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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Welcome to the reality people
by Dekonega on Sun 21st Oct 2012 16:35 UTC
Dekonega
Member since:
2009-07-28

Rude wakening for the people: Welcome to the world where every single consumer device is a PC. Even the devices which you don't call or usually think could be PCs, and in most cases, definitely are PCs.

For a long time I've really hated that people who say "PC" only mean 100% IBM-PC compatible personal computers running Microsoft Windows. If the computer is running GNU/Linux, or OS X, it's not a PC any more for those people. Or if it has slightly different hardware it's not a PC any more despite having the same OS. (facepalm)

PCs are huge category of devices which includes work and gaming devices like the Playstation 3 (even the NES is a PC), tablets inc. the iPad, various desktops and workstations like the Amiga and the Macintosh branded PCs (doesn't matter what architecture m68k, ppc, or x86) running latest iteration of the (Mac) OS X, Smartphones (which are PCs with a phone feature) (arm, intel, what difference does it make?), and not least the generic hardware of any sort running for example any sort of GNU/Linux which is intended for end users but hidden so that end user doesn't know he is using GNU/Linux, etc.

The sole reason there won't be a "Post-PC Era" soon is that there cannot be "Post-PC Era" in the first place with the current level of consumer technology available. The "Post-PC Era" might happen after the "Personal Nano Computer" revolution happens in next 50 years or something.

And the joke in "PC v.s. Mac" ads is that both machines are one and same hardware. Only difference is operating system, which all can and do suffer similar problems at times no matter what environment you're using.

Edited 2012-10-21 16:44 UTC

Reply Score: 8

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Well, "PC" was what IBMs original IBM PC was called. It was the first device to use the term. So, home computers with non-IBM PC compatible architecture are not really PCs. They are home computers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Dekonega Member since:
2009-07-28

IBM-PC wasn't the first device to use the acronym "PC". There were many others before that including the IBM themselves. I believe the first actual device marketed as PC was HP's 9100A. HP marketed it as a personal computer actively, and used the acronym "PC" for it.

However the first actual PC was probably according to some guys this device called "SIMON"... http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

Reply Parent Score: 6

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

You're wrong
http://splorp.tumblr.com/post/27789062439/new-sinclair-zx81-persona...

Edited 2012-10-22 00:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Well, "PC" was what IBMs original IBM PC was called. It was the first device to use the term. So, home computers with non-IBM PC compatible architecture are not really PCs. They are home computers.

The term "Personal Computer" was commonly used for home or microcomputers.

In fact my Amstrad CPC 464, Locomotive BASIC + Zilog Z80 CPU, physically had "Personal Computer" branded on it in metallic lettering.

Reply Parent Score: 6

stooovie Member since:
2006-01-25

With this logic, gender, religion, race, politics and god knows what else are irrelevant.

We do need to discern and not over-generalize.

For the purpose of the pre- and post-PC discussion, PC is a category of versatile devices that aren't really mobile. The kind that does it all but is ill-suited to majority of tasks that aren't typing and precision intensive.

Edited 2012-10-21 17:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Dekonega Member since:
2009-07-28

For the purpose of the pre- and post-PC discussion, PC is a category of versatile devices that aren't really mobile. The kind that does it all but is ill-suited to majority of tasks that aren't typing and precision intensive.


Actually it's exactly the opposite. PCs are versatile devices which are mobile. At least when we compare personal computers against the other major computer classifications such as the super computers, mainframes, mini computers, etc.

Another way to classify personal computers is to use term "micro computers" but that does't really describe the whole variety of them, and gives wrong image of the size also. So majority of the computer scientists I know have given up on the term "micro computers" and use "personal computers" instead.

Do we want to say that this group of devices which includes some smaller mini computers, micro computer and calculators are personal computers or something else? This is not making things like gender, religion, race, politics irrelevant. To continue your analogy to humans... I'm merely saying that you're all racists for only seeing that certain kinds of devices are worth the title "PC". When in fact there are so much more of them.

We also could think this the other way, and look not from the consumer side of the things but also from the side of the manufacturer. The computer on your desktop and on your tablet both can have the exactly same CPU, exactly same RAM, exactly same GPU. The Only major difference is the form-factor. Both of your devices the desktop and the tablet could be running the exactly same operating system also. And they run the same applications. Why on earth wouldn't you call both of them both same kind of PCs then?

Is form factor enough to warrant a change of the computer class? I think not. It does require something more than that. You'd have to change the whole concept of the personal computer interaction to something else to warrant for that.

For example you'd probably not see a screen. Instead you'd "sense" the information or you'd "imagine" it inside your head. That way the personal computer would be more than just a personal computer, it would be you, with enhanced capabilities of a personal computer.

But if you're just watching a screen, of a device you can have on your finger tips, processing your personal data externally, and separately from you, it's a computer that belongs to you, and that makes it personal device.

I want that all of you people challenge your view of what a PC really is. Please think about this subject few moments.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

Except laptops of course, which are mobile PC's

Reply Parent Score: 2

demosthenese Member since:
2011-02-01

"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."

and 'hacking' is doing bad things on computers and 'trolling' is being mean on computers...

Just because most people believe a thing to be true does not make it so.

Some of us are old enough to remember the review of the IBM pc in PC World magazine (UK) - years after the magazine's first issue.

Reply Parent Score: 8

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

JeremyMorgan Member since:
2012-10-22

There is definitely confusion between a personal computer and the PC standard. Yes, every device/phone/computer is technically a PC.

I thought the Mac vs PC wars were over anyway, since they use the same CPU and can both run Windows?

Reply Parent Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

There is a problem with your line of thinking, and it is thus: Windows ain't Linux or iOS. With Linux all it takes is ONE guy to recompile the software since the source is available and then tada! It works on MIPS, or SPARC, or ARM. With iOS Apple has conditioned users to only buy Apple products or those blessed by Apple through their appstore and to expect their old stuff not to run, nothing wrong with that, if you like fashion you have a brand tailor made for you and it does hold excellent resale when you jump on their upgrade treadmill.

But what you have here is a case where a user will walk in and find out "SOME Windows will run your stuff, SOME Windows won't, and you don't know and the poor clueless kid at the counter don't know which is which either...good luck turkey!" and what moron wants a Windows that costs as much as an iPad, in many cases MORE than an iPad, that doesn't actually run Windows software?

Anybody here see the Newegg commercial? Where the guy asks the sales kid what the difference is between 2 laptops and he just stares at the little cards before saying "I have no idea?" well welcome to reality, where I can't count the times I've had to step in when some sales kid has been telling someone bold faced lies because the kid simply didn't know any better and didn't want to look foolish in front of a customer.

What is sad is MSFT is now bragging "Win 8, simple enough for a 3 year old"...uhhh...I don't WANT an OS so dumbed down your toddler can use it, because at THAT level of stupid its a toy OS, okay? Its the new Vista, you know it, I know it, and next quarter MSFT will know it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

With Linux all it takes is ONE guy to recompile the software since the source is available and then tada! It works on MIPS, or SPARC, or ARM

It wasn't quite that straightforward when AMD64 showed up, and that was still x86.

Its the new Vista, you know it, I know it, and next quarter MSFT will know it.

So what you're saying - it's a prelude to Win9 being the new VistaSE "let's use the PR trick of 'lucky7'", the most adored and most rapidly adopted version of Windows?

Reply Parent Score: 2