Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 21st Oct 2012 16:13 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Windows "I've been writing about Windows for almost 20 years, and I feel like I've kind of seen it all. But for the past several days, I've been struggling under the weight of the most brutal email onslaught I've ever endured over these two decades. And if my email is any indication, and I believe it is, the majority of people out there have absolutely no idea what Windows RT is. This is a problem." When even Paul Thurrot is worried, you can be sure it is, actually, a problem. We're going to see and hear about a lot of frustrated customer who can't load up their 1997 copy of Awesome Garden Designer 2.0 Deluxe.
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Dekonega
Member since:
2009-07-28

No, PCs are desktop or laptop computers that run Windows on Intel-compatible hardware, and are descendent from the original IBM PC. Other systems have a similar aspect, but they are not PCs.


Not true. If you had never used any other PC than IBM-PC, what would you call a device that is a PC but not an IBM-PC? I know I'd call it a PC, but how about you?

This is not a technical issue, it is a matter of language. The term "PC" has been used for 20+ years to describe Windows on Intel, and is the generally accepted definition of the word. This is why it is necessary to provide extra context when using "PC" to describe other objects, but not when describing Windows desktops.


Things haven't always been like that. And that's when things were fine, and clear to understand. The acronym "PC" also suffers partially from effect similar to "Rollerblade effect". Late 80s there was a company that manufactured in-line roller-skates branded "Rollerblades". Their product was so immensely popular that some people even today call all kinds of roller-skates "roller-blades".

30 years ago things were different. Language was different also. For 20 years we have suffered under rule of single platform to the point that only few of us can remember any more the time when there where several consumer targeted computers on the market.

All of them where personal computers. Some where aimed for professionals and some cheaper machines were marketed as a "home computers". However for example in Commodore 64 was marketed and openly adversited as a "Personal Computer" and it was know as a cheap education PC. However almost none of these PCs where compatible with each other. But they were different, and that kind of hardware and software competition gave us the best of the best innovation.

I'll try to be quick about this explanation (so it might have flaws)... World's largest computer company IBM considered personal computer markets as a hobby. And they didn't have a very solid plan about that. They merely wanted to compete against rising threat of Apple and Commodore to their business. They had to quickly build something as an answer to that, and took stock shelve parts for almost everything, and then bought OS else where because they where in a hurry.

And so, IBM released a very expensive "Model 5150" (None of the IBM computers had any brand names like Macintosh, Amiga, or MSX. Just this set of numbers.) approx. 30 years ago. A machine with little to none personality. A Cold corporate computer by very definition.

However the hardware was left open accidentally, and software was licensed from a third party that had permission to sell their software also to other parties. That made it go to the history books.

What made IBM-PC popular was the availability of software. At first it only had IBM's offerings. But when other manufactures started to produce cheaper but better versions of the original model 5150 and it's follow ups even more software writers got in. And that essentially made other platforms die. That however didn't prevent Amiga from being better PC from every aspect. It was actually so much ahead of it's time that people couldn't even describe it. It's very sad thing that Commodore didn't take the Sun's offering on starting to manufacture cheap UNIX desktops based on Amiga hardware. The world could be very different from what it is now.

Anyway... Compaq was the first company to legally clone the system and sell theirs as "IBM-Compatible". And no matter what clone system you wanted it was almost always "IBM-compatible". Until "IBM" was dropped in favour for "PC-compatible". That change of wording happened in late 90s. And last game I ever remember having had in my hands to call itself to be made for "IBM-PC or 100% Compatibles" was Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 released 1999.

This is why the phrase "personal computing devices" is becoming common when referring to tablets and smartphones. Note that they also have their own names for the class of object.


What I'm explaining here is that there are maybe four or five kinds of computers in the world. And everything can be classified under these large major categories. Each of them split into several sub-classes.. Among many others. And these can be split into other subclasses of their own. And so forth.

Acronym "PC" means one major top category. But it's also a nick name for one specific kind of a PC. I'm arguing here that it would be better if people would be aware of this instead of blindly believing that that everything that has Intel chips and Microsoft software is a PC.

With Windows RT, Microsoft is allowing us to break free from Intel's dominance. I god hope that either two things will happen with Windows RT being released. At least it's sure that people might learn that Windows + Intel isn't the only way that exists. This lesson is maybe a harsh one, and I hope people learn before Microsoft gives up on this point. I'm sure they have their own motives for doing this.

But either people are driven to GNU/Linux (unlikely due software compatibility), or ARM will take over the Intel forcing true competition to occur on a frozen market. ARM is already fiercely competing. They are the pagan burning Intel's holy church. And that's a very good thing. =)

However my own prediction is that Windows RT will fail on market due it not being capable of running legacy applications. Microsoft has made a huge mistake in allowing the legacy desktop to be included. It would have been better to release the Windows RT without the legacy desktop feature.

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