Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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RE[2]: Too much misinformation
by Dr.Mabuse on Fri 26th Aug 2011 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Too much misinformation"
Dr.Mabuse
Member since:
2009-05-19

We are leaving the epoch of the desktop PC behind now. There will be desktop PCs for a long time to come but there importance in the technology ecosystem is collapsing. In the future people will read the history of the PC period and laugh with disbelief at what people had to put up with: system crashes, rampant malware, the BSOD. We are finally leaving the medieval period of information technology behind and what a relief it is.


Good grief, not this again.

The bold is my highlighting.

What in your opinion, will we use in the future for:

1/ The design of new Microprocessors
2/ Industrial Design applications (e.g. Toasters, Fridges, Furniture, etc.)
3/ Mechanical Design (Cars, Trains, etc.)
4/ Software Engineering (Not only for PCs, but tablets, smart phones, embedded devices, etc.)
5/ Graphics/Photo Editing
6/ 3D Rendering (Movies, Images, etc.)
7/ Sound Editing (Including composition of Music, etc.)
8/ The ability to administer, deploy and manage these applications on a network (in an office or at home)

...I could go on, but I guess I've made the point...

I can't wait to see the very fancy tablet to accomplish these tasks!

Or maybe we will just amuse ourselves with Angry Birds all day and forgo civilisation? :-)

IMHO - The "PC" in one form or another is the MOST important part of technology for the foreseeable future!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Too much misinformation
by M.Onty on Fri 26th Aug 2011 07:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Too much misinformation"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

...I could go on...


Or I could. How about word processing which, it seems to be forgotten, was one of the primary selling points of PCs? As far as I can tell there's been no improvement on this front in this so-called post-PC world.

PC's are not dying or becoming irrelevant; they are finding their level, helpfully assisted by smartphones and tablets. Desks with computers on were never the best place to watch videos, or read magazine articles, or socialise, because its not comfortable, its too formal and tends to render one temporarily miopic.

They became used for these things; now they will be used less for these things and more for the things they were intended for---writing, compositing, analysis, Civilization games---things for which one wants an upright sitting position and the proper focus of staring at a big screen.

We will see a small decline of PC usage then a leveling out. PCs are currently overused, but will prove to be the best tools for most jobs, as opposed to most luxuries. Jobs like playing Civilization, for example.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Too much misinformation
by jal_ on Fri 26th Aug 2011 08:51 in reply to "RE[3]: Too much misinformation"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

How about word processing which, it seems to be forgotten, was one of the primary selling points of PCs?


Tablet docking stations? Word processing needs very little processing power, so there's no full blown PC needed for the task.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Too much misinformation
by dsmogor on Fri 26th Aug 2011 12:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Too much misinformation"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I would rather say PC's (at their time) where quite lucky to expand their market from profesionnal information workers to casual consumers. The post PC era in my view about the consumers fleing the all in one PC to specialized devices that do the job better with less hassle:

- content consumption
- WWW
- simplified media production and sharing (web 2)
- gaming

The full featured office productivity is one excepion but if you look at it from a perspective, what consumer does actually need that after finishing education? For last 10 years I (privetly) haven't created a document that google docs wouldn't handle.

The PC value proposition for consumer market is actually quite questionable once you have valid alternatives and is immune to vendor lock-in (cough * iCloud * cough).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Too much misinformation
by jal_ on Fri 26th Aug 2011 08:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Too much misinformation"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Good grief, not this again.
What in your opinion, will we use in the future for:


Though I agree with your general gist, we could very well be using work stations for that, by which I mean more dedicated, more powerful, versions of the "home PC". It may well be we will see a split between consumer devices (tablets) and more professional devices (work stations). I'm not saying we will, but we could.

I can't wait to see the very fancy tablet to accomplish these tasks!


No need. Most of those tasks will not be performed at home. And when talking about Microsoft, they get a large share of their profit from home use. So it may be an important shift.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

(...)we could very well be using work stations for that, by which I mean more dedicated, more powerful, versions of the "home PC". It may well be we will see a split between consumer devices (tablets) and more professional devices (work stations).


I sure hope not. I am where I am right now education/work-wise specifically because there was not much functional difference between "home PC" and "workstation" when I was a teenager/student. If all i had available to play with were, for example, a game console and some web-device (like a tablet) for emails and whatnot i would have never tried my hand in programming, 2d/3d graphics and all the other awesome creative things you try out on a regular pc. If the market is split again between content-creation (expensive/professional) and content-consumption (cheap) devices i think our industry (in VERY general terms) will lose many future creative people.

Edited 2011-08-26 10:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

"Good grief, not this again.
What in your opinion, will we use in the future for:


Though I agree with your general gist, we could very well be using work stations for that, by which I mean more dedicated, more powerful, versions of the "home PC". It may well be we will see a split between consumer devices (tablets) and more professional devices (work stations). I'm not saying we will, but we could.
"

We ran Silicon Graphics Onyx and O2 workstations in our CAD department for years - they cost a small fortune.

The advent of 3D acceleration for the workstation-class PC changed the business forever. For the cost of every single SGI box, we could deploy six Windows NT systems.

I fear the scenario you describe above might bring us back to this sort of era - consumer grade devices being cheap and "professional" equipment costing an arm and a leg.

I would consider it to be a massive retrograde step!

(Please note: I loved the SGI's to pieces, but they were simply not competitive towards the end...)

May you live in interesting times, eh? :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Too much misinformation
by wargum on Fri 26th Aug 2011 10:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Too much misinformation"
wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

I couldn't agree more. And even if you could bring some of those applications over to a tablet, it would be a hell of a task and take several years and then more years to get it right ;)

Just think about how long it takes for many productivity applications for "small" things like be 64 bit native, be Universal Binary, get ported to Mac, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22



Good grief, not this again.

The bold is my highlighting.

What in your opinion, will we use in the future for:

1/ The design of new Microprocessors
2/ Industrial Design applications (e.g. Toasters, Fridges, Furniture, etc.)
3/ Mechanical Design (Cars, Trains, etc.)
4/ Software Engineering (Not only for PCs, but tablets, smart phones, embedded devices, etc.)
5/ Graphics/Photo Editing
6/ 3D Rendering (Movies, Images, etc.)
7/ Sound Editing (Including composition of Music, etc.)
8/ The ability to administer, deploy and manage these applications on a network (in an office or at home)

...I could go on, but I guess I've made the point...

I can't wait to see the very fancy tablet to accomplish these tasks!

Or maybe we will just amuse ourselves with Angry Birds all day and forgo civilisation? :-)

IMHO - The "PC" in one form or another is the MOST important part of technology for the foreseeable future!


I suppose it depends on how you define important. Nobody is suggesting that the PC will go away, it's just that it's weight in terms of what drives technology forward, where the money is being made and its overall social and cultural impact is declining.

We have already reached the point where more than half the devices being used to access the internet is non-pc, soon the non-pc devices will represent far more than half.

If you look at your points one by one you get this:

1/ The design of new Microprocessors
2/ Industrial Design applications (e.g. Toasters, Fridges, Furniture, etc.)
3/ Mechanical Design (Cars, Trains, etc.)
4/ Software Engineering (Not only for PCs, but tablets, smart phones, embedded devices, etc.)

True PCs will probably be best for these functions, but in relatively small numbers compared to the numbers of non-pc devices. How many PC will need globally to do this sort of stuff, a few millions perhaps.

5/ Graphics/Photo Editing
6/ 3D Rendering (Movies, Images, etc.)
7/ Sound Editing (Including composition of Music, etc.)


These points I think are more mixed, here many people will find that non-pc devices are perfectly good enough for what they want to do with their music, photos or videos, particularly as the capabilities of such devices improves. Then there will many pros who will use a mix of PC and non-pc such as pro photographers who are adopting the iPad and a complimentary device in large numbers. The same with videos and music.

8/ The ability to administer, deploy and manage these applications on a network (in an office or at home)

Here I think the collapse of the pc paradigm my be surprisingly rapid. In the home come iOS5 for example a pc will no longer be required to administer anything, the same will go for many small and medium sized firms I think.

I think you may be surprised at how rapid the non-pc device revolution is going to be

Reply Parent Score: 2

Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

I have to make a big snip here, as this thread is already too big for me to manage. Thank you for keeping it civil though.

8/ The ability to administer, deploy and manage these applications on a network (in an office or at home)

Here I think the collapse of the pc paradigm my be surprisingly rapid. In the home come iOS5 for example a pc will no longer be required to administer anything, the same will go for many small and medium sized firms I think.

I think you may be surprised at how rapid the non-pc device revolution is going to be


In my work place, where we design, build and manufacturer Medical Instruments, iOS has made exactly zero impact. We are around 400 people strong.

People do use their own iPads to browse the web at lunch time, but it's going to take a lot more than that to convince me that this is a new paradigm. Maybe I just lack the vision :-)

We'll see I guess!

Reply Parent Score: 1