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  • Newsletter #417 Preview: Is This Really the End of the PC Era?

    November 25th, 2007

    I often think that some tech pundits have nothing better to do than create fake issues for headlines and hit counts. In recent weeks, I’ve mentioned a few of the more offensive theories, but I think one that is truly bizarre is the claim that we are at the tail end of the PC era, and that full-sized desktop and note-book computers will soon join the dinosaurs in the alternate reality of the obsolete.

    Sure, this may strike some as a logical possibility, what with so-called smartphones gaining additional computing features, and the fast take-off of the iPhone. But does it really seem reasonable to you that it’ll be possible, some day, to retire “real” computers and survive strictly on a handheld device?

    I suppose if you’re engaged solely in the business of building wireless phones, that’s a future to lust after. But is this a future that the rest of you would accept, or is it just a pipedream on the part of a few companies that are hoping to reach the end of the rainbow and find their pot of gold and wealth?

    To be sure, such gadgets as the iPhone can perform a lot of the tasks that we used to do on our Macs and PCs. With a reasonable amount of flexibility, for example, you can browse the Internet and send and receive email. In fact, a growing number of the messages I receive have telltale lines appended to them that identify a BlackBerry or an iPhone as the source.

    Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.



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    4 Responses to “Newsletter #417 Preview: Is This Really the End of the PC Era?”

    1. shane blyth says:

      No way not yet anyway.
      I do suspect that things like the iPhone will change things so that alot of people will just own a smart cellphone and use it to surf the web and get emails. I think the thing that will keep people buying home systems is things like photos and the like. Games should evientually be more console based. So maybe a drop over time as phones get better systems.
      No one is ever going to do photo editing or write letters on a phone though

    2. No way not yet anyway.
      I do suspect that things like the iPhone will change things so that alot of people will just own a smart cellphone and use it to surf the web and get emails. I think the thing that will keep people buying home systems is things like photos and the like. Games should eventually be more console based. So maybe a drop over time as phones get better systems.
      No one is ever going to do photo editing or write letters on a phone though

      Letters? Absolutely. I get them all the time these days from various smartphone devices. In fact, I got an email just this weekend from my friend, Steve “Mr. Gadget” Kruschen about his next appearance on the tech show. He was using an iPhone.

      Peace,
      Gene

    3. Andy Carolan (Frootloop) says:

      Well, as I sit here and contemplate a day of carrying out illustration work (after the mandatory coffee break of course), I cant imagine doing said work on a tiny screen that is more suited to the odd email and on-the-move surfing. There are just some things that are still very impractical on such a small device and I still see them as a compromise between lugging a (relatively) large laptop around and being forced to wait until returning to the office/home to carry out some tasks. The only way these devices will become more practical for me is if the screens were larger. This may not be a pipe dream as there has been progress on flexible screens by http://www.polymervision.com (a spin off from Philips). Such technology could make portable devices practical at last.

    4. Darel Jenkins says:

      Comments about screen size and input devices accepted as valid, I’d like to translate this discussion back about 40 years:

      “Do you really think that a device (cynically avoiding the term “computer”) that can actually fit on the top of a desk can possibly take the place of our wonderful computer that fills the entire block long basement? No way.”

      Comments like that were made by many of the most forward looking people.

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