Last week, IBM PC pioneer Mark Dean proclaimed the end of the PC era. Dean's comments seemed familiar--after all, Apple's Steve Jobs has been saying the exact same thing since the launch of the iPad 2.
I asked PCWorld readers to respond with their thoughts on the "end of the PC era," and quite a few of you did. The general consensus seems to be that you believe the PC is nowhere near dead--and, if anything, you agree with Microsoft's corporate communications chief Frank Shaw.
Shaw wrote his own blog post, in which he refers to the age of computing we have now entered as the “PC-plus” era.
Under Shaw's reasoning, our phones, tablets, and other computing devices have a symbiotic relationship with our PCs, rather than trying to replace them. Readers echoed many of Shaw’s points, and also brought up a few other key reasons as to why PCs will be around for the foreseeable future.
“I agree that it is more the ‘PC-plus’ era - a tablet is just another appliance.”
“If I can't do my CAD work on it, then it is of little use to me as I will always need another device and would prefer as few devices as possible. Get full-blown software packages to run on a tablet and I'll go all-in.”
“[Tablets are] great for on the go with its quick boot time, but lack major power and storage. Mine does add to my PC ... I can run yahoo and other apps so its not running on my PC, leaving my PC to do the hard work.”
“And as far as I am concerned, the tablet for factor may become the next evolution to the PC era by becoming a wireless/mobile PC. And that won't happen until one can freely run heterogeneous OSes and programs, just like on the existing PC of today.”
“Services are key, except for the power users.The likes of CAD users, graphic designers and gamers will still demand sheer grunt in their devices.”
“PC's will never go away. Think gaming and you'll see that truth. Too many games have trouble running on the current hardware that desktops can use.”
“Tablets may work fine for the average user most of the time. There will always be a need for more powerful desktop PC's. I can see tablets being a more effective extension of a desktop.”
Honestly, I agree with many of you -- the tablet will never be able to completely replace the PC, but it will likely replace the PC for many everyday tasks for the simple fact of its portability.
Even though I’m no longer actively soliciting your opinions, I invite you to continue the post-PC vs. PC-plus discussion in the comments below. Obviously, with the rise of tablets and other computing appliances, this is a subject that is going to be debated about by tech enthusiasts for years to come.