Linked by David Adams on Tue 31st Jan 2012 23:08 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless An article at The Next Web points out that the latest marketshare numbers put Apple at the top of "PC" makers, and that some PC makers that don't have any tablet momentum are calling foul. It's "controversial" to count tablets as PCs, they say. The article points out various justifications for not categorizing tablets as personal computers, and then shoots them down. I must say, I find the argument compelling.
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No,
by No it isnt on Wed 1st Feb 2012 00:40 UTC
No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

You can't program an iPad on an iPad. Wake me up when it can bootstrap its own OS, then we'll call it a PC.

Reply Score: 12

RE: No,
by frytvm on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:29 UTC in reply to "No,"
frytvm Member since:
2009-11-11

As a matter of curiosity, how mature is the space for programming on tablets [on any platform]? I don't know that tablets necessarily can't be good for programming, although input methods might certainly change.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No,
by Elv13 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:02 UTC in reply to "No,"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

There is nothing preventing you from doing it. It is built with GCC and GCC work fine on MacOSX and work fine on ARM. If you want to compile Darwin on an iPad, you can. You will just waste a lot of your time. Same for Android, but good luck booting it (it can be done, it have been done, but it is a waste of time).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No,
by No it isnt on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:58 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Wrong, there is something preventing you from doing it. Apple. You'll need to jailbreak it to program it, and then you might as well say a PS3 or a Wii is a PC.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: No,
by Beta on Wed 1st Feb 2012 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No,"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Wrong, there is something preventing you from doing it. Apple. You'll need to jailbreak it to program it, and then you might as well say a PS3 or a Wii is a PC.

To be pedantic, the PS3 is classed as a computer in the EU to avoid a sales tax… and before a firmware update, it could run a generic computing OS.

To follow the articles’ arguments about what makes a PC, a PS3 is a PC.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: No,
by No it isnt on Wed 1st Feb 2012 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No,"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

The PS3 was, potentially, a PC, before Sony broke it. Not all computers are PCs; if they were, they would simply be called computers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No,
by Hussein on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:44 UTC in reply to "No,"
Hussein Member since:
2008-11-22

Way to miss the point.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No,
by vasper on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:01 UTC in reply to "No,"
vasper Member since:
2005-07-22

In response to the first comment about programming:
Self hosting is not a prequisite for a PC!!! Personal Computing is a prequisite. Users do not program. They use. PCs are not made for use by a professional in computing. They are made for use by USERS. Thus the name Personal computer, not Professional Computer.

Edited 2012-02-01 10:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No,
by No it isnt on Wed 1st Feb 2012 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

The PC is a self-sufficient computer for single users.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No,
by ARUmar on Wed 1st Feb 2012 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
ARUmar Member since:
2009-10-08

imho the distinction of a device getting labelled a 'PC' has more to do with control than capability.AS is stands tablets are moar locked down than most computers ever are putting into question wheteher they deserve name PC.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No,
by TemporalBeing on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:22 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

In response to the first comment about programming:
Self hosting is not a prequisite for a PC!!! Personal Computing is a prequisite. Users do not program. They use. PCs are not made for use by a professional in computing. They are made for use by USERS. Thus the name Personal computer, not Professional Computer.


Personal Computer (PC) was coined to relate to the desktop computers as opposed to the central, behemoth mainframes and to differentiate between the multi-user environment of the mainframes (regardless of its implementation) and the 1:1 nature of the smaller desktop "PC" computers.

Both were made for USERS. But only one user (typically) had any say over the environment and programs of a PC, as opposed to the admin controlling the many users on the mainframe.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No,
by mrstep on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Exactly. Otherwise, only count as PCs the PCs that people use for development. Oh, wait, that's a lot less than the machines sold that could be used to develop.

There's nothing about a 'PC' that requires being able to develop on it, have a keyboard, a mouse, etc. - and the reality is that a small fraction of users ever go much beyond email and surfing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No,
by Deviate_X on Wed 1st Feb 2012 12:48 UTC in reply to "No,"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

A tablet is a PC if it can:

* Run the applications that PC's run
* Use a printer and basic lan networking
* All PCs have been able to load software

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No,
by TemporalBeing on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE: No,"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

A tablet is a PC if it can:

* Run the applications that PC's run
* Use a printer and basic lan networking
* All PCs have been able to load software


Then a Mac is not a PC since it can't run Linux or Windows based software. Likewise for Linux and Windows since they can't run Mac software.

That is a very broken definition.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No,
by fretinator on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No,"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Based on your definition my Android phone is a PC, except for your recursive definition of "running PC programs". Think about it. What a PC program - a program that runs on a PC. What's a PC - it runs PC programs. Nice!

Other than the circular reasoning above, my Phone prints to a network printer, can access files on the Lan, and I can load all kinds of programs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No,
by kristoph on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 04:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No,"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Agreed totally, phones are personal computing devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: No,
by mrstep on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No,"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Yep, the smartphone/PC lines will blur more as they add wireless connectivity to external screens and more cloud storage for sharing documents. Hmmm, come to think of it, that's already showing up. It's another PC that happens to have phone functionality, but it's certainly as functional as a desktop machine from not too many years ago.

The funny thing is that price certainly doesn't define PC either - there are desktop/laptop machines that cost less than smartphones, so it's not like that provides a guide either. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: No,
by TemporalBeing on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No,"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Based on your definition my Android phone is a PC, except for your recursive definition of "running PC programs". Think about it. What a PC program - a program that runs on a PC. What's a PC - it runs PC programs. Nice!

Other than the circular reasoning above, my Phone prints to a network printer, can access files on the Lan, and I can load all kinds of programs.


Define a "PC program"? Most would consider it a program that runs on Windows. Therefore a system running another OS is not a PC. That is, as both of us pointed out, a flawed definition of a PC or a "PC program".

Would I consider my N1 phone a PC? Not quite - mainly due to limitations of the form factor; but that doesn't mean I wouldn't consider another Android device a "PC" - an Android tablet would probably be fantastic, and I do plan on replacing my N1 with a tablet when the time comes, and having a keyboard to go with the tablet for when I want to do document editing and extensive typing - not possible with the N1.

So I think there are a lot of different factors that enable something to be a PC - in the sense that a PC is a personal computing device. My N1 is more of a personal communications device than a personal computing device.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No,
by kristoph on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:45 UTC in reply to "No,"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

That's just so lame. You can't program an Mac OS X app on Windows so it's not a .... something.

Reply Score: 2

Tablet's and AiO's
by fran on Wed 1st Feb 2012 00:44 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

The new touchscreen All in One (AiO) pc's does anyway look like oversized tablets.
History I know wil judge tablets as just another pc form factor.

Reply Score: 2

poor research
by TechGeek on Wed 1st Feb 2012 00:55 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I don't buy it and neither should you. The author of the linked article is either biased or just not very smart.

If you read the article on thenextweb, it has a reference link to another article from Nielson. While Nielson states that productivity apps are third in order of paid app groups. If you look further, they have a graph showing apps used in the past 30 days. On that graph, productivity apps are almost last. So while people may be buying these apps before others, they sure aren't using them. If they aren't using them, then what exactly are they doing with the tablet?

In order of usage: games, music, social networking, news/weather, maps/navigation, movies, entertainment, sports, then finally a few productive categories like communications, banking, and productivity. Sure seems to me that people are using tablets for almost entirely for consumption of services.

Reply Score: 6

RE: poor research
by atezun on Wed 1st Feb 2012 02:57 UTC in reply to "poor research"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

In order of usage: games, music, social networking, news/weather, maps/navigation, movies, entertainment, sports, then finally a few productive categories like communications, banking, and productivity. Sure seems to me that people are using tablets for almost entirely for consumption of services.


Since most of these are personal items this doesn't surprise me at all. I would guess most non-corporate desktop users have similar usage patterns. I have a copy of office on my home computer after all, I don't really need to use it that often though.

Edited 2012-02-01 02:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: poor research
by mrstep on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE: poor research"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

That's exactly right. Pointing at personal mobile devices spending less time editing spreadsheets is a meaningless metric - it's NOT at the office, it's a personal device. If people were spending as much time doing work on them as using them for personal things, I'd say there's something wrong in general.

I've edited diagrams, mind maps, and spreadsheets on my tablet, but I work from home and use it as an extra-convenient form factor laptop around town (like when there's no seating at a kids sports practice...).

Otherwise I'm working on my tower or Air - but that's no reason to consider the iPad less of a personal computer. Hell, it's probably more personal.

Reply Score: 1

RE: poor research
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:22 UTC in reply to "poor research"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

The first chart you cite where productivity ranks behind several categories (I wouldn't say "almost last" as it's 21% of all users versus much, much lower ranking categories) is PAID and FREE apps. Whereas the second chart shows only apps that people are willing to PAY for.

So your "point" is reduced to: people don't use productivity apps as much as free apps, but when they must pay for them (not a causation but a fair correlation to "productivity" — users are willing to appropriately invest in products that in turn earn them more money), productivity apps rank very highly.

Edited 2012-02-01 03:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: poor research
by TechGeek on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:48 UTC in reply to "RE: poor research"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Actually, I was looking at a different reference, but I think it may be older data. Still, its a bit hard to say that the tablet was designed for anything other than consumption based on what people are actually using. Maybe we weren't looking at the same graph?

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=28273

I should have added this to the first post. I just don't see the tablet as a productivity tool based on this data.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: poor research
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: poor research"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

No, we are looking at the same data. (Both charts are using the same measure: % of users who downloaded in the last 30 days. The sole difference is the first is all apps, paid and free, and the second is only the leading paid categories.)

As I said, saying that productivity apps, which are normally paid, don't compete well against the entire universe of apps including free ones doesn't tell me much. However, when it is the second most popular category for paid apps and has a high percentage of downloads among users when paying that tells me that it is being used for productivity.

Edited 2012-02-01 03:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: poor research
by TechGeek on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: poor research"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

No, we are looking at the same data. (Both charts are using the same measure: % of users who downloaded in the last 30 days. The sole difference is the first is all apps, paid and free, and the second is only the leading paid categories.)

As I said, saying that productivity apps, which are normally paid, don't compete well against the entire universe of apps including free ones doesn't tell me much. However, when it is the second most popular category for paid apps and has a high percentage of downloads among users when paying that tells me that it is being used for productivity.


All the second chart shows is that for paid apps, they are almost just as likely to buy any other category as they are to buy productivity. The first chart shows total downloads, both paid and free. I assert that overall downloads shows average usage, which is primarily consuming content. Now you can always argue that downloads don't infer usage, but then you have to throw out all the data since its based on downloads. You have no idea what portion of the people in the first chart were paying for the app.

EDIT: cut and paste error into jumbled mess

Edited 2012-02-01 04:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: poor research
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: poor research"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"All the second chart shows is that for paid apps, they are almost just as likely to buy any other category as they are to buy productivity."

How is that an "all the chart shows" type of situation?

YES, users are just as likely to buy productivity as any other category (of 6 displayed, and whereby "just as likely" means 4% greater than the average of these top 6 categories, which are within a range of 23%).

Which is, I believe, the point. Which is in contrast to the notion that "they're only good for consuming media." (Is anyone trying to argue that the majority, or even vast majority, of usage must directly be tied to productivity rather than personal enjoyment? Because if so, we are quickly disqualifying the majority of PCs as PCs!)

As for your argument that downloading+paying is more correlative to usage than just paying and/or that is the only inference to be made, I would simply have to disagree. While it is true that we can't accurately assess "usage" from this data, I do know that games more often get used for a short time and then are abandoned for the next one — at least in comparison to productivity apps. I also know that apps you are willing to pay for, more often get used whereas apps that are free may just be test drives or whim. Do I have empirical numbers? No, but I also don't put much weight into the numbers that I do have except relative to other samplings by the same method over time and in conversation with other sources of data and applied through my own knowledge and rational filters. So, I also disagree with your final point, that I have to throw out all the data if I want to make inferences beyond what is being measured (downloads). I see the data for what it is, and I can infer beyond the numbers with anecdote, intellect, knowledge, and other data.

Edited 2012-02-01 05:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: poor research
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st Feb 2012 05:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: poor research"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Also...

"You have no idea what portion of the people in the first chart were paying for the app."

I have a VERY STRONG IDEA that a large majority of them are not paid if Productivity jumps from 13th place with 21% to 2nd place at 87%.

Reply Score: 1

Android Tablets are PC's
by Lorin on Wed 1st Feb 2012 02:53 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Tablets based on Android are certainly PC's while the IOS tablets are, well something far less than PC's. So apple was half right.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Android Tablets are PC's
by atezun on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:01 UTC in reply to "Android Tablets are PC's"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple tablets aren't true Scottish tablets.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Android Tablets are PC's
by unclefester on Wed 1st Feb 2012 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Android Tablets are PC's"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Aye. In Scotland Macintosh is a surname not a variety of apple.

Reply Score: 2

Acording to wikipedia
by Poseidon on Wed 1st Feb 2012 02:54 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

"A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator. In contrast, the batch processing or time-sharing models allowed larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time. Large data processing systems require a full-time staff to operate efficiently.

Software applications for personal computers include, but are not limited to, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, Web browsers and e-mail clients, digital media playback, games, and myriad personal productivity and special-purpose software applications. Modern personal computers often have connections to the Internet, allowing access to the World Wide Web and a wide range of other resources. Personal computers may be connected to a local area network (LAN), either by a cable or a wireless connection. A personal computer may be a desktop computer or a laptop, tablet, or a handheld PC."

Sounds to me that even the iPod Touch is a PC. -_-

Reply Score: 5

RE: Acording to wikipedia
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:05 UTC in reply to "Acording to wikipedia"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Hmm... I've actually written software for the iPod Touch to allow it to be used simultaneously by multiple people to process data.

So,its a mainframe, obviously.

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Acording to wikipedia
by BluenoseJake on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Acording to wikipedia"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Does that mean if I wrote or installed a fart app, my ipad would be an rectum? Good Gods the humanity!

Edited 2012-02-01 03:42 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Acording to wikipedia
by dusanyu on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Acording to wikipedia"
dusanyu Member since:
2006-01-21

no it would be an iPood

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Acording to wikipedia
by krreagan on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Acording to wikipedia"
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

It's more powerful then the mainframe I grew up on that's for sure!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Acording to wikipedia
by kristoph on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:49 UTC in reply to "Acording to wikipedia"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Sounds to me that even the iPod Touch is a PC. -_-


Exactly. Eventually the distinction between a PC, a tablet and a phone will disappear. Their all, essentially, computing devices of different form factors.

Reply Score: 2

As usual, I don't know sh*t...
by gan17 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 03:29 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

Guess it's just a matter of perspective and what you ask from your "computer". If all I did was browse the web, simple banking, media consumption and pr0n, then I could label a tablet as a personal computer. Thing is, I can do the same with my smartphone.

I suppose tablets are more "PC" than smartphones in a sense, especially in the case of the iPad with the vast array of professional-esque apps made for it. I mean, I was in a club the other night and a DJ friend who used to have his laptop connected to the mixer and virtual-decks (like vinyl decks, except they're playing digital files streamed from the laptop) is now using his iPad to perform the exact same things his laptop previously did. I suppose in a few years once SoCs get more powerful, we might even see Adobe release their own "Creative Suite Tablet" or something.

Then again, I can't exactly do any proper editing or have a tiling WM running on a tablet, so......

Reply Score: 4

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"If all I did was browse the web, simple banking, media consumption and pr0n, then I could label a tablet as a personal computer."

Well, more simply: do you say that all PCS that are only used for these tasks are disqualified from being PCs?

Reply Score: 3

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

You might want to read my comment title before wasting time on me. I'm a lost cause in most cases ;)

I wasn't exactly implying that. I just can't explain it any more eloquently due to lack of cranium.

As far as most people are concerned, PC = Personal Computer (Power PC owners please forgive me here), so whatever works for you "personally" would be a PC, I guess.

Yes, a calculator is considered a PC if you're a loan-shark. Flawed logic ftw!!

Reply Score: 1

PCs vs other computing devices
by AnyOneOrEvery1 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:15 UTC
AnyOneOrEvery1
Member since:
2011-02-11

"A personal computer is a computing device that's designed for one person to use, rather than, for example, a server that's intended for many people to access simultaneously. It can run many operating systems, have many form factors, and even be used for very narrow purposes. Get used to it."

Based on above quotes: tell me if my simple (some more sophisticated) humble calculator a PC ?

Reply Score: 1

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

based on that definition, many refrigerators are computers as well as most cars and my roku box.

Reply Score: 4

Multiple Meanings
by zztaz on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:30 UTC
zztaz
Member since:
2006-09-16

"Personal Computer" can have the broad meaning suggested by the literal meaning of the words. There are two parts. "Computer" in this instance means "general purpose computer", or a computer which the user can tailor to different tasks by installing and running different programs. "Personal" means intended for use by a single person.

The other common use of "PC" started as shorthand for "IBM PC Compatible", but has come to mean "systems running Microsoft Windows", sometimes including servers.

It's clear to me that tablets fall into the category of "general purpose computers intended for use by a single user." There's nothing in that first, and original, meaning of PC that requires all PCs to be interchangeable. The Apple II and the Tandy TRS-80 were both personal computers.

It's also clear that people who think "PC" means "Windows" will not accept tablets as PCs. Ignore them; they can't see the forest for the trees. "Personal Computer" isn't about form factor, operating system, or instruction set. We have other terms to describe those characteristics. The market has moved beyond the Windows PC definition, just as workstation and minicomputer are no longer useful descriptions.

Cell phones raise an interesting question. On one hand, smart phones are general purpose computers aimed at single users. On the other hand, general purpose computing may not be their primary purpose. If computing is secondary to communications, is it misleading to call the device a computer? It's been a long time since I saw a car that didn't come with and audio system, but I wouldn't call a car a portable music player. It's portable, it plays music, but that's not its primary purpose.

Reply Score: 2

a tablet is just a big iPod.
by unclefester on Wed 1st Feb 2012 04:51 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Since when has an oversized iPod touch been a PC? Sheesh.

Edited 2012-02-01 04:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

When users began using them as much as or more than what had previously been conceived as a "personal computer" whether for business or personal pleasure, whether for production or for consumption.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The only activities I ever see occurring on tablets is emailing and media use.

Reply Score: 3

krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

I have personal finance spreadsheet that I now use strictly on my iPad. I've had it for about 15 years now tracking everything from budgets to 401K's, SEP IRA's, Roth IRA's as well as my kids 529's. It started out on a Windows 95 box then moved to a linux, FreeBSD, (G3) iMac, (Intel) iMac and now on to my iPad. This sure sounds and feels like a "personal" computer to me. My kids use it to do school research papers... There is almost nothing that we do on the iMac that we cannot also do on the iPad.

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

You must be the only true Scotsman.

So running a 15yo spreadsheet is a typical iPad activity? /sarc.

Reply Score: 2

krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

What I was trying to imply is that tasks that use to be done on PCs are now being done on iPads. This supports the idea that tablets are indeed PCs

Reply Score: 1

RE: a tablet is just a big iPod.
by mrstep on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 22:36 UTC in reply to "a tablet is just a big iPod."
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Since when is something you use in an office considered 'personal'. ;)

Reply Score: 1

humans vs zombi
by vtolkov on Wed 1st Feb 2012 05:38 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

This is a discussion about words. Personal Computer is obviously an old term without clear definition now. There are desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets, phones and tv-boxes. All of them are clear. But what PC is? I think it is a big box with two floppy drives and CRT-monitor on top with IBM PC engraved on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: humans vs zombi
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st Feb 2012 05:45 UTC in reply to "humans vs zombi"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Well, no. You can choose to make it an argument about words if you'd like. I don't people think that's an interesting or long conversation worth much attention, but you can begin and end the conversation there for yourself if you'd like. But you'd be wrong.

Others are asking and arguing about whether or not we have a new type of computing usage scenario (or maybe more of the same? or something that's a half-measure, not as good as what we used to have?) which is equal to or comparable to an old one, what the appropriate factors are for making that judgement (feature set, computational power, usage time, usage type, cost/profit, etc.), and what ways these factors make one form factor better, worse, the same, comparable, or completely different from another one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: humans vs zombi
by vtolkov on Wed 1st Feb 2012 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE: humans vs zombi"
vtolkov Member since:
2006-07-26

Obviously there are new scenarios. My daughter use her iPad to listen music when doing homework on her desktop. My new usage scenario is to read email and ebooks half-lying on a chair. Obviously I could not do that with my 27" desktop. And it is super-convenient to use it during long flight to watch movies and read. Standard laptop does not fit between economy class rows, but iPad fits perfectly. And if think about it, there is a lot of different scenarios how tablet can COMPLEMENT desktops and phones.

Reply Score: 4

MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

Even though a tablet would meet the definition of a general purpose computer, certain vendors place so many restrictions upon them that they are best thought of as appliances.

As for the PC bit, well, they do everything that most people would expect them to. So I guess they qualify for that honour.

Reply Score: 3

A computing device is a computer, HOWEVER
by cjosc99 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 05:50 UTC
cjosc99
Member since:
2011-07-13

Yes, you are 100% right. A computing device is a computer and by definition a simple calculator is a computer because it has the ability to compute. I have four Android devices at home and an ipod and I can tell you one thing. A tablet is not a Lop-top, is not a notebook and most definitely it is not a Desktop. Make no mistake.

Reply Score: 1

More like smartphones
by kolmyo on Wed 1st Feb 2012 06:23 UTC
kolmyo
Member since:
2005-07-11

Tablets are not PC's, they are huge fucking phones you cannot call with.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 07:07 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

What I hear from people that have bought an iPad is that they use their PC less. If they have a laptop they often stop using it. I now rarely use my laptop.

Wether a tablet is a PC or not is debatable, but I'm convinced it can certainly perform tasks in a more convenient way than desktops/laptops do.

In part it is a complement to desktops/laptops, but in certain areas it's also a replacement.

Personally I wouldn't call a tablet a PC, I would call it a computer.

Reply Score: 2

I don't agree
by spiderman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 08:00 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

Tablet PCs are PC, yes, but the iPad is a terminal that connects to the cloud.
A game console is not PC, a TV is not a PC and the iPad is not a PC. They are appliances.
The iPad doesn't do computing locally. It requires a server to be useful. You have to connect to the app store and rent applications to Apple. Apple can delete them from your tablet at any time. There is indeed some computing power inside but it's not personal at all.
Tablet PCs running Windows or GNU are PCs. The N900 may be a PC but not the iPad.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I don't agree
by deathshadow on Wed 1st Feb 2012 08:14 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

I want to disagree with this viewpoint, but I can't... because you're right. Thanks to Apple's business model it's silly to list it as a PC because so far as they are concerned you don't own ANY of the software, and are for all intents and purposes RENTING every aspect of device functionality that they can change at any time. It's the pinnacle of what Apple has been trying to do since the end of the 80's -- convert to a business model of "Their way or the highway"... the bleeding edge of vendor lock in and monopolistic practices.

People bitch about the Microsoft monopoly on things EVERYONE is allowed to do just because they're in first place -- while Apple can run the biggest nastiest ugliest monopolistic practices and get away with it.

So yes, Apple's small form factor devices -- pad or pod, are NOT PC's no matter what's in them for hardware due to their business model treating them as a consumer level media appliance, instead of a general purpose computing device.

Edited 2012-02-01 08:14 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: I don't agree
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:12 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I have apps installed on my iPad that were pulled from the app store. They still work, they are still in iTunes, I can still install them on my iPhone and funny enough re-install them from the cloud*.

And of course an iPad does local computing. It is less useful without Internet connectivity, but these days all computers/devices are less useful when off-line. When my iPad isn't connected I can still play games, read books, use Pages/Numbers, access my address book and calendar, etc...

* this was possible when this feature was introduced, not sure if that's still possible as I have never had to re-install such an app.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't agree
by skingers6894 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:19 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10

Tablet PCs are PC, yes, but the iPad is a terminal that connects to the cloud.
...
The iPad doesn't do computing locally...



I'm not sure what it's doing when it's in "Airplane Mode" then, must be a terminal for the clouds outside the window as it sure as hell can't reach the ones in data centres...

Reply Score: 2

curio
Member since:
2010-05-03

Any proprietary locked-down hardware, running proprietary locked-down software are CAs (Computing Appliances). That Apple's CAs are further restricted within a totally controlled ecosystem for OS function extensibility just serves to make them even more so.

Apple's iPads, iPods, iPhones and Apple TVs (and in the coming future their Laptops and desktops/servers too) have more in common with the WebTV/AOL platforms from the late 90's and their like than they do with PCs. In fact Apple's original plan for iDevices only having web-apps was even closer to the WebTV/AOL device model. WebTV/Aol's extensibility beyond their own basic internet based offerings was third party web-apps(early cloud computing). Many games and utilities, including office functionality were created on-line specifically for WebTV/AOL users.

Back to non emotional, common sense, conventional computing classifications.

Servers/Mainframes--general purpose computers-PC
Desktops--general purpose computers-PC
Laptops--general purpose computers-PC
Netbooks--general purpose computers-PC
Cloudbooks--primarily computing appliances-CA
Tablets/Slates/iPad--computing appliances-CA
Set-top Boxes--computing appliances-CA
SmartPhones/iPhones--computing appliances-CA
MP3 Players/iPod-iPod touch (PMDs)--computing appliances-CA

Everything else, from including your digital watch to microwave ovens etc.. are Computing Appliances.

The fact that some of these CAs (Computing Appliances) can be Rooted or Jail-broken to re-purpose them more toward general purpose computers (PCs) doesn't negate the fact that they are sold as CAs. So even CAs running Open Source software are effectively proprietary by their locked boot-loaders/signed binaries and other restrictive means.

There's evidence that Microsoft, too is looking to move its base to the Computing Appliance (CA) model. Requiring locked-down boot-loaders for Windows 8's motherboards and their own restrictive Apps/Software store.
So, the real thing to consider is not whether Tablets are PCs, but whether consumer level PCs will even exist in five years.

Articles of this type are yet little more than lawyer-esque pettifogging from this and other Apple/Name your favorite platform cheerleaders to reach pre-desired statistical outcomes regardless of the formerly common sense based classifications of what PCs are, which I've outlined fairly concisely (above).

Edited 2012-02-01 08:25 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Why does it matter anyway?
by MORB on Wed 1st Feb 2012 09:10 UTC
MORB
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who cares? Are tablet somehow diminished when we don't call them PC? Are they improved when we do?

I don't see the point of being overly pedantic and technical and pointing out that anything with a microprocessor actually counts as a personal computer.
If you take "PC" literally, then tablets, phones, gaming consoles, and probably even your microwave oven all count as PCs.

And now you have to come up with a new word to specifically describe the ones that are a box on your desk. So why not just keep calling things the same way people always did?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why does it matter anyway?
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:16 UTC in reply to "Why does it matter anyway?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It matters to people who don't want Apple to be rated the #1 PC selling company, overtaking Hewlett-Packard.

They are #1 if you count the iPad as a PC, they aren't if you don't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why does it matter anyway?
by MORB on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Why does it matter anyway?"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

Corporations will always present facts in the way that makes them look better, it's nothing new, nothing that can be changed and nothing that most people should really care about.

I don't give a flying crap about the industry's dick waving contest myself, but that's just me.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I don't think it's the companies that are debating this, it's mostly us.

Myself, I don't care if a tablet is a PC or not. As we can read in the comments it's not easy to say what makes a device a PC or not.

If you try to come up with a definition suddenly stuff you consider a PC isn't one, but if you try to include it other device also become PCs even though most people won't agree.

A PC needs to have a CPU, but most devices have one. Does it need to be above a certain speed? That doesn't work either, the first IBM PC had an 8 bit CPU running at 4.77M Mhz. A lot of stuff that aren't PC have CPUs that run faster than that.

Standard PCs, laptops, they leave no doubt. It's these tablets, iPod touch, PocketPCs, touchscreen thingies, game consoles, etc... that create a giant grey area.

They all use the same components (kind of), but it's how the manufacturer shapes them in to a final product when we assign a definition to it.

Reply Score: 2

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Those people should perhaps get a life, unless of course they're stockholders or employees of either company. It's as pedantic and annoying as that other ongoing naming controversy we're all quite familiar with via RMS.

Whether or not Tablets are or are not "PC"s they're still little more than toy media consumption devices compared to a proper desktop/laptop formfactor.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They are #1 if you count the iPad as a PC, they aren't if you don't.


Funny how this entire debate can be accurately summed up like that in one sentence ;) .

Reply Score: 1

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I think this sentence will make an appearance at the next Apple keynote. At least Steve liked to juggle the figures to paint a pretty picture, perhaps Tim does too.

Reply Score: 2

krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

Funny how the dividing line is not really about calling a tablet a PC, but on who likes or dislikes Apple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why does it matter anyway?
by TechGeek on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Why does it matter anyway?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

The entire problem with the article is that its lopsided. We question whether or not to count iPads as PCs. But what about iPhones and Touches. They run the same iOS and the same software. Why should they be left out. And if you include them, then all android devices should be counted as well. You shouldn't be picking and choosing products to manipulate the data and the outcome.

Reply Score: 4

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

They got excluded based on size I guess, which would ask the question when is big big enough and when is small too small.

I have an Atari Portfolio and a Psion 3a. Both regarded to be palmtop computers, much smaller than an iPad, but screen wise not to different to some Android phones. Just like my Nokia 9500 and E90, both fold open and have keyboards.

If it was up to me I'd just call tablets what they are: tablet computers. If it fits in your pocket and you can make calls with it I'd call it a (smart) phone. Not too sure what I'd call an iPod touch.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Er, so they matter to people who desperately want Apple to be #1, including the author of the article.

Reply Score: 3

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, probably, but I doubt Apple will sell more stuff if they start saying they are number one.

HP used to be #1 or still is depending how you count, but that didn't seem to help much. They even were about to spin off their PC branch.

I once read an article in which the writer claimed that the number of Linux users was much greater than <1%, because a lot of stuff like VCRs have Linux embedded.

Well, I don't consider myself a Linux user if my VCR is powered by it. I had one which could be upgraded by inserting a cd with firmware, so I suspect I may have been running Linux, but I wasn't sure.

I do consider a tablet a computer. It has a lot of limitations compared to a desktop or laptop, but it does a number of things pretty well and its form factor and battery life makes it very convenient to have it around and use it where you like.

To say who is #1 I'd split it up, #1 desktop seller, #1 laptop seller, #1 tablet seller, etc... You can add it all up and say who sold the most stuff, but I don't think you should include tablets when counting PCs.

Reply Score: 2

nope
by Mellin on Wed 1st Feb 2012 09:37 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

come back when you can install linux or windows on it or dualboot or reinstall the os without itunes on a computer

Edited 2012-02-01 09:42 UTC

Reply Score: 7

computing
by l3v1 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 10:50 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Broadly speaking: computing, media, and communication. The same things people want any computing device for.


I have yet to meet anyone who seriously would use or want to use a tablet for computing.

Well, of course it depends on what you mean by computing, I never bought into newspeak and I won't start now.

Reply Score: 3

Future Shock
by Tony Swash on Wed 1st Feb 2012 11:25 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

This blog post from the days immediately after the release of the iPad was extraordinary prescient

http://speirs.org/blog/2010/1/29/future-shock.html

The old terminology of the desktop PC days is an inadequate way to describe the modern experience of multiple types of computing devices.

When in the late 1970s computers escaped the tiny world of mini and mainframe computers which were big boxes filling rooms and owned by corporations and institutions, they became the Personal Computer. PCs were small, they sat on (or under) desktops, they had a screen and a keyboard and sometimes a mouse, but above all they were personal, individuals could to own and operate them. PCs defined what computing was about for the mass of people. Eventually the technology allowed the power of the desktop PC to be delivered inside a folding laptop computer which still had a screen, physical keyboard and often a mouse. Laptops were included in the generic 'PC' category. When computing devices were all 'PCs' Windows was the dominant operating system of computing devices with somewhere in the region of 90-95% of the installed base.

Then it got a bit more confusing. The technology kept getting better and smaller and eventually you could squeeze the power of a PC into something small enough to fit into your pocket. Such devices often came with a phone connection installed (but sometimes they didn't as with the iPod Touch for example) and so this category tends to get called 'smart phones'. Then tablet computers arrived and with the launch of the iPad actually began to sell in considerable numbers, and these devices were differentiated from the 'smart phones' not through their operating systems (which in cases such as the iPhone and iPad are more or less identical) but because they are too big to fit in a pocket.

There are many who argue that tablets and smart phones are not real computers even though they all have a CPU, graphics chips, system memory, bulk storage, a display, an operating system, and application software - and they all accept user input, whether by touchscreen or a Bluetooth keyboard. Mostly this is because computers have meant PC for so long that to see a computing device that is not a PC is disorientating for some.

In a very short space of time the number of non-PC computing devices has increased at a pace much faster than even the very rapid growth shown by PCs in it's early days. Non-PC computing devices now sell in their hundreds of millions and the numbers sold and installed will almost certainly continue to grow for a quite a long time to come. Already there are more non-PC computing devices than there are PC computing devices and PCs are a minority computing devices and will become a small minority of computing devices over time, probably over a fairly short period of time. PCs are now just another computing device amongst many and are not the main focus of the development of computing devices or computer related technology.

One consequence of the rise of of the non-PC computing device is that Windows went from being 90% of the operating system of computing devices to less than 50% in just four years. Which is pretty amazing.

Like PCs in relation to mini computers the new tablet devices will prove to be more powerful and colonise more functions traditionally done by PC than many PC fans expect and, crucially, unlock new and unexpected usuage scenarios and functions.

See this

http://twitpic.com/87bt3s

as well as this beautifully done animation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8h-C6u4yLj4

Very soon Windows will be the operating system on only a small minority of computing devices.

The largest maker of computing devices is now Apple.

Times have changed and changed very fast.

How exciting is that!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Future Shock
by spiderman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 11:59 UTC in reply to "Future Shock"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

You would have a point if you didn't ignore the major part of history. There was and is the S40, Symbian, TRON and more operating systems that surpassed Windows a decade ago or so.
But when it's Apple it's different. Nothing changed actually. Appliances are still appliances and PCs are still PCs and appliances are still more popular than Pcs. What has changed is that Apple is trying to redefine terms to look more important. This is not new. A few years back they told us laptops are mobile devices and they were the biggest mobile company. Today they tell us tablets are PCs. Same old trick.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Future Shock
by Tony Swash on Wed 1st Feb 2012 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Future Shock"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

You would have a point if you didn't ignore the major part of history. There was and is the S40, Symbian, TRON and more operating systems that surpassed Windows a decade ago or so.
But when it's Apple it's different. Nothing changed actually. Appliances are still appliances and PCs are still PCs and appliances are still more popular than Pcs. What has changed is that Apple is trying to redefine terms to look more important. This is not new. A few years back they told us laptops are mobile devices and they were the biggest mobile company. Today they tell us tablets are PCs. Same old trick.


All I see is someone clinging onto the certainties of yesterday and trying very hard to say nothing has changed, and certainly Apple have not changed anything.

The endless attempt to carve up computing devices into categories - 'some over here are PCs and are better for work (whatever that is) and matter more than these devices over here which are less important and are just for consumption (whatever that is) - reminds me of some cloistered clerics in the 16th century arguing about how many angels you can get on a pin head whilst outside the Reformation rages and is about to sweep their cosy world away.

Forget technical specs, forget the old categories of kit and focus on people. What sort of devices do people find useful, how do those devices help them or hinder them. The new devices have some amazing features (GPS, built in compass, accelerometer) which are already unlocking amazing new ways to get devices to help us do stuff.

To quote Fraser Speirs' blog post from the days just after the launch of the original iPad:

Ask yourself this: in what other walk of life do grown adults depend on other people to help them buy something?

I'm often saddened by the infantilising effect of high technology on adults. From being in control of their world, they're thrust back to a childish, mediaeval world in which gremlins appear to torment them and disappear at will and against which magic, spells, and the local witch doctor are their only refuges.

With the iPhone OS as incarnated in the iPad, Apple proposes to do something about this, and I mean really do something about it instead of just talking about doing something about it, and the world is going mental.
Not the entire world, though. The people whose backs have been broken under the weight of technological complexity and failure immediately understand what's happening here.

The visigoths are at the gate of the city. They're demanding access to software. they're demanding to be in control of their own experience of information. They may not like our high art and culture, they may be really into OpenGL boob-jiggling apps and they may not always share our sense of aesthetics, but they are the people we have claimed to serve for 30 years whilst screwing them over in innumerable ways. There are also many, many more of them than us.

People talk about Steve Jobs' reality distortion field, and I don't disagree that the man has a quasi-hypnotic ability to convince. There's another reality distortion field at work, though, and everyone that makes a living from the tech industry is within its tractor-beam. That RDF tells us that computers are awesome, they work great and only those too stupid to live can't work them.

The tech industry will be in paroxysms of future shock for some time to come. Many will cling to their January-26th notions of what it takes to get "real work" done; cling to the idea that the computer-based part of it is the "real work".

It's not. The Real Work is not formatting the margins, installing the printer driver, uploading the document, finishing the PowerPoint slides, running the software update or reinstalling the OS.

The Real Work is teaching the child, healing the patient, selling the house, logging the road defects, fixing the car at the roadside, capturing the table's order, designing the house and organising the party.

Think of the millions of hours of human effort spent on preventing and recovering from the problems caused by completely open computer systems. Think of the lengths that people have gone to in order to acquire skills that are orthogonal to their core interests and their job, just so they can get their job done
.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Future Shock
by spiderman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Future Shock"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

This was a nice tirade but ...
wtf are you trying to say? Who is this cleric you are talking about?
tldr please?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Future Shock
by Tony Swash on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Future Shock"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

This was a nice tirade but ...
wtf are you trying to say? Who is this cleric you are talking about?
tldr please?


I guess metaphors go right over your head ;)

Who is this cleric you are talking about? Probably you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Future Shock
by spiderman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Future Shock"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Or maybe you were off topic and your metaphor was not appropriate. I don't see the link between Visigoths and Apple calling their tablets PCs. The guy you quote probably was trying to explain to somebody how the tablets were better than the PCs but I don't see how it fits in this topic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Future Shock
by Tony Swash on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Future Shock"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

but I don't see how it fits in this topic.


Arguing about whether a tablet is a PC or not is intellectually equivalent to arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of pin while a revolution rages outside. It's the revolution that's interesting.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Future Shock
by spiderman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Future Shock"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

In the last decade, we saw the rise of laptops, the rise of mobile phones, netbooks, smartphones and now tablets. This is evolution, not revolution.
The rise of the internet and the web is the real revolution. Tablets make it easier to couch surf the web than netbooks and netwooks made it easier than desktop PCs but it's not a revolution.

Reply Score: 2

Swiss army knives
by unclefester on Wed 1st Feb 2012 12:52 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Tablets are like Swiss army knives. They are (theoretically) capable of doing many different tasks. In reality they don't do any task particularly well and perform most tasks badly.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Swiss army knives
by renox on Wed 1st Feb 2012 13:18 UTC in reply to "Swiss army knives"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Tablets are like Swiss army knives. They are (theoretically) capable of doing many different tasks. In reality they don't do any task particularly well and perform most tasks badly.


"Badly", ah!, did you miss the part of the article which describes how someone spends more time on a tablet than on a powerful PC?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Swiss army knives
by aldo on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Swiss army knives"
aldo Member since:
2010-02-17

did you miss the part of the article which describes how someone spends more time on a tablet than on a powerful PC?


Oh, ffs. We really need a Godwin variant for tablet discussions:

"As an online discussion of iPads grows longer, the probability of a poster invoking an older relative who uses their iPad in preference to their desktop/laptop computer approaches 1"

A bit unweildy, but we can work on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Swiss army knives
by JLF65 on Wed 1st Feb 2012 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Swiss army knives"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

did you miss the part of the article which describes how someone spends more time on a tablet than on a powerful PC?


They spend more time on the tablet because they HAVE to spend more time. On a REAL PC, you can get your work done quickly and efficiently. With a tablet, you have to figure out if it can even do it in the first place, then use some clunky interface to slowly enter the info needed, then wait forever for it to complete the task.
;)

Reply Score: 3

LOL
by twitterfire on Wed 1st Feb 2012 13:22 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I'm just LOLing and ROFLing. What's next? Calling the modest severely limited gadgets from Apple super computers?

Calling tablets PCs just because someone does the same thing on a PC and on a tablet entitles us to call hifi, tv sets and gaming consoles PCs, because some folks are using the PC just to listen to music, watch videos or do some gaming.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 1st Feb 2012 13:32 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Of course tablets are computers, so are smartphones, DVRs and personal media players. It does not mean they should all be lumped in together as they have different purposes. Tablets are specialty computers designed primarily as consumption devices. Desktop computers are more general devices. They each should have their own category.

Next up, chimps, gorilla and humans have nearly the same DNA so lets consider them all one group.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by bolomkxxviii
by aldo on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by bolomkxxviii"
aldo Member since:
2010-02-17

Next up, chimps, gorilla and humans have nearly the same DNA so lets consider them all one group.


Good idea! I vote we call it Homininae.

Edited 2012-02-01 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Consoles and Computers
by djrikki on Wed 1st Feb 2012 13:56 UTC
djrikki
Member since:
2011-09-02

Growing up in the 80s and early 90s I have a better understanding of the difference.
Imagine the scenario, everyone uses computers then someone invents 'the Console'. What are Consoles for? Playing games.

And so this new word is born:

Console - a computer for primarily playing games

A few decades later the tablet is back in fashion, not only as a device to draw graphics with, but a whole computer.

Tablet - a computer for not only playing games, but also for consuming content and performing mundane tasks such as email and calendar - but NEVER to do anything serious on.

A Tablet is also a (personal) computer.
A Console is not a (personal) computer.

A personal computer is a piece of hardware and software combination that allows you to perform multiple tasks.

The abbreviation PC for the last 20+ years is a computer that uses an X86 Processor, Microsoft would have everyone believe that it also meant an X86 Processor with Windows installed.
More sophisticated systems are generally called Workstations.

So take a look back: 'Hey don't call my Amiga a PC, I am a computer user!!'

Or: " Hello I'm a Mac, hello I'm a Pc. "

Or in other words... "Hello I'm a particular manufactured computer by one brand ;) " And "Hello, I have sooo many computer manufacturers its just not funny anymore and I run using the X86 Processor, also you usually find me running Microsoft Windows because *psst* we bribed all the manufacturers."

In ending:

The abbreviation PC is now outdated and very confusing should now be written simply in lower case; definition something like this: A computer that is for personal use.

We should be talking in terms of Consoles and Computers.

Edited 2012-02-01 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Seriously
by AcacioMartins on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:19 UTC
AcacioMartins
Member since:
2011-04-06

"And why is Apple selling so many devices? Say all you want about brainwashed zealots and "marketing," but the hard truth is that Apple products sell because people want Apple products."

The "brainwashed zealots" want to buy Apple's products, tough since there so few of those(the internet oversamples them) I guess it's irrelevant. But you seriously don't think marketing makes people want to buy Apple's products? Why does Apple have a huge marketing presence/budget then?

Marketing matters a great deal. Now I'm not saying that the quality of the product doesn't, for one it's easier to market a good product than a bad one. But one of the reasons Apple is so desired is precisely because their marketing does a great job of gloryfing the good aspects and completely hiding the bad ones.

So yeah, people want to buy MBA, Iphones and Ipads, but that is definitively not only about product quality, it has everything to do with marketing.

Reply Score: 2

Consumption device
by OMRebel on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:45 UTC
OMRebel
Member since:
2005-11-14

A tablet is nothing more than a very nice consumption device - nothing more. A PC, as we use it today, is much more than just something for consumption. I use my tablet for gaming, browsing, ebooks, watching movies, listening to music, etc... However, it would be impossible for me to do any serious work on the device. I realize you can purchase bluetooth keyboards and mouses for it - but you're really changing the portability function of the tablet at that point and trying to transform it into a netbook.

Now, if you want to get down to the "nitty-gritty", sure, it can be called a PC - but so can my thermostat at my house (it contains a microprocessor in it and runs software, and I can interact with it). But, that's being intellectual dishonest to call it such.

Reply Score: 3

Tablets are Personal Computing devices
by r_a_trip on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:47 UTC
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, tablets can be classified as personal computers, but so can netbooks. The biggest problem I see with the triumphant undertone in the article is that it fails to fully acknowledge that Apple has become the largest manufacturer of low end PC's if tablets are not a class of its own.

Lets face it, an iPad for all the outer glitz and sexy is a really limited, underpowered computer. If you absolutely want to, you can probably do all computing on an iPad. The biggest question is if you are willing to forego that "Ferrari" on your desk and use a "Polski Fiat" exclusively.

If I were Apple I'd keep tablets as a different form factor. If iPads are in the same boat, class wise, as an Alienware Gaming Laptop, then Apple makes a lot of bad PC's.

Reply Score: 2

Same premise, other results
by Neolander on Wed 1st Feb 2012 16:10 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

If I try to take the reasoning of the article from the same terminological premises, I reach different conclusions.

"PC" as an acronym means "Personal Computer". This pair of words is historically a trademark of IBM for one of the first microcomputers, but has grown to get a broader meaning : a modern computer does not have to use an x86 processor, a monochrome screen, a dual floppy drive, and an IBM design to be called a PC.

I agree with the article that "PC" essentially designates Turing-complete reprogrammable hardware that is owned by individuals and designed to this end. I would say, however, that this definition is not complete. As many have said, if this was all there was to a PC, then such CPU-powered devices as alarm clocks, pocket calculators, and landline phones would be PCs, which does not match the wide acceptance of this expression.

In my opinion, the special ingredient that makes programmable hardware a PC is the ability for the *owner* to fully reprogram his hardware, and the fact that the device is designed to this end. In practice, this means two things :
-Given that suitable development software that is available to users in a non-discriminatory fashion is installed, the device has sufficiently capable input for code to be fed to the machine in a practical fashion and without the use of an external computer.
-Code may fully command the hardware of the device and alter its behaviour in a non-volatile fashion, which in practice means that the OS can be swapped.

In this terminology, we get that...
-Most desktops, laptops, and netbooks are PCs
-Most smartphones, tablets, and PMPs are not PCs because their bootloader is locked down, although it is possible to envision PC devices in these form factors
-Alarm clocks, microwave ovens, and pocket calculators are definitely not PC because they lack both full reprogrammability and suitable input devices.
-Bare-bones ARM boards such as Raspberry Pi, PandaBoard, and BeagleBoard may or may not qualify as PCs, depending on their input capabilities.

Seems like a neat definition to me.

Edited 2012-02-01 16:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same premise, other results
by Alfman on Wed 1st Feb 2012 17:18 UTC in reply to "Same premise, other results"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"'PC' as an acronym means 'Personal Computer'. This pair of words is historically a trademark of IBM for one of the first microcomputers, but has grown to get a broader meaning"


I tend to use the more literal definition of "Personal Computer" as well, without regards to brand. Apple has always tried to distinguish itself from "PC" despite the fact that its own products actually were PCs by the literal definition. In that light, their "I'm a MAC" "And I'm a PC" ads always appeared a little foolish to me since the first is a unavoidably a subset of the second. It'd be no different than "I'm a Dell" "and I'm a PC".

"In my opinion, the special ingredient that makes programmable hardware a PC is the ability for the *owner* to fully reprogram his hardware, and the fact that the device is designed to this end."

For me, "PC" applies when a device uses a computer AND has a general purpose hardware interface. So this excludes things like an MP3 player, router, or cable box. A tablet has all the hardware elements necessary to be a general purpose computing device, I personally would not say it ceases to be a personal computer depending on the software which is loaded.


Unfortunately, when I apply your definition (which I encourage you to clarify since I realize it's not an intentional interpretation), I question whether a PC with Windows can be considered "fully reprogrammable" given that it uses DRM and kernel locks to prohibit some reprogrammability. By this logic, the only way a windows system could be a PC is by the way of installing something like linux on it.

If you said that it's ok that windows uses DRM and kernel locks because apps are capable of general computing, then you'd need to clarify whether any device with a browser and javascript should fit that definition, since arguably those are turing complete.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"In my opinion, the special ingredient that makes programmable hardware a PC is the ability for the *owner* to fully reprogram his hardware, and the fact that the device is designed to this end."

For me, "PC" applies when a device uses a computer AND has a general purpose hardware interface. So this excludes things like an MP3 player, router, or cable box. A tablet has all the hardware elements necessary to be a general purpose computing device, I personally would not say it ceases to be a personal computer depending on the software which is loaded.


Unfortunately, when I apply your definition (which I encourage you to clarify since I realize it's not an intentional interpretation), I question whether a PC with Windows can be considered "fully reprogrammable" given that it uses DRM and kernel locks to prohibit some reprogrammability. By this logic, the only way a windows system could be a PC is by the way of installing something like linux on it.

In my vision of things, a Windows 8 ARM tablet with permanently enabled "Secure Boot" would not be a PC, because you cannot swap kernels and drivers to access low-level hardware features. On the other hand, today's laptops, on which Linux and BSDs may be installed and on which using Windows is thus a voluntary choice for a knowledgeable person, do qualify as a PC.

If you said that it's ok that windows uses DRM and kernel locks because apps are capable of general computing, then you'd need to clarify whether any device with a browser and javascript should fit that definition, since arguably those are turing complete.

I don't think that it is ok, because you do not have full access to your hardware. As an example, on a bootloader-locked Windows machine, it is AFAIK impossible to freely code a driver replacement if you feel like it due to mandatory driver signing.

Edited 2012-02-01 17:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 1st Feb 2012 16:30 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I don't care if call a tablet a "pc" in the same way I don't care if people call a SUV an "automobile". Technically both are correct by definition.

However, it's sad when people don't understand the differences between a tablet and for example, a desktop. Sharing a handful of common uses doesn't mean these devices are the same thing in different form-factors.

For the people who bought a tablet and no longer use their desktop/laptop/etc.... You could say your desktop/laptop/etc was overkill for your needs. But don't make the mistake of thinking that's true for everyone. It's certainly not.

The world is a big place. There's room for all these different devices to co-exist. If you think there's a one-size fits all computing solution, you've got your head in the clouds in too many ways to mention.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by bassbeast on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 09:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Actually I'd say they have their head buried up their iShiny as the iShiny users are the only ones i see heralding the "death of the PC" constantly.

Want to know why PC sales have slowed? as a retailer I can answer that, its because for the vast majority once we reached dual cores PCs became "good enough" for their uses. The average user has a half a dozen or so apps and the browser, that's it. they simply aren't even working that dual core hard, so why should they buy a new one? With even a little care that laptop can last for years, last I heard my 07 laptop is working fine with the guy that bought it as the 09 laptop i sold for my netbook. heck I've always been "Mr Cutting edge' yet my PC is nearly 2 years old and will probably still be my main machine in 7 years, why? Because with 6 cores and 8Gb of RAM with 3Tb of HDD frankly its extreme overkill for any job I can think up.

so saying tablets are gonna replace desktops is just as dumb as saying mopeds will replace trucks. we shop owners can tell you that PC sales are slowly picking up and the closer we get to XP EOL the faster it will go, and then once they've replace all those P4s and dual cores with new Windows PCs frankly they won't be buying again until they die, there simply isn't any point. Heck even my 70 year old mom has a 3Ghz Celeron and all she does is play match 3 games and check the weather, what would she do with a new PC?

But not a single one of our machines could be replaced by tablets, dad uses Quickbooks, mom likes to write her recipes and thoughts down, the boys are playing their MMOs, my GF is constantly chatting with her family, and I spend time on forums such as this as well as game on Steam. Even in the mobile space I've found my EEE E350 to be better than a tablet as i never know when i'm gonna need to take down instructions for a customer or type up an invoice and at just 3 pounds with over 6 hours of battery life frankly its just as easy to carry as a tablet while doing more useful work.

Just because a tablet works in your little limited use scenario doesn't mean it will work for even most. as you wrote if you could replace with a tablet then the PC was overkill and and i'd add they are most likely passively consuming media more often than not. like my customers I simply have too many things to do that require input to be poking a screen all day, glad it works for you, won't work for me and my customers. Most of them who did buy tablets are now using them as expensive picture frames and had me get them a netbook.

Reply Score: 2

Also In Todays News
by ToddB on Wed 1st Feb 2012 16:55 UTC
ToddB
Member since:
2012-01-25

Motorcycles are actually pickup trucks. They are both forms of transportation.

I can browse the web, watch hulu and use facebook on my television. The same goes for my 3DS. I can also use my tablet as a hammer.

Reply Score: 2

Tablet PCs
by Xaero_Vincent on Wed 1st Feb 2012 17:39 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Later this year when Microsoft releases Windows 8 for tablets, I don't think there will be any confusion what classification they fall under, especially if the classical GUI is still accessible on ARM tablets and a dock-able or wireless keyboard is used. I think most consumers associate the Windows OS with personal computers. Therefore the distinction will be small once tablets, smartphones, laptops, ultra-books, desktops, and consoles all run the same Windows OSes

If we take out the word "personal" then most consumer electronics fall under computers...smart printers are computers with OSes and networking stacks, routers are computers with OS firmware, etc.

Edited 2012-02-01 17:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Tablet PCs
by kristoph on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:54 UTC in reply to "Tablet PCs"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

especially if the classical GUI is still accessible on ARM tablets and a dock-able or wireless keyboard is used.


Microsoft will not support 'the classical GUI' on ARM tablets, this has already been announced.

A wireless keyboard is supported (as it is on the iPad).

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Reply Score: 2

Comment by clasqm
by clasqm on Wed 1st Feb 2012 19:47 UTC
clasqm
Member since:
2010-09-23

PCs? You mean those heavy tablets with clunky hardware input devices instead of modern touchscreens, and with pathetic battery life? Why would any self-respecting tablet want to be included in that category?

Reply Score: 0

great article
by kristoph on Wed 1st Feb 2012 20:48 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

This is a great article David. I think what a great many people miss is that , ultimately, computing devices will merge.

We sell products that have an iOS app and web app and because we didn't have feature parity we would sometimes tell people 'hey, go and use our web interface for that'.

We stopped that when people started saying, I don't have any 'other computer'.

Reply Score: 2

jimmystewpot
Member since:
2006-01-19

The iPad and other tablets are not pc's.. just like the mac is not a PC.. because it suits apple's marketing machine..

Reply Score: 1

Comment by MasterSplinter
by MasterSplinter on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 13:35 UTC
MasterSplinter
Member since:
2012-01-05

Although the hardware of a Tablet/iPad is fundamentally PC components, it is sold and marketed as a Tablet/iPad.

I agree with the very first comment post. Until the user can use a Tablet/iPad to their discretion like a PC, it is not a PC.

Reply Score: 1

NO they are NOT
by bassbeast on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 16:02 UTC
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Whatever idiot wrote that doesn't know the first thing about consumers. As a retailer that actually services consumers in PCs and electronics 6 days a week let me answer with some FACTS.

1.-FACT- to the consumer the cell phone is NOT a computer, or even has an OS, its "A screen where i push buttons and does Google and i can play Angry Birds" full stop.
2.-FACT- The tablet is NOT a computer to the consumer, or has an OS, its "A big screen i poke and watch movies and play games and stuff on"
3.-FACT- The reason ARM netbooks never had a chance was because the netbook was NOT thought of as a general computing device but a "Baby laptop that should do everything a big laptop should but slower, because they are babies and not as strong as grown ups".

I have seen time and time again giant uber FAIL by geeks who try to assume the consumer is like them, let me make this clear YOU ARE WRONG and if you were any more wrong you'd be a singularity of wrongness. to the consumer there is but ONE PC, and that is either an x86 desktop or an x86 laptop PERIOD. Now i have been selling and servicing machines to consumers since before there was even a Windows so i think with THAT much experience I know how they think. They don't look at pads and phones as computers anymore than they think the ATM is a laptop, its a screen with buttons they can poke. Got it?

Reply Score: 2

RE: NO they are NOT
by unclefester on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:45 UTC in reply to "NO they are NOT"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

+2

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NO they are NOT
by bassbeast on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE: NO they are NOT"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Thanks but it just amazes me how out of touch geeks are to consumers. to geeks if it has a CPU and an OS its a computer, but to the consumer the ONLY computer is the desktop and laptop, even the netbook isn't called a netbook but a "baby laptop". When i say netbook around consumers they get this blank look until I say "baby laptop" and then its "Oh! Well my Aunt has a baby laptop and loves it" and away we go.

To them all these phones and tablets are simply screens you poke, no different than an ATM. they don't know that it has an OS, don't really know that it has a CPU or memory, its either a fast or a slow screen they poke.

So while geeks may talk of all this mobile computing frankly a consumer would look at them like a Martian if they said that phone was a mobile computing device. Its a phone that Googles and plays Angry birds, that's all. Hell most don't even call Android Android, its that "Cute little green robot thingie, you know, the one that dances in the commercials?" which is how they ask me what i think about some Android device.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: NO they are NOT
by unclefester on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NO they are NOT"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Most non-geeks know nothing about their phone beyond the brand.

Reply Score: 2

Android, yes, iPad, no: why.
by amadensor on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 16:18 UTC
amadensor
Member since:
2006-04-10

The Android is a PC, and the iPad is not. Why? Because the Android is a general purpose hachine, in that I can install any application I want to on it, or make a new one if I choose. iPad is an appliance, because it does the limited set of actions which are decided on by the manufacturer. Freedom is the difference.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Sente
by Sente on Sat 4th Feb 2012 01:20 UTC
Sente
Member since:
2012-02-04

An iPad (and any other tablet for that matter) is a content consumption device. It is an extension of a smartphone mobile device, not a computer running a real browser and real programs. That is a distinction that is not taken completely into consideration when calling a tablet/iPad a PC or predicting an apocalyptic "Post-PC Era".

I can sit on my couch and half watch TV while checking my email, browsing the web, and playing games on my smartphone. Does that mean that my smartphone is also a PC?

The term "Post PC Era" and counting iPads as computers are just convenient interpretations by Apple and their sycophants for the purpose of favorable impressions. Sure, people want Apple products and while it may not be completely attributed to marketing or zealotry, let's keep things in proper perspective. iPads are not PCs. They may sell a lot of them which is making Apple a lot of money. Whether they should count toward sales numbers is irrelevant. They are not PCs.

Reply Score: 1