If there’s one over-used buzzword currently making the rounds in the technology industry, it’s ‘post-PC world’ – or the notion that desktops and laptops are a dying breed. Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s printing and personal systems group, thinks this is a nonsensical notion – and he’s right.
In an interview with PC World, Bradley was asked about what he thought of the ‘post-PC world’. His answer left little to the imagination. “Look, it’s just wrong. Just think of the decision when your child is going off to college. What’s a requirement? A PC.Or you run a business and need your employees to be productive. You need a PC. The size of the global PC business is huge, and I think some people are trying to be dramatic,” he said,”That said, there is a growing role for tablets, and we will absolutely be a significant force in that space.”
While Bradly obviously has something to sell, he’s still right. Because of the ‘post’, it implies we’re all moving beyond the PC, that it’s going to die out in favour of tablets and smartphones. In fact, in certain parts of the web this has actually created a certain animosity towards laptops and desktops; a form of disdain, if you will. Laptops and desktops are old-fashioned, and if you prefer them, you’re behind the times.
These people will be in for a surprise once they leave their dorm-classroom-Starbucks triangle, only to find out that in the real world, tablets are basically toys, and ‘real’ computers are very much a requirement. Considering this won’t change any time soon, the traditional PC market will remain a large market for a considerable time to come.
This, of course, does not mean tablets aren’t going to have an effect. I think the most important effect is that PCs won’t be replaced as often, since they’re being used less (part of their duties are taken over by tablets). If you look at it this way, tablets are a supplement, not a replacement. The PC market isn’t morphing into a tablet market – the tablet market is simply a new market, with a small amount of overlap with the PC market.
If someone announces the death of a certain product of product category – ‘post-PC world’, ‘iPhone killer’, etc. – always consider the source. More often than not, it comes from people who are trying to sell you something.