debate has surfaced among the computer bigwigs about the sustainability of the PC market and continuance of the PCs among the users. For more than last three decades, PCs have becomes the first assistants for people in every walk of life. Just in a year, PC sale has dropped so drastically that the market dynamics has completely shaken the very existence of PCs.
Is it because personal computing is gaining a whole new definition?
Is it truly the end of the era of PC ?
Let us see some of the prominent discussion points for which you may think for a while, if indeed the death of the PC is now a certainty.
Era of PC Maybe All but Over
The Need for Fast Processors is an Obsolete Concept Now
The need of a dedicated, fast running processor is not the requirement of the time. For the past one and a half decade, technology is rapidly changing and Internet, Virtualization, and Cloud Computing are bringing in unique innovations to the market place. With this new and improved set up, standalone PCs have, long since, lost their significance. Technology is now easily accessible with minimum system requirements and cost of ownership, apparently eliminating the need of a fastest processor and hence, a PC.
The mid of the last decade (ideally from 2003 to 2007) saw the most innovative and evolving PC technology, with old as well as new market players introducing state of the art technology and hardware. Gradually, they shifted their focus towards other technologies causing a remarkable halt in the PC growth. The major setback came when Intel made up its mind to quit desktop motherboard manufacturing. Today solely three companies, Asus, Gigabyte, and ECs are operating in this segment. This market withdrawal definitely has impacted PC manufacturing and associated hardware manufacturing, ultimately causing slower PC sales.
Failure of Netbooks and Ultrabooks
Netbooks and Ultrabooks, two of Intel’s initiatives also suffered major failure in the market. This somehow has affected its almighty status in the hardware ecosystem, directly or indirectly indicating that consumers have started breaking the concept of getting adapted to the choices made available to them. The fading dominance of Intel and failure to bring in innovation is supposed to be a major cause of PCs performance.
Mobile Devices are Ruling
In the post-PC era, the definition of personal computing is changing rapidly. With the size of the computers getting smaller and smaller every day, more alternatives, in the form of, mobile devices, are emerging. People can easily carry their world in their smartphones, tablets, palmtops, e-pads etc. So, who needs a PC to get the common document or spreadsheet like functions? The tremendous sale forecast of mobile devices is going to eat up the PC market share.
BYOD has an Effect
People’s work and working style are changing. The incorporation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work is majorly reducing the dependency on PCs. Employees prefer to carry their work to home for a suitable work-life balance and be more productive. Imagine what big hit the PC market would face, if most of the companies adopt the BYOD culture.
It is impossible to imagine that almost half a century old legacy of PC is in utter threat. The practicality of PC survival will importantly depend on its key players and their further moves.
Paul Salmon says
This “PC is dying” has been gaining speed recently, but the fact is, there may be less PCs being sold, but they can never be replaced entirely by mobile devices. Here are a number of reasons why:
1. PCs have more compatibility than any device. They can connect to thousands of hardware devices through USB/Firewire, bluetooth or through a network.
2. No company that values it’s data – think financial or client-based – will ever trust a BYOD – ever. If my bank did so, I would drop them quickly. Why? Mobile devices have no security except a PIN number (that can be cracked easily). Many companies now encrypt laptop hard drives to prevent client data from being stolen.
3. I have yet to see a mobile device that can handle multiple HD monitors at the same time. Ask any video/photo editor how they enjoy using multiple monitors, and the fact that you can buy a desktop and multiple monitors for less than some tablets.
4. Most desktops or laptops sold today can last easily 5 years or more for the average user. I am using a laptop that is over 7 years old and it can do everything the average user needs (e-mail and Internet).
5. In addition to point 4, tablets and mobile devices are where PCs were 10-15 years ago – they need to be upgraded every 2-3 years, or they start to show their age. I know someone that has an iPhone 3S who says is starting to get slow with some apps.
6. Gamers, video and photos editors will always drive the PC market as PCs are the only machines that can provide enough power, memory, and local storage needed for their activities. There aren’t too many mobile devices that have terabytes of storage, 4-8 core 3GHz processors and 24-32 GB of memory.
The PC won’t be going away anytime soon as they will continue to lead the way interms of processing power that is needed by specific individuals. Mobile devices, such as tablets, have their place but there may come a time when people start getting sick of having to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that needs to be upgrade more often than a similar PC/laptop.
Pitt Goumas says
The term PC should not even be in the dictionary anymore =)