HomeHome : News : May 01, 2013

The PC is Not Dead

May 1, 2013 — by Per Christensson

Desktop Computer These days, it is trendy to say, "The PC is dead" or "The PC is dying." Both statements are categorically and unequivocally false.

The PC, or personal computer, is certainly not dead. Just look around you – in your home, school, or workplace. Chances are you are surrounded by PCs. Most people use a desktop or laptop computer for their work or education on a daily basis. If the PC was dead, as many analysts and journalists claim, this would simply not be the case.

So if the PC isn't dead yet, is it dying? Absolutely not. First of all, tablets (which many people claim are killing PCs), are technically PCs themselves. In fact, tablets are often called "tablet PCs" because they are personal computers. But even traditional PCs – the ones with a keyboard and mouse – are not dying. While sales of desktop and laptop computers have declined this past year because of the surge in tablet purchases, traditional PCs remain important.

Every single person I know that has a full-time job uses a PC at work. Some use Windows PCs, others use Macs, but they all use either a desktop or laptop computer. For many jobs, the traditional PC is the best – and will remain the best – tool for getting work done. If you've ever tried to type a document on a tablet, you know what I mean.

Tablets are great for personal use and are well-suited for some business purposes. However, when it comes to graphic design, web development, audio and video production, computer programming, record keeping, data management, spreadsheet processing, and many other professional work, nothing beats a PC. While tablets are excellent "consumption" devices, PCs remain the best devices for productivity.

I doubled down on the PC when I moved Sharpened.net to PC.net exactly one year ago today. While the PC is evolving, the traditional PC is not dying. Tablets will continue to chip away at sales of traditional PCs, but these "post PC" devices aren't going to kill off the PC as we know it.

It is both an exciting and awkward time in the computer industry. It's exciting because of the new types of hardware and user interfaces available. It's awkward because change is difficult. PC manufacturers have produced nearly every type of folding, twisting, pull-apart hybrid PC/tablet device imaginable in the past two years. And they are still trying to figure out what form factor users like best. Microsoft's revolutionary Windows 8 operating system has been labeled as confusing and frustrating even though it offers the simple, touchscreen experience people said they wanted.

The PC is entering a new era. It is not dying. The keyboard and mouse are not fading away. While tablets are ideal for many purposes, I see the traditional PC remaining the most important computer in the home, school, and workplace for a long time to come.