8 Reasons The PC Is Not Dead - InformationWeek
IT Life
07:16 PM
Connect Directly
Lean Analytics for 2018
Nov 27, 2017
Alistair Croll, Author of Lean Analytics joins AllAnalytics radio Nov. 27, find out more. ...Read More>>

8 Reasons The PC Is Not Dead

Now that phablets have essentially cannibalized the tablet market, the personal computer has a chance to make a dramatic comeback. Here's why.
1 of 10

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

The debate about the death of the PC rages on. On one side, you have those who point to dramatic declines of PC and laptop sales over the past few years as proof that the personal computer is on its last legs. On the other side are those who happily list the reasons why PCs -- especially in the enterprise -- are far from extinct.

I happen to believe that the PC is far from dead. In fact, I suspect overall PC and laptop sales to experience a resurgence in the next few years. There are a number of reasons why the PC retains an advantage over alternative devices such as smartphones, tablets, and phablets. While some of these reasons may not be relevant in a consumer world, they are critical for users performing tasks in an enterprise.

Additionally, the personal computer's biggest threat -- the tablet -- is going through a sluggish sales period at the moment. A once-hot tablet market has cooled as users gravitate toward smartphones with large screens that serve a dual purpose. It seems that for many mobile users, a five- or six-inch smartphone screen isn't that much different from an eight- to 10-inch tablet screen when it comes to performing most mobile tasks. That is, unless you're trying to do real work. You know, the kind of work that involves writing for long periods of time or manipulating numbers in spreadsheets and databases.

A vacuum has been created in the world of enterprise productivity devices. A year or two ago, it indeed looked as if the PC would be replaced by the tablet. But now that phablets have essentially cannibalized the tablet market, the personal computer has a chance to make a dramatic comeback.

Here are eight reasons why rumors of the PC's death have been greatly exaggerated. Once you've reviewed them all, let us know what you think. Will the PC live on, or are we flat-out wrong in our predictions? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 10
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
User Rank: Strategist
5/12/2015 | 1:58:29 PM
I think the death of the PC as we know it has happeneed.
This doesn't mean that there won't be desktops/laptops.  They have become/are becoming dumb terminals with onboard processing thanks to the cloud.  Think Chromebook.  If this is good or not, we should know reasonably soon. Also, keep in mind that XP has set a pretty high standard for how long an enterprise level OS can be useful.  I think relyinig on 'real' work to reinvigorate the PC market is wishful thinking.
User Rank: Strategist
5/12/2015 | 1:38:08 PM
The PC was never even sick let alone dead.
In general when at a desk you are not going to reach for a tablet instead of the desk top computer. Tablets are as one commenter already noted are better as consumption devices and as a work tool have always been something tht allows you to do some work when away from the desk. So until we eliminate desk jobs the PC wil stay.
User Rank: Strategist
5/12/2015 | 1:02:48 PM
Re: A couple more reasons
We have missed the single biggest reason why the desktop PC will not die: It is designed for the content creator. Other platforms; phones, tablets, phablets; are designed for content consumption. Now while it may be true that there are some limited content creation capabilities on the other platforms, most content creators absolutely must have a desktop (or notebook) Windows PC or Mac to create professional content.

As a content creator, reading articles about the impending "death" of the PC, always seemed to me to be a little bit naive and not really based on the complete spectrum of what PCs are actually used for.

User Rank: Author
5/12/2015 | 11:13:32 AM
A couple more reasons
@Andrew. You have 8 good reasons for the rebirth of the PC. I'll suggest two more reasons to bring it to a nice, even 10.

9. Ergonomics. I love the convenience that comes with the computing power of a phone or even a notebook. You can access data from more places faster than ever. However, I don't want to do any significant typing or working with apps like Excel on a phone or phablet. Doing "desktop style" work on a mini-device is slower and often more painful (hands, back, eyes). Plus, there are factors such as scrolling across and swiping just to see a viewable image.

10.Product life. The days of turning over a PC inventory every two or three years are long gone. That cycle was rooted in 20 years of Microsoft and other software vendors rolling out "enhancements" on a regular schedule. Each version was fatter than the other, and of course releasing a new version of Windows meant releasing new versions of Office or Lotus or any other app. Fatter apps called for more memory, more storage, and greater processor speed (Intel was fine with that). With today's PCs you can have your apps in the cloud or at the desktop, and you have the same option for your data. So, a company or an individual won't have to spend $2,000 to $4,000 every two or three years just to keep pace with the software sector. Maybe we can stretch future PCs into a 5-year or even 10-year lifecycle. How many phones and tablets might last 5 years?
User Rank: Strategist
5/12/2015 | 10:18:05 AM
Quality for a few vs quantity for the masses
The average guy who is addicted to her/his phone/tablet are the public who never understand PCs if they ever had one. They are the ones whose desktops were full of malware in the 1st year of ownership and dependent on techs to get them out of their messes. While they upgrade their phones every 2 aor 3 years, they didn't understand that desktops need the same upgrades. The cost of upgrades on phones is absorbed in a monthly fee and "free" incentives which are actaully must part of the billing. They remember that expenses of a PC have to be paid all at once.

The smart phones are a dumbed down way to interact on the internet which is all most people need. For those who require Office, graphics, storage, and speed, the phone and tablets will never do. When I get snooty, I tell those with phone addicitons that my graphic card cost more than their phone, hehe, but that just adds fuel to the fire for those who had bad experiences with desktops.
User Rank: Ninja
5/12/2015 | 7:19:55 AM
Don't forget VR. Thanks to the power of the platform and the fact that games offer a comparatively stressful way to pioneer virtual world development, the PC will be the driving force behind VR and AR as nothing else out there has the power to deliver it at a high enough frame rate to be comfortable, with a high enough resolution to look real. 
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
2017 State of IT Report
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll