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.
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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.

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