Linked by snydeq on Tue 6th Jul 2010 15:19 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems InfoWorld's Neil McAllister offers 10 reasons why the PC is here to stay despite Steve Jobs' recent pronouncement that the iPad signals the end of the PC era. 'Depending on whom you ask, the iPad will save journalism, rescue the book publishing business, transform the movie industry, change the way we communicate, and make the perfect omelet. But there are plenty of reasons to suspect that at least some of these predictions will prove overly optimistic. Even more dubious is the idea that the iPad signals a true sea change in computing,' McAllister writes. Chief among the reasons the PC is not dead yet are desktops' comparative cost-effectiveness, the lack of versatility of mobile devices, the fact that desktop and mobile OSes don't mix, and limitations inherent to tablet devices' dependencies on the cloud.
Order by: Score:
power, available software and freedom
by nabil2199 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 16:52 UTC
nabil2199
Member since:
2010-03-31

I have 3 main issues with mobile devices such as the ipad:
1. Computing power: in the age of the i7, GPGPU and large quantities of RAM the ipad feels like an antiquity. (Also I'm a pc gamer)
2. I don't need a million twitter clients, I only need a few good ones what I do need however are utilities, servers, IDEs...
3. I don't want to pay to lend a device, I want to be able to do whatever I want with it if I want to. Who the hell is this steve jobs character to tell me what I should be able to do?

P.S. sorry for the broken english, I'm not a native speaker

Reply Score: 7

Offices too?
by ebasconp on Tue 6th Jul 2010 16:54 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Sorry, but I cannot imagine a corporate office with all employees working in their iPads instead of using their desktop boxes...

or I cannot imagine Internet being served through web servers running on iPad servers...

or I cannot imagine all developers in the world programming in such obnoxious virtual keyboards...

or movies being rendered in iPad farms....

or hospital servers or financial centers... or... I do not know...

come on Steve! Your iPad is an amazing product but would be nicer if you would keep your head in heaven, but your feet on the ground.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Offices too?
by beowuff on Tue 6th Jul 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "Offices too?"
beowuff Member since:
2006-07-26

I think you misunderstand...

PC = Personal Computer. That is not a server.

Most of your arguments are about replacing servers, which is not what Jobs was talking about.

Not that I agree with him, however. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Offices too?
by ebasconp on Tue 6th Jul 2010 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Offices too?"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Though you are right (sorry because the misunderstanding)...

the employees in a company DO use PCs and I think such computers will never be replaced by other kind of devices.

Edited 2010-07-06 17:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Offices too?
by BluenoseJake on Wed 7th Jul 2010 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Offices too?"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Not really much difference between an x86 server and an x86 pc, especially in the single socket category. Similar cpus(x86), similar ram (entry level servers use the same ram, ddr/2/3) same buses (pci, pci express), same nics.

The real differences is in management and software. Hardware wise, pretty much the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Offices too?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 6th Jul 2010 17:33 UTC in reply to "Offices too?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Webservers and intense movie quality rendering jobs are not typically done on desktops. They are usually rack mounted servers, using a different type of processor ( Xeon or opterons), using a different operating system ( RHEL, SUSE, Windows Server, ect).

Of the remaining reasons you listed, the only one tat stands out as a niche tablets won't tackle over is the developer one. Tablets can be docked to allow the use of a keyboard/mouse, but you'd probably want more screen real estate and horsepower as well. By the time you'd beefed up a tablet to do all of that, you could just put the dang thing in a box and call it a PC, because you wouldn't be using it as a tablet any more.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Offices too?
by ovigui on Tue 6th Jul 2010 19:31 UTC in reply to "Offices too?"
ovigui Member since:
2007-01-31

PC stands for Personal Computer.

All your examples are:
- workstations.
- render farms.
- servers.

If computers are relegated to those uses, that would mean the end of the PC era.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Offices too?
by ebasconp on Tue 6th Jul 2010 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Offices too?"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Calling PC to the computer that is on top of my desktop and calling "not-PC" to a computer with similar hardware (a lot of times older than the desktop's one) that is in a rack on a data center seems too artificial to me.

Anyway, interpreted in that way, Steve Jobs would be saying that the desktop metaphor with its applications is being rendered obsolete (though such metaphor is being used on servers with Windows, KDE, Gnome, Xfce or any GUI)... and it is far from reality as well.

Reply Score: 3

Not one or the other. BOTH!
by beowuff on Tue 6th Jul 2010 16:56 UTC
beowuff
Member since:
2006-07-26

Rather then a replacement for PCs, I see pad like devices as supplemental. If I'm sitting down to write a book, I'll do it in my office on a full keyboard and PC. If I'm checking email, I want to be able to do it anywhere. Replace? No. Both? YES PLEASE!

Reply Score: 8

End of an era != Gone forever.
by theTSF on Tue 6th Jul 2010 17:09 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

The PC Will relegate to where mainframes are today. Not dead, still strong and well supported. However no-longer the love child of the indrustry, just a work horse.

Many of these arguments are very similar to the ones used against PC vs mainframes.

However what happens is that it will PCs will shift from a device you need to have, to a device that you should have, to a Device that would be useful in these particular use cases. The PC will move away from general computing to more direct computing. And no longer needed by everyone just a select few who need the horsepower

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The PC will move away from general computing to more direct computing.


I think I know what General computing means, but not direct computing. That just sounds odd. Do you mean to say that tablets will be the thin clients, and desktops the servers for those clients? That would be an interesting take, one which Microsoft has advocated for a while.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Have you ever seen someone use an iPad? It would be fine for occasional browsing but not as a replacement for a laptop.

I think people take for granted the fact that a laptop screen can be easily adjusted to the proper angle. That and you don't have to cover the screen with your fingers when typing.

An iPad would be fine for browsing in bed or on the toilet but forget about them replacing laptops, especially when you can get a good W7 laptop for $300.

Edited 2010-07-07 03:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The PC Will relegate to where mainframes are today. Not dead, still strong and well supported. However no-longer the love child of the indrustry, just a work horse.


Hello? Wake up! PC is already the work horse of the industry. And the laptop is the PC these days. Stationary computers have moved into the realm of workstations and gaming machines.

And in PC vs mainframes there was one crucial point - price! Tablets are still more expensive than a lot of laptops and way more expensive than most stationary computers.

Reply Score: 2

iPad
by drcoldfoot on Tue 6th Jul 2010 17:37 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

There's one extremely fatal Flaw that the iPad posseses, that is nearly if not totally impossible to solve efficiently. It's called ergonomics. And in that alone, the iPad will NEVER replace the PC. The iPad is clearly not beneficial in comfort for typing. It is a cramped device in this area. There haven't been any research on it's long term usage when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Reply Score: 6

RE: iPad
by vivainio on Tue 6th Jul 2010 20:06 UTC in reply to "iPad"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

There's one extremely fatal Flaw that the iPad posseses, that is nearly if not totally impossible to solve efficiently.

Yes; Apple.

Reply Score: 5

Screw Steve Jobs...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 17:47 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

That's what he (a.k.a. Apple) wants everyone to believe, since they never really excelled in the market of general-purpose computers. They realized over the last decade or so that all of their devices that make them the most money barely even resemble general purpose computers (and certainly aren't general purpose), so in an attempt to get even *more* people to buy their crap, they try to convince people that their... uh... things, devices, whatever you want to call them, are the way forward. Sorry, but I'm not buying it. The idea *or* the iPad.

IMO, that's good for Apple that they're innovating and trying to find things they do better at, but it really annoys the hell out of me when Steve makes statements like that. Maybe he needs a brain transplant next so he'll stop being an ass.

Edited 2010-07-06 18:06 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Screw Steve Jobs...
by ssa2204 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 18:21 UTC in reply to "Screw Steve Jobs..."
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

What bugs me about Jobs is the throngs of half-wit journalists (and pseudo-journalists) that immediately jump on line to blog and report such news, as if it is based upon anything even remotely connected to reality. When a used car salesman tells us that the beat up and rusty Ford is a real steal at that price, who here actually believes him? Well, apparently the same people that repeat what Steve Jobs has to say as if it is the truth.

The iPad is a fad product, nothing more. It will do nothing to revolutionize. I agree with the sentiments express by so many when they say that after 3 months most iPads will be collecting dust in a corner. This is not revolutionizing computing, hell it is not even a freaking computer, but a toy. A toy OS thrown into a 9" iPhone (without the ability to make calls of course).

What really needs to be examined, and where so many so called journalist have failed, is an in-depth study into the fetish of the consumer to lap up whatever crazed fad product hits the shelves. Instead of seeing another lame article blabbering about the iPad, I would rather see studies of why the consumer today is so easily manipulated.

So yeah, screw Steve Jobs, and even more screw the morons that fall for this P.R. and the journalists who uncritically repeat what this twat has to say. But I guess a thanks to Neil McAllister is in order for pointing a few good reasons why this is such an idiotic assessment by Jobs.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Screw Steve Jobs...
by parrotjoe on Wed 7th Jul 2010 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Screw Steve Jobs..."
parrotjoe Member since:
2005-07-06

ssa, I agree that the iPad/tablets will not replace PC's. I also agree about the media lapping up whatever Jobs says. I don't blame Jobs - he has always been a pitchman.

But, I strongly disagree about the iPad being a fad and a toy. Companies and people have been trying to do something with tablets for a long time. It is finally good enough, so to speak. Except for (I suppose) some people who just surf, write short emails, twitter, check Facebook, etc., it won't replace anything. It is something different and will occupy a new niche. An iPad cannot do enough to be called a "PC", but it can do too much to call it a toy.

This made me think about netbooks. Everyone's talking about the death of netbooks. Well, things have slowed down and, at first, there were loud complaints about them too. I love my netbook and, as far as I can tell, I'll always want to have one. It comes in mighty handy. I think this is true of the iPad too. (And other tablets to come). Like netbooks, they have their shortcomings, but they do offer something to people.

A PC replacement though - no.

Edited 2010-07-07 17:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Screw Steve Jobs...
by vivainio on Tue 6th Jul 2010 20:16 UTC in reply to "Screw Steve Jobs..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

IMO, that's good for Apple that they're innovating and trying to find things they do better at, but it really annoys the hell out of me when Steve makes statements like that. Maybe he needs a brain transplant next so he'll stop being an ass.


Steve isn't being an ass when he's furthering the cause of Apple shareholders.

Rest of the industry is being an ass if they let Steve be the only one profiting from this, holding fingers in their ears and shouting "naah, naah, people don't want tablets", instead of striking back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Screw Steve Jobs...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Screw Steve Jobs..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Steve isn't being an ass when he's furthering the cause of Apple shareholders.

Rest of the industry is being an ass if they let Steve be the only one profiting from this, holding fingers in their ears and shouting "naah, naah, people don't want tablets", instead of striking back.

Oh, I'm sorry--correction--I guess I meant that he's "kissing his company's shareholders' asses while being an ass to everyone else." Some of their own customers and products included, considering the Mac is practically an Apple-blessed PC in disguise. But with an Apple logo and an EFI instead of BIOS, and no Windows by default.

There's always the "wait and see" approach; trying to be out ahead of everyone every second of the way isn't the only business method. You know, like Microsoft and Sony laughed at Nintendo's Wii and said "HD" is the future... and now, whaddaya know, they're both ripping Nintendo off and it's not even the "next" console generation yet. In some cases, it's a good idea to see how well something is going to work instead of scrambling to one-up another company on a potential fad/failure. The Wii, for example, could have been a massive flop--what good would ripping it off have done for competitors if it was a complete failure?

Apple is good at advertising... I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that that's the key point of the iPad's success, just like all their other products. A little bit of innovation, but mostly old ideas used in a new way, wrapped in some nice, shiny advertising. Oh, and a shiny paintjob (which makes me sick when used on electronics, as it is being done more and more these days).

Edited 2010-07-06 20:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

I have one and...
by cefarix on Tue 6th Jul 2010 19:19 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

... can't do anything with it. It feels like you are using a locked-down computer kiosk. Try typing a 3-page essay on my iPad? No thanks. What about organizing my documents? There isn't even a file manager/explorer! No USB ports to plugin external devices either. What am I supposed to do with it? I just bought it to develop some apps for it. It's useful as a portable, dynamic "notebook" (rather than a pen-and-paper one), but that's about it. In fact, it's less useful than an iPhone at the moment. So no, absolutely no danger of the iPad ever replacing my PC or my MacBook Pro.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I have one and...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 20:02 UTC in reply to "I have one and..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

... can't do anything with it. It feels like you are using a locked-down computer kiosk. Try typing a 3-page essay on my iPad? No thanks. What about organizing my documents? There isn't even a file manager/explorer! No USB ports to plugin external devices either. What am I supposed to do with it?

Well, if all else fails, you could use it as a paperweight or a nice shiny stand to put stuff on. Or buy a pack of those plastic clips they sell for bags of chips, clip it onto the iPad, and start using it as a glorified clipboard...

Then go back to a machine more capable of producing such an essay like, oh I don't know, maybe a PC.

They can try all they want, but there will always be situations where a mouse and keyboard prevail in usefulness. Touchscreens aren't for everything. And their locked down "computer device as an appliance" policy sure a hell aren't for everyone, either.

Edited 2010-07-06 20:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Forget it
by fretinator on Tue 6th Jul 2010 20:23 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

The abacus is here to stay!

Reply Score: 5

My reasons
by biffuz on Tue 6th Jul 2010 21:16 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

Here's why the iPad will never replace MY pc:
1) I want to choose which software to run, not being limited to someone else's choice.
2) I want to develop my own software and give it to anybody I like without being "approved" by someone (see point 1).
3) A netbook can do everything the iPad can, plus a lot of other things (see point 1 and 2), while having a similar portability and screen size but with a real keyboard. And half the price.
4) It costs too much for what it offers.

I can buy one, however, at the following conditions:
1) I find an idea for a killer app that makes me rich.

And anyway, I would like if more and more people switch to iPad and the likeness, becsause:
1) we will have less and less snotties pretending to be programmers and stealing work from serious programmers ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: My reasons
by WorknMan on Wed 7th Jul 2010 00:46 UTC in reply to "My reasons"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

3) A netbook can do everything the iPad can, plus a lot of other things (see point 1 and 2), while having a similar portability and screen size but with a real keyboard. And half the price.


The thing about the iPad (or even a smartphone) is that I can sit on the couch and surf the web or whatever, navigating the device with just one finger comfortably. Show me a netbook... ANY netbook that can do that. But I guess it's ok to have a netbook in your lap and trying to navigate with a sh!tty trackpad just as long as you didn't have to pay that much for it, right?

Look, I'm not a huge fan of iPads for the same reason that most of you aren't... but having had one in my possession for several days, I became a fan of tablets. I realize where they're useful and where they're not. While they can probably do 1/10th the things that most PCs can do, they still have their uses. Kind of like the difference between cars and bicycles.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My reasons
by leech on Wed 7th Jul 2010 01:23 UTC in reply to "RE: My reasons"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

"3) A netbook can do everything the iPad can, plus a lot of other things (see point 1 and 2), while having a similar portability and screen size but with a real keyboard. And half the price.


The thing about the iPad (or even a smartphone) is that I can sit on the couch and surf the web or whatever, navigating the device with just one finger comfortably. Show me a netbook... ANY netbook that can do that. But I guess it's ok to have a netbook in your lap and trying to navigate with a sh!tty trackpad just as long as you didn't have to pay that much for it, right?

Look, I'm not a huge fan of iPads for the same reason that most of you aren't... but having had one in my possession for several days, I became a fan of tablets. I realize where they're useful and where they're not. While they can probably do 1/10th the things that most PCs can do, they still have their uses. Kind of like the difference between cars and bicycles.
"

http://commercial.asus.com/product/detail/55

There ya go. It is even multitouch.

By the way this reply was handwritten on my old Fujitsu stylistic using Fedora 13 and cellwriter. Tablets are cool, but the iPad is just a toy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: My reasons
by biffuz on Wed 7th Jul 2010 11:16 UTC in reply to "RE: My reasons"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

The thing about the iPad (or even a smartphone) is that I can sit on the couch and surf the web or whatever, navigating the device with just one finger comfortably. Show me a netbook... ANY netbook that can do that. But I guess it's ok to have a netbook in your lap and trying to navigate with a sh!tty trackpad just as long as you didn't have to pay that much for it, right?


Right. I'm not a fan of touch screens - not the finger ones, at least, I prefer the pen. And a netbook sits on my lap much better than a tablet can ever do, I don't have to hold it with an hand or watch at it in that very unergonomic way.

There are netbooks with multitouch displays, if that's what you want, and even those are cheaper than the iPad.
For the tiny touchpad problem, yes it's a problem. They should put some better kind of controller: a trackball would be a very easy, cheap, and welcome solution. But currently I have no problem using the keyboard for most things (being grown up on the good ol' DOS days), the only annoying situation is to click links on web pages, this is something the browser developers should look into.

Reply Score: 1

I been thinking about the iPad
by gfacer on Tue 6th Jul 2010 21:50 UTC
gfacer
Member since:
2005-11-10

To start, I'm not a huge fan of the iPad....it's neat but not too cost effective from my personal consumer perpective.

But, when I look around my shop at all the binders of supplier info and the possibility of scanning everything and having it accessible on an iPad dedicated only for that purpose (hopefully!), there are definately niche applications that it might be useful for.

Reply Score: 1

These articles are funny
by reez on Tue 6th Jul 2010 23:01 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

IMO these articles are pretty funny. Seriously, who didn't know it. Apple is hyping like any other company would. Looks like there isn't anything interesting to write, hmm?

What comes next?
3D-TV won't replace usual TV?
Quantum cryptography won't replace usual cryptography?
The WWW won't become 3D?
Touch screens won't replace keyboard and mouse?
You won't control your computer with your mind or voice?
Cell or GPUs won't replace x86(_64) CPUs?

So not only history is repeating, news and articles are too. Guess I should do the same with comments like this *g*

Reply Score: 4

Like anything else overhyped
by deathshadow on Tue 6th Jul 2010 23:53 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

It's own hype will be the death of it... since we're all riding around on Segways.

It's funny though, I think the biggest thing that's going to kill it is the size -- the slightly smaller 7" android powered arm knockoffs coming out of china for $160USD or less, and the Atom powered Cisco Cius are a much more practical form factor -- I really think Apple aimed too high on form factor.

I mean, have you tried to use one? It's too big to hold in one hand while trying to type or navigate with the other, it's too big to go in a backpack without smooshing it.

The 7" ones are the size of a 150 page paperback... and seem more feature-rich on simple things that don't cost a damn like in-built cameras.

I really think that android + a 1ghz ARM + a REAL amount of RAM and Flash at a $300 price point would kick some serious ass; if they can do it with a 300mhz VIA ARM9 in the 7" form factor for under $80, at 600mhz VIA ARM9 for around $100, and 600MHZ Rockchip with a 550mhz DSP for $150, I don't see how a real 1ghz dual core ARM, a REAL amount of RAM and flash and maybe a durable case should double the street price.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Like anything else overhyped
by viton on Wed 7th Jul 2010 05:48 UTC in reply to "Like anything else overhyped"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

if they can do it with a 300mhz VIA ARM9 in the 7" form factor for under $80

They can sell these things for cheap, because they do not produce any software, use cheapest components regardless of quality. Apple use their own chips, provide unique well-designed software. That's adds to the value and price.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Like anything else overhyped
by saso on Wed 7th Jul 2010 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Like anything else overhyped"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

The reality is that most of Apple's appeal originates in its easy-to-use software stack, however the software landscape is changing really quickly. Ever since I got a new htc desire with android 2.1 with the sense ui, I believe android really is on-par with the latest iOS 4 in terms of features and quality, and even far surpasses it in many respects (not having to care about managing an app's lifecycle at all, true multitasking, software freedom, etc.).

The hardware side of the story is also taken care of. We have mature high-performance ARM CPUs, cheap RAM, great displays and companies capable of manufacturing all this into quality designs (quanta, asus, etc.).

If HTC, or some other sensible manufacturer, came out with a 7-9'' tabled device with decent hardware specs running android, I'd get one immediately. Let's hope that 2010/2011 will be the year of Linux on the tabled. :-)

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Let's hope that 2010/2011 will be the year of Linux on the tabled. :-)


Android wouldn't make it "year of Linux" - we'll talk Linux when we are dealing with actual Linux distributions gaining foothold (MeeGo, ChromeOS, Ubuntu). I.e. things that can run usual Linux stuff.

Android tablet would still be highly preferable over iPad, esp. if you can get it cheap (which seems to be the case).

Edited 2010-07-07 14:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

We'll talk Linux when we are dealing with actual Linux distributions gaining foothold (MeeGo, ChromeOS, Ubuntu). I.e. things that can run usual Linux stuff.

Which goes back to something I've been saying about *nix for a decade and a half... The 'usualy linux stuff' is PART of why you don't see widespread adoption of most distros.

Because as I've been saying since I first encountered a *nix deskop, the FIRST thing you need to do to make *nix useful to joe user is kick X11 implementations to the curb.

Apple realized it using their own graphics stack for OSX, Google realized it using framebuffer services directly instead, even some third party linix for small devices like Dingux realize it.

X11 has got to go... and a decent font renderer that can at least kern the same word the same way twice in a row wouldn't hurt things much either.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They can sell these things for cheap, because they do not produce any software, use cheapest components regardless of quality. Apple use their own chips, provide unique well-designed software. That's adds to the value and price.


I don't think software matters as much for this type of device since they are mostly used for web browsing.

A lot of people like myself could make use of one if it just had a browser and Flash.

Edited 2010-07-07 16:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Headrush
Member since:
2006-01-03

Obviously there is always going to be a need and a market for desktop PCs.

Do you honestly believe Steve Jobs is suggesting that an iPad is a replacement for all desktop PC purposes? NO. To continue to argue that is absolutely what he meant is just being silly so you can continue to do everyone's favour pastime; rip Apple.

This doesn't change the fact that huge portion of the population under use the power of their average desktop PC and that a tablet computer could easily satisfy the needs of a huge percentage of the home users. (Any tablet, not just iPads)

Reply Score: 2

robcj Member since:
2007-10-11

Agreed. Steve Jobs has pronounced the end of the personal computer era, not the end of the personal computer. Whether he's right or not, Steve Jobs has no desire to see the end of the personal computer. In fact, Mac sales increased 37% year-over-year in the last quarter despite the introduction of the iPad.

Personally, I think he's right. I use a MacBook Pro at the office. I stopped bringing it home each night after I bought an iPad. The iPad can't replace the MacBook Pro at the office but it serves all my computing needs at home.

The iPad and the rise of other mobile devices do signal a true sea change in computing. The personal computer is here to stay but it is no longer the dominant computing platform.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The personal computer is here to stay but it is no longer the dominant computing platform.


Maybe according to the tech press and Apple fans but here in reality mobile devices are a tiny blip when it comes to web statistics.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?...

Reply Score: 2

robcj Member since:
2007-10-11

You are correct. The personal computer is still the dominant platform. It was a poor choice of words on my part. What I meant was that the personal computer is no longer the only game in town.

Reply Score: 1

ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

This discussion reminds me another, not so recent one. Can netbooks replace PC's? The conclusion AFAIK was: yes, they can, if your tasks are 90%(TM) related to browsing the net and you have a spare PC to offload the remaining 10%. And netbooks, unlike iPad are pretty much standard PC's, capable of running real desktop applications. They limitations originated from the form factor and design tradeoffs (battery time vs. CPU speed, cost vs. memory/storage size).

The second matter is the publishers' and movie industry's sweet dream that a popular DRM'ed device can prolong their business model. Again, yes, it can, but not for long, this is a dying model anyway. It has nothing (or not much) to do with piracy (which DRM is unsuccessfully trying to eliminate). It's all about commodization of content, old films, old books, free content on the web etc. are plentiful. Publishers argue that a newspaper is better than a blog and a movie is better than Youtube, and again, they are usually right. Luckily for the rest of us, even worse alternative is still an alternative, especially if it so ubiquitous and cheap. In the end, people have only certain amount of free time, if they spend it reading/watching free content, they are not going to buy some of the "premium" one.

Where iPad could help is making online purchases more standard, easier and more convenient than before. Unfortunately it is merely following the model of Amazon's Kindle, which is exactly as proprietary, convenient and DRM'ed as iPad.

Reply Score: 3

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

You know most people don't care about the DRM that exists on devices like the iPad.

They don't care until it bites them. And this only happens when they buy a new device.

Oh no you can't access a local movie rental file and send a copy to your friends. As if anyone in the real world actually cares.

No, but when your iPad becomes obsolete and/or breaks and you buy the newest tablet-thingy and find out that you can't put any of the $500 of music you bought onto it, then you might care.

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


No, but when your iPad becomes obsolete and/or breaks and you buy the newest tablet-thingy and find out that you can't put any of the $500 of music you bought onto it, then you might care.


You can sync to a new device.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"
No, but when your iPad becomes obsolete and/or breaks and you buy the newest tablet-thingy and find out that you can't put any of the $500 of music you bought onto it, then you might care.


You can sync to a new device.
"

Not if that device is not made, or at least sanctioned, by Apple you can't. Bye bye movies, audiobooks, and any other drmed material you've bought from iTunes. Apple has made their intent clear on this, protected iTunes content can be played only on Apple devices or by iTunes on a computer.
Oh, and syncing to a new device requires... a general purpose computer! Yet another reason the iPad won't ever replace them even for home use, you at least need a computer to get material on or off the thing.

Reply Score: 3

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

You can sync to a new device.

Only if you expect to continue to buy only Apple devices for the rest of your life.

I expect Apple to be around for a long time, but 20 years from now, who knows? I really don't want to subject the things I paid for to that risk.

Reply Score: 2

The end of the PC Era as we know it
by REM2000 on Wed 7th Jul 2010 08:29 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

I think everyone knows that the PC whether it a mac or pc is not going anywhere soon. Larry Elison said the same thing 10 years ago with the net pc and that failed badly.

Perhaps ignore the comment on it's own and who it's from as there is a lot of marketing speak in it, but instead think of it as the PC Era as we know it. The iPad, iPhone / Android has shown that there is a market for limited scope devices, that the PC is a jack of all trades where as the iPad and similar devices are more fine tuned to a particular experience.

Now that's not a particularly profound and orginal statement, however when you look at other areas of home media / lifestyle computing you also see the rise of multimedia devices such as the Xbox360 and the PS3, in particular the PS3. These devices are consoles at heart, gaming devices. However the PS3 adds a lot of media options, streaming and storing, music & video. So again we are seeing more devices which are not as powerful as a PC but something which is targeted at a particular task and does it well.

Where does this leave the PC, desktop sales pale next to notebook / netbook sales, so where does this leave the desktop pc? I would say in not many homes but mostly relegated to the business world (im excluding high end use such as CAD, Video editing and image / publishing as they usually require the larger screens).

The desktop PC at this current rate is looking to become a niche, perhaps a throw back from users who grew up with a desktop and users who require large monitors. The other segment of course is gaming on the PC, however again the hardcore gamers could be considered a Niche, especially when you add casual gaming into the mix. My girlfriend plays the standard casual games like world of goo, braid etc, and these games are optimised for laptops, optimised for lower graphical processing power.

Back to the original question of if the PC is dead, as others have mentioned perhaps in the far future we might be more like star trek where devices like iPads are equipment with lower powered CPU's and all the information, media etc is processed and streamed to the iPad from the cloud. However at the moment PCs are here to stay, for there complex software which couldn't translate onto the iPad, for the storage of media and to act as a digital hub.

Reply Score: 2

Is the PC Era over?
by shotsman on Wed 7th Jul 2010 09:38 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Well, IMHO the answer is Almost.

If you think back to the evolution of another technology that we are all familiar with, the four wheeled personal transportation system most of us own. AKA, the Car.

In the beginning, they were very unreliable. To get around, you pretty well had to be an expert mechanic even thought they were pretty simple devices.
Then along came Henry Ford with the Model T.
In came the era of mass produced cars that sorta worked. They still broke down but were far more reliable than the previous generation.
After WW2 cars got bigger more comfortable and Automatic Gearboxes became the norm in North America.
In came the era of 'Take it to a mechanic to get it fixed.' Tinkering (apart from the real petrolheads (aka Car Geeks) was most certainly not the norm.

Fast forward to today.
How many people even dare look under the bonnet (sorry hood) to do anythnig except fill the screen washer bottle up.
Everything is co complicated that now we are in the era of the 'take it to the factory appointed dealer to fix'. Cars are appliances just like the Dishwaher & Microwave and TV.

IMHO, this mirrors what has and is happening with the PC market.
We are at that transition point the 'Take it to the factory dealer' stage. Where everything is so complicated there is no hope of joe public fixing anything.
I say this with a tinge of regret as once upon a time I used to fix PDP-11's down to Logic level with a datascope and the supplied schematics.(Cira 1977).

PC's are becomeing appliances. Sure some geeks can tinker with them.
Devices like the iPad won't replace the home PC YES. Possible not for a generation or two but for MOST people out there (An certainly not the OSNEWS readers) something like an iPAd with a home server that runs itself and can store all the gazillion piccies of little johhny growing up with ease and security that is buried away somewher at home in the basement or in the cupboard under the stairs or even in the Cloud, surely can't be that far away.
Do I regret this progress?
In some ways, is do. But there will be a space in the market for PC geeks like there is space in the Car market for kit builders and companies like Morgan etc.

The advent of usabled devices like the iPad is going to herald a mega change in how wthe average punter uses computers. Maybe not this year or next but the StarTrek communicator dream ain't that so far fetched is it?

In this little story, it takes a company like Apple to trigger this change in the way we perceive these devices. They may get swept aside by others who end up doing a better job with innovation but hey, that is life.
Personally, I take my hats off to the Apple designers. But maybe in 10 years, we may regard the iPad and other devices of its generation as antiques and/or toys.
That my fellow OSNews readers is progress & evolution.
Sometimes Evolution does go up a dead end. the tablet as we know it might be one. But hey, I'm looking forward to finding out.

Edited 2010-07-07 09:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Is the PC Era over?
by biffuz on Wed 7th Jul 2010 19:56 UTC in reply to "Is the PC Era over?"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Except for a little difference: tweaking a modern PC can be difficult, but nobody tells you that you can't try. With these closed appliances, we're moving to the direction of making it illegal. Because "there's no other reason to do this other than piracy".

This is what scares me the most.

Reply Score: 2

Clever strawman
by vivainio on Wed 7th Jul 2010 10:03 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Note how the discussion is continuously steered towards "iPad vs PC". That's a beneficial argument for Apple, because that's the one they will win; everyone that buys an iPad has a pc already, so no potential customer is going to even think about this issue.

The real question we should be having is: iPad vs. other tablets. That's the discussion that will not turn out to be so favorable towards Apple. If you are going on about PCs like a broken record, the rest of the world will view you as a reactionary idiot and keep buying iPads.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Clever strawman
by shotsman on Wed 7th Jul 2010 11:39 UTC in reply to "Clever strawman"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The following questios spring to mind:-

1) Will the adoption of a device like the iPad or something similar provide adequate computing power & usability for the majority of current PC users?
2) Is the iPad the be all & end all of such devices.
3) can a tablet type device on its own provide the computing experience for the majority of current PC users?

My answers.
1) Possibly. Hmm. Actualy for someone who only wants to browse, shop & email then yes it may very well do the job quite nicely.
2) Nope. It is a good first version solution though.
3) Nope. If you back it up with appropriate local or Cloud based computing horse power & file storage then actually it might be.

Therefore, for a large number of current PC users a locked down device like the iPad could replace their PC.
By no means, is the iPAd the last word in tablet type devices.
Let us ask the same questions in 2 or 3 years time. My guess is that many of us will be wondering what the fuss was all about as we have hugely powerful tablets that hook up to our 100in TV screens effortlessly etc etc etc.
It is not so much as PC vs iPat/tablet but recognising a paradyme shift from what for the IT needs of many people

Reply Score: 2

RE: Clever strawman
by drcoldfoot on Wed 7th Jul 2010 12:52 UTC in reply to "Clever strawman"
drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

Exactly, And Android is a very serious competitor.

Reply Score: 1

The really funny thing about this
by darknexus on Wed 7th Jul 2010 11:53 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

The iPad can never replace a general purpose computer in its present form for one major reason everyone seems to be forgetting: it relies on such computers to work! Think about it. The initial setup of the iPad requires iTunes on a computer. To get content over to the device that you've previously purchased requires a general purpose computer, since Apple were idiotic enough not to include standard USB ports or an SD card slot. To update the software or reload it again requires a computer.
Therefore, despite what Annoying Steve wants us to think, for now all iPad owners must also own a general purpose computer if they wish to make full use of their device. Got to love the irony of his statements though.

Reply Score: 6

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

exactly. That is probably coming in a future version of the iPad (And most other tablets as well).

The current iPad & other presently available tablets are the first of a new breed of appliance. Once upon a time, the PC was in the same position.
Lets see how things are in a couple of years with the 3rd generation devices.

Reply Score: 2

Off topic
by vodoomoth on Wed 7th Jul 2010 13:23 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

This is off topic, but I laughed when I read the "Bringing you the world in 11 words". May the terse 11-word one-liner could be called a "Steveku"? or better, a "stevieku"... sounds pleasant.

Reply Score: 1

iPad is a start...
by spinnekopje on Wed 7th Jul 2010 13:25 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Look at the iPad the same way you look at the first mobile phones. What did they say about the first pda's?

As far as I know the iPad is the first one that is really intended to use only with your fingers. It is not a pc with a touchscreen without keyboard like a lot of previous tablets. For me that is a very good sign for the future.

The pc won't completely disappear, but for home use it is possible that most people won't have one anymore in a number of years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: iPad is a start...
by vodoomoth on Wed 7th Jul 2010 15:42 UTC in reply to "iPad is a start..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


The pc won't completely disappear, but for home use it is possible that most people won't have one anymore in a number of years.

What do you call "home use"?

You mean playing the excellent 15 year-old Descent I using D1X-Rebirth? Or editing photos? How do you do that without a mouse or other pointing devices more precise than a finger? Or, ripping a CD from my collection into mp3 files I can listen to on my mp3 player? These are things the average user does. And I'm not even talking about things I do like coding, encoding videos.

If "home use" means browsing the web and reading emails or ebooks, then you're right. If it includes anything else, I don't see how people can avoid having a PC (or Mac for the matter).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: iPad is a start...
by spinnekopje on Wed 7th Jul 2010 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE: iPad is a start..."
spinnekopje Member since:
2008-11-29

You mean playing the excellent 15 year-old Descent I using D1X-Rebirth? Or editing photos? How do you do that without a mouse or other pointing devices more precise than a finger? Or, ripping a CD from my collection into mp3 files I can listen to on my mp3 player? These are things the average user does. And I'm not even talking about things I do like coding, encoding videos.


The average user only does very basic stuff with video/photo/audio. Maybe now the software that allows you to do so just by touches isn't available, which doesn't mean it won't in the future.

For more specialized features for photo/video you can still use a stylus, although I hope one never needs it for basic actions.

Games are more or less bound to the platform they are written for. For gamers there might become more powerful tablets just like it is now with pc's.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: iPad is a start...
by vodoomoth on Thu 8th Jul 2010 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: iPad is a start..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

The average user only does very basic stuff with video/photo/audio. Maybe now the software that allows you to do so just by touches isn't available, which doesn't mean it won't in the future.

So why say now that the PC is dying when these hypothetical future things are not even simple publicly known prototypes yet?


For more specialized features for photo/video you can still use a stylus, although I hope one never needs it for basic actions.

Are you aware that these devices are said to not support a stylus because they use a so-called "capacitive technology"? See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=858985 for instance.
Did you see the tip of such a stylus? How do you change the color of one pixel with that?

Games are more or less bound to the platform they are written for. For gamers there might become more powerful tablets just like it is now with pc's.

What do you call a platform? Descent I was written for MS-DOS with a DOS/4GW extender. I play it now on Vista with OpenGL. I could do the same on Linux or Mac if I wanted. Or on 7 if I had a PC running it. Or on PlayStation.
Even without this example, your point is moot:
Can you imagine any kind of gamer playing on any kind of super-powered tablet? What would be the size of that tablet when I am currently dreaming of playing games on a dual 22" widescreen set? How do you hold it? But foremost, what's the point of using a super tablet for that? Even "simple" pointing games like Nervous Brickdown or Meteos, which are a perfect fit for the Nintendo DS, wouldn't be that practical to play.

Reply Score: 1

PC "era" ended awhile ago
by google_ninja on Wed 7th Jul 2010 13:52 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Obviously, PCs aren't going anywhere. But there is also a measurable trend with people using them less and less in favor of more specialized devices, which do a much better job.

The article is typical of the uninformed, poorly thought out drivel that seems to dominate the tech media.

Reply Score: 2

Monitor & keyboard
by trenchsol on Fri 9th Jul 2010 07:49 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

I have 22" monitor and I think I could use even a bigger one. I need to have full size keyboard, too. That completely excludes anything like iPad, forever. I use notebook, as a compromise, when I need to be mobile.

iPad like devices may appeal to people whose computer experience starts and ends with Facebook, Youtube and email (web mail) reading. Their small size and weight might make them useful for some types of open terrain work, but they would need to become more robust for that purpose.

As a conclusion, I don't need, and I will, probably, never need anything like iPad.

Reply Score: 2

Simple test to see if the iPad is for you
by BLToday on Fri 9th Jul 2010 22:30 UTC
BLToday
Member since:
2010-07-09

are you on OSNEWS.com?

If yes, then iPad is not for you.

If no, then maybe.

My parents have never own a computer or even know how to use a word processor, but they can use the iPad for emailing their high school friends. That's the power of the iPad and other simple computing devices. It's not about delivering complete features and functions. It's just good enough for basic tasks.

Sure the PC won't go away, but many of its job will be taken over by much simpler devices. Probably soon, most people won't need to turn on a PC to check their email, instant message, or basic web surfing.

Reply Score: 1