Is the PC dead or alive? It seems to be the argument of the past 2 years…ever since the introduction of the iPad and Apple blindsiding every analyst, editor, company, and opinionated blogger on the unforeseen success of the revitalized tablet market. The opinions and arguments are wide ranging depending on who you ask.
If you ask HP’s James Mouton, general manager of HP’s personal computer global business unit, he would say that personal computers are still indispensable and remain key tools for everything from video editing, music mixing, and spreadsheet crunching to thoughtful missives,” according to this Forbes article.
But for how long? The Forbes article also points out that
- In 2011, 76% of Apple’s revenues come from ‘post PC devices’ like iPads, iPhones, and iPods.
- Horace Dedieu at Asymco thinks tablet computers will begin outselling PCs in the fall of next year.
But do these stats really say that the PC is dead, or that consumers are simply investing in tablets as an accessory device instead of replacing their existing PC? Maybe there is not a compelling enough reason to purchase a new PC, and instead consumers see real benefits in tablets from an ease of use and mobility perspective.
Consider that “only 14 percent of iPad buyers are choosing between an iPad and a personal computer when making their purchase decisions, according to a study by The NPD Group — meaning the vast majority of users are simply buying tablets to supplement their PC use.” This according to a recent Digital Trends post on some jaw dropping claims made by research giant Gartner.
Gartner claims “the Personal Cloud Will Replace the Personal Computer as the Center of Users’ Digital Lives by 2014.”
When I first read this headline, I immediately jumped to – Wow! Only 2 years to drive a 20 year old compute model into obscurity! That is one bold projection. Gartner cites 5 main “megatrends” supporting their prognostication:
- Consumerization of IT
- The self-service cloud
Granted, I have not read the research report yet, but Gartner has me intrigued. I am working to get my hands on a copy and will share some of the details in a follow-on post. But, on the surface, these megatrends are the same buzzwords we have been hearing since the advent of cloud computing a few years ago. Why now, all of a sudden is the fate of the PC only 2 years away?
I’m not quite sure the masses agree either. Just a small sampling of commenters on Digital Trends Facebook post find this hard to believe. Words like “what an absurd prediction” and “yeah right” and “I will never sell out to the cloud.” A vast majority of the commenters, granted are probably technically astute, don’t see this research as anything to take seriously.
So what say you? Are you tired of this the PC is dead talk? I have to say, I’m just going with the flow. I love my laptop, my desktop, my smartphone, and I have yet to get the tablet, but am on the verge. Yet, I just don’t see me giving up my 2 terabytes of storage in my own home to some provider in the cloud…at least not in the next 2 years!