Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jan 2012 20:02 UTC, submitted by Tom Krazit
Apple This is what we call an epic blunder of epic proportions. The article that used to be here, was submitted to us in full, with Tom Krazit as the submitter. As it turns out, though, this article is already published at, so it's pretty clear someone kindly submitted it to us, but included the whole of that article. For some reason, I let it slip through without checking if it was actually an original - which I normally always do. Nobody contacted us so far, but I'm still incredibly sorry about this. Be sure to click this link and send traffic to
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Giving tablets too much credit.
by Beachchairs on Fri 27th Jan 2012 00:21 UTC
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> Tablets and smartphones aren't replacing PCs, they're just making it possible for people to wring extra years out of their older PCs by giving them lightweight access to just-enough computing power while on the move or while in the living room.

I don't think this is really the case. What I think is happening is that we are seeing Wirth's Law (the idea that software will bloat to make up for gains by Moore's Law) becoming less relevent.

A good example is web browsing. 10 years ago, you could gain a large user experience improvement by buying a new computer. Web pages would get less laggy, and could afford to add more bells and whistles. The web browser itself would seem faster, and could add its own bells and whistles. This is no longer the case. Actually the opposite seems to be happening. Firefox and Chrome are getting more bells and whistles while being faster on the same hardware. This very common activity is no longer following Wirth's Law, which means it is no longer pushing people to buy new hardware.

Computers aren't only portals to the internet (as much as the tech-savvy will disagree with this). People listen to music with iTunes or WMP or whatever else, but neither of those are bloating up. Tax software inn't getting any more demanding. My prefered mail client actually lost some fat recently.

The point I am trying to make is that the computing activies are no longer bound by hardware limitations. I remember 10 years ago closing all the applications in the system tray would make a huge, noticable speed difference. Doing so now would only help the weakest of netbooks. If software isn't obsoleting your hardware, why replace it?

Postscript: I know there are a few places where software is still bloating (I don't mean this in a negative way). Gaming is an example. Video playback is another. Apple's push for retina displays on DesktopOS computers will probably kickoff a push for a new HD format which will require hardware updates for some people. My netbook cannot do 1080p in real time, but is still watchable. I imagine I would need to upgrade it when these new formats come out.

Edited 2012-01-27 00:22 UTC

Reply Score: 7