Apple CEO Steve Jobs went on the record several years ago describing the modern day desktop as “a truck”, suitable for some, but not practical for the mass market. He went on to define the iPad as the first “post PC device”, and has trumpeted his tablet and iOS platforms as flagship products for this ideology ever since. Microsoft and its partners have listened to mainstream media run with his comments as gospel ever since, but some have finally had enough.
Microsoft’s chief of communications Frank Shaw was the first to kick off the debate, and laid out his feelings quite eloquently in a blog post on Friday, describing why he feels tablets are smartphones are companions, not replacements for a traditional PC.
“I’ll be the first to admit that these new “non-PC” objects do a great job at enabling people to communicate and consume in innovative and interesting ways. That’s not surprising, because they were expressly designed for that purpose. But even their most ardent admirers will not assert that they are as good as PCs at the first two verbs, create and collaborate. And that’s why one should take any reports of the death of the PC with a rather large grain of salt. Because creating and collaborating are two of the most basic human drives, and are central to the idea of the PC. They move our culture, economy and world forward. You see their fingerprints in every laboratory, startup, classroom, and community.”
Michael Dell also decided to sound off on the debate, and presented a fairly compelling argument over Google+. He rightly points out that if PC’s are in decline, then why is the market continuing to grow?
“This year there will be about 440 million personal computers of all types(laptops, desktops, workstations) and OSs sold according to Gartner. So many more devices including PCs have been sold in the post PC era than whatever came before it. I believe there will be far more PCs and tablets sold in the next 5 years than the prior 10 especially given the growth in rapidly developing nations. You will also see the line between tablets and laptops fade away with many new types of devices. Gartner also estimates that there will be an installed base of 2 billion personal computers in 2014 compared with 1.5 billion now.”
What are your thoughts on the whole post PC Market debate? We have a feeling Maximum PC readers might be a bit biased on the issue, but as always we love to hear what you think.