8 Reasons The PC Is Not Dead - InformationWeek

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8 Reasons The PC Is Not Dead

Now that phablets have essentially cannibalized the tablet market, the personal computer has a chance to make a dramatic comeback. Here's why.
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(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

The debate about the death of the PC rages on. On one side, you have those who point to dramatic declines of PC and laptop sales over the past few years as proof that the personal computer is on its last legs. On the other side are those who happily list the reasons why PCs -- especially in the enterprise -- are far from extinct.

I happen to believe that the PC is far from dead. In fact, I suspect overall PC and laptop sales to experience a resurgence in the next few years. There are a number of reasons why the PC retains an advantage over alternative devices such as smartphones, tablets, and phablets. While some of these reasons may not be relevant in a consumer world, they are critical for users performing tasks in an enterprise.

Additionally, the personal computer's biggest threat -- the tablet -- is going through a sluggish sales period at the moment. A once-hot tablet market has cooled as users gravitate toward smartphones with large screens that serve a dual purpose. It seems that for many mobile users, a five- or six-inch smartphone screen isn't that much different from an eight- to 10-inch tablet screen when it comes to performing most mobile tasks. That is, unless you're trying to do real work. You know, the kind of work that involves writing for long periods of time or manipulating numbers in spreadsheets and databases.

A vacuum has been created in the world of enterprise productivity devices. A year or two ago, it indeed looked as if the PC would be replaced by the tablet. But now that phablets have essentially cannibalized the tablet market, the personal computer has a chance to make a dramatic comeback.

Here are eight reasons why rumors of the PC's death have been greatly exaggerated. Once you've reviewed them all, let us know what you think. Will the PC live on, or are we flat-out wrong in our predictions? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

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Jamescon
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Jamescon,
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5/13/2015 | 3:53:40 PM
Re: A couple more reasons
@Keith. Interesting point about content creation vs content consumption. If you are primarily a content creator then a PC/notebook may be right for you because you can still consume content just fine on that rig. The funny thing about the content consumer as a primary role is that they also tend to be content creators, even if they don't realize it. Typing "LOL" may not be creation, but editing a photo or video prior to posting on social media certainly is, and long comments, on blogs certainly is creation. Will those content consumers eventually want a hybrid device that is at least a little more friendly when it comes to typing and working with multiple data types? Does the phablet fill the role? Does something along the lines of a Chromebook? Or, will those users just trade off some functionality for portability and accessibility?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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5/12/2015 | 6:15:01 PM
Re: Desktop isn't dead, but...
The issue can be put as simply as "it sucks to type lengthy articles on a touchscreen."
Jamescon
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Jamescon,
User Rank: Author
5/12/2015 | 11:13:32 AM
A couple more reasons
@Andrew. You have 8 good reasons for the rebirth of the PC. I'll suggest two more reasons to bring it to a nice, even 10.

9. Ergonomics. I love the convenience that comes with the computing power of a phone or even a notebook. You can access data from more places faster than ever. However, I don't want to do any significant typing or working with apps like Excel on a phone or phablet. Doing "desktop style" work on a mini-device is slower and often more painful (hands, back, eyes). Plus, there are factors such as scrolling across and swiping just to see a viewable image.

10.Product life. The days of turning over a PC inventory every two or three years are long gone. That cycle was rooted in 20 years of Microsoft and other software vendors rolling out "enhancements" on a regular schedule. Each version was fatter than the other, and of course releasing a new version of Windows meant releasing new versions of Office or Lotus or any other app. Fatter apps called for more memory, more storage, and greater processor speed (Intel was fine with that). With today's PCs you can have your apps in the cloud or at the desktop, and you have the same option for your data. So, a company or an individual won't have to spend $2,000 to $4,000 every two or three years just to keep pace with the software sector. Maybe we can stretch future PCs into a 5-year or even 10-year lifecycle. How many phones and tablets might last 5 years?
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