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Don't Give Up On The PC
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2013 | 3:08:04 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
Transparency is a critical point, but lack thereof is also a time-honored selling ploy -- just try comparing mattresses, carpets or HDTVs across a few vendors. I think it's going to take a bit more pain before PC makers bite that particular bullet.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2013 | 4:49:16 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
You're right, PCs do look and perform better than ever (thinner, lighter, faster) but it's mostly lost on consumers. As the article points out, consumers don't know what they're getting with a "new" ultrabook from Lenovo, HP, Acer etc etc. They don't want to pore over specs or research the latest chip-sets and they're suspicious that retailers are pushing the latest and greatest PCs. It's much easier to understand iPad 2, 3, 4.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/22/2013 | 5:03:52 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
I wonder whether a change-up in marketing strategies (other than in direct-to-consumer advertising) would help in educating potential consumers to these features (thinner, faster, etc.).
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
7/22/2013 | 6:57:55 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
I completely agree regarding transparency. I recently received a marketing brochure from a PC OEM. They were advertising a "slick looking" tablet running Win8. Even after skimming the brochure cover to cover, I could not determine whether the tablet was running Win8 RT or Win8 Pro, let alone what processor or how much free storage was available. They might have provided it via their web site but I tossed the brochure in the trash. I just felt like they were hiding something stinky and was very different than what they used to provide (complete specs, HDD size, processor, speed, RAM, ports, etc).
I disagree that this isn't partially Intel's fault. They have long gamed the system with a dizzying array of processors that makes it difficult for the consumer to determine exactly what they are getting (2nd gen, 3rd gen, core, not-core, hyperthreading, virtual capabilities, graphics speed...) Unless you go to Intel's site and compare spec for spec and actually have an idea of how an i-3, i-5 and i-7 differ and knowledge of Intel's fab generations, it's impossible for the average consumer to know whether a $499 laptop is better or worse than a $549 laptop. Casual tech people think the $549 is better but when you realize the $499 has a core I-5 and the 549 has a core i-3 with a bigger hard drive and more RAM, buying the best model takes on the smell of a cigar-smoking, Stetsoned, huge gold class-ringed, Mr. T starter-set gold chained, Tom Selleck chested used car salesman!
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2013 | 7:57:36 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
We're nearing the bottom of a trough on PCs in my opinion. Once the tablet fervor is sated, consumers and businesses will eventually replace PCs, but they'll replace fewer of them, they'll take longer to do it, and the won't move until they see that the bugs are worked out. Windows 8's reputation is not inspiring a lot of upgrades. Aren't Apple laptops and (the few) remaining desktops also suffering compared to tablets?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2013 | 4:45:57 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
Apple's laptops and desktops have suffered, though relative to many Windows OEMs, Apple has weathered the storm relatively well. Apple generally gets better margins out of its hardware than other computers-makers, which probably softens the blow somewhat for Apple, and increases the margin between what Apple has suffered and what Windows OEMs have suffered.

I agree, though. Consumers and businesses are still going to buy millions of PCs-- but they'll go longer between purchases, purchase fewer units than in the past, etc.
Obrun
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Obrun,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/27/2013 | 1:53:00 AM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
There's definitely a role for a screen with a keyboard at your desk but in reality access to MSOffice is more of a tie to the PC OS roadmap than the OS itself. People may well opt for a broader range of OS and hardware options as long as they have access to documents.
bbatest1n
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bbatest1n,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/22/2013 | 10:32:09 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
I have a Nexus 7, Hitec Android phone, an IPhone 4, an IPhone 5, a HP Pavilion, a custom gaming rig and a Sony Vaio laptop at home (and there is only 2 of us!). The HP and Vaio still get the most workout with the Nexus used for reading and travelling. The PCs will always be needed in business but because they are getting more reliable, the replacement cycle is longer and nobody I know (and I am in IT with 30+ years) really wants Win8, especially for work. I'm hoping that we can get to the place where whatever I pick up will know me and get me the stuff I need/want without copying, Dropbox, emailing to myself, etc. This constant upgrade/update hell is not going to fly in the future with most people as most of us can make due with a Focus rather than an Audi, hence Apple's success because they just work (most of the time).
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2013 | 11:40:46 AM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
Generally agree. Most of my computing is done on PCs. I use a tablet for watching videos and games. Anything that requires more input, especially text input, is a flop on a tablet.
As far as Apple goes, I have quite different experience. Most of the time it doesn't just work (just look at how needlessly complicated it is to install apps on OS X) and if it works it does so in the least obvious way and entirely different than anything else. OS X is like IE6 among browsers. Yea, it works, but it really does suck and requires everything to be specially crafted.

As far as Intel goes, their biggest issue is price. Their stuff is just way too expensive. AMD provides the same processing power at a fraction of the price. What works in Intel's favor is the microsoftish exclusive deals with OEMs that push competitors out of the market.
MFeibus
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MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2013 | 12:43:08 AM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
I told lots of consumers last year to wait until the summer to buy a new PC so they could get Ivy Bridge. Same advice for Haswell this year. Even armed with that, though, several came back with from the store with a last-generation system!
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2013 | 4:56:37 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
The transparency issue is important. I think at least some OEMs fail to talk clearly about Haswell and other factors because they're still also trying to sell non-Haswell hardware. The Surface Pro would benefit from Haswell's GPU firepower, for instance, but the device would REALLY benefit from Haswell's battery life improvements. But if you ask Microsoft (or at least a lot of people at Microsoft) about this, you're likely to hear them attempt to side-step the issue.

The pinch-to-zoom issue is interesting too. I really like the Apple implementation of this feature, because it's mostly done through a trackpad, which keeps my hands in their "ready" position at the keyboard. For some activities, it's fine to touch the screen, but for others, I find that I disrupt my workflow when I lift my hands from the keyboard/mouse to the screen. Some upcoming Ultrabooks are supposed to have better trackpads, which should give Windows 8 laptop users the best of both worlds-- touch functions via both the touchscreen AND the trackpad.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
8/7/2013 | 3:48:10 PM
re: Don't Give Up On The PC
I think one of the biggest problems with desktops are the amount of cr*pware on them. If vendors would deliver units that worked without all the popups and eval copies of everything which pop up with buy notices there would be a lot more interest. Every single novice I help complains about the junk installed all over their computer but do not have the knowledge/ability to do anything about it, every one!
The 2nd biggest selling point for tablets (after the form factor and what it does for mobility) is the simplicity of the environment. No worries about viruses, bloatware, self-installing pfishers and all that junk, just the small advertisement line at the top of the screen in most free apps.
If Microsoft released a "Win7-Locked" that eliminated all of that stuff, it would probably be a big seller!


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