Is the Era of the Personal Computer Over?

Trepidati0n

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As long as we need to people to actually generate REAL content and do REAL work (e.g. design those damn phones and tablets you use), the PC will never be "over". I cannot imagine doing what I do with a 14" screen. It would be a horrible fucking waste of my companies money to even think that it is a good idea. Without 3 24"+ monitors my productivity goes to shit and without massive and responsive capability I can't do that either. I firmly doubt we will be seeing real tools ever run well on a "tablet" or your cute little smart phone.

We are now in an age of content consumption in general. The vast majoirty of people don't want to do anything than watch YouTube videos, buy shit online they don't need, and then be snarky to their "friends" on Facebook. A ten inch tablet can do that. But for the rest of use...we will still, at a minimum, need a laptop with a docking station.
 

DogChainX

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The day I stop building desktops systems for serious work is the day I stop working.

An employee wanted an ipad, stating that "It'll help me work better". I asked him if he could import a CVS file, convert it to an excel file, and manipulate the data in a 6,000+ record file in under twenty minutes. His response...."i can't do that, but I can check email and stuff".

:rolleyes:

Just in my opinion:
Tablets = light web surfing, angry birds, movies and books, and replying to misc emails.
PC = actual work being done.
 

Unknown-One

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Honestly... I could see tablets replacing desktops, but not as they exist now.

Thunderbolt and Lightpeak allow for external PCIe devices. A properly equipped tablet could be connected to a docking station that adds a massive graphics card, additional storage, better audio hardware, etc. and also automatically connects it to your keyboard + mouse + monitors.

Know what you basically have? A desktop... with the added advantage of being able to un-dock it and take it with you.
 

snowcrash

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I use my iPad to play Monopoly so I can fall asleep when my other option has a "headache".

I use my PC for work, entertainment, and many other things that a wannabe phones or tablets can't do easily and conveniently.
 

Starcrossed

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There could be a not immodest amount of increase in docking stations used in home computing. It makes more sense. Many people and families have multiple devices, and the primary restraint of personal devices in the lack of proper input and output wares.
 

Parmenides

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The capability of the PC will never go away. When doing office work, maybe keyboards will be plugged into tablets regularly in the future, but the capability of the PC will never go away.
 

Parmenides

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Why did I say plugged? A random wireless keyboard might happen to be laying around when I want to type stuff into the tablet faster.
 

Red Falcon

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no reason why a tablet can't be used for general purpose computing.... see: x86 Windows 8 tablets, Android tablets

LOL, I would love to see someone try to do HD media production on something like that and then let it render.
Multifunction my ass. :rolleyes:

Tablets really are just media consumption devices meant for Facebook and Angry Birds.
Granted that Win 8 does bring some other options to the table, but still, the primary limiting factor is the touch screen.

What's that you say? You can buy a keyboard and touchpad mouse for a tablet?
Well, if one needs those things to do what they want on a tablet, why not just buy a laptop?

You know, it's almost like we don't even need tablets at all!
lulz @ the techno-hipsters trying to justify tablets for anything serious. :rolleyes:
 

nutzo

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Oh and watching people hold up a tablet to take a picture is the most retarded thing ever... well ok maybe not ever but it ranks up there!

Especially when they are holding up this 10" tablet in front of others and blocking thier view. :(
 
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LOL, I would love to see someone try to do HD media production on something like that and then let it render.
Multifunction my ass. :rolleyes:

Tablets really are just media consumption devices meant for Facebook and Angry Birds.
Granted that Win 8 does bring some other options to the table, but still, the primary limiting factor is the touch screen.

What's that you say? You can buy a keyboard and touchpad mouse for a tablet?
Well, if one needs those things to do what they want on a tablet, why not just buy a laptop?

You know, it's almost like we don't even need tablets at all!
lulz @ the techno-hipsters trying to justify tablets for anything serious. :rolleyes:

I personally dont have, or probably ever will have a tablet....

I'm just responding to the hand wringing going around about how the PC is "dying" when these tablets are nothing but PCs in a different form factor. And yea, with Ivy Bridge class processors going into future Tablets, you sure can do HD media production, or whatever you want on these PCs of the future.... hell, you can do anything your little mind can think of, remember, even Android tablets have IDEs that can spit out real, functional programs...

What's that you say? It makes no sense to dock a tablet or phone when at a desk to use as your primary computer? Well, I'm sorry, but there are many other people that would readily disagree with you.

lulz @ the techno-luddites for not understanding what a PC is, or thinking that their usage patterns are the "correct" ones...
 

SamuraiInBlack

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Give me a tablet that can play Crysis and I might consider the end of the PC being plausible.

Give me a tablet that can hold 3+ terabytes of storage for all the games I intend on downloading and playing via Steam, and I would seriously consder the plausibility.

Give me a tablet that supports 7.1 surround sound and Eyefinity/NV Surround, and I'll even stop considering getting a laptop for when I go back to college.

Till then, I'm keeping my full tower and I will be getting a laptop in the future.

Everyone I know who has gotten a tablet and does NOT need it for their work, hardly ever use it. iPad, Android, it doesn't matter. Tablets may be the new tech toy, but in my opinion, they fulfill a very niche role right now until their capabilities and functionality are expanded upon. I don't deny that they have their place. I would like to believe their place however, is to do more than allow people to write sensationalist articles and/or headlines for page hits.

Hell, I'll throw this out there: my phone already does a lot of what current tablets do, and with a keyboard, which I prefer. Why would I even consider getting a tablet other than screen size?
 

quimby999

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PCs still have far more raw computing power and the ability to use a large monitor trumps any tablet or smart ass phone. For gamers the PC will always reign supreme try having an online death match in an FPSon a phone with 16 or more people.. These articles have been popping up predicting the PCs death for years probaly written by people that have thier i phone surgically implanted to thier hands.
 

GotNoRice

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A tablet to me is just a Smartphone with a larger screen.

...but I already have a smartphone.

Tablets came out 10 years ago and failed hard. The only difference now is that they are riding on the success of smartphones.

Because let's be realistic, no one would have given two shits about the iPad if the iPhone hadn't come first and set the stage with iOS, apps, etc.

The majority of people who buy a smartphone are still buying it first and foremost as a communication device, not as a computing device. The advantages of computing on a smartphone are that you always have it with you, and there is always an available internet connection by default. A tablet has neither of those advantages as they are too big to fit in your pocket, and generally don't come with cellular data connections by default.

It's really no coincidence that most tablets sit unused for most of their lives, more of a conversation piece than a computing device.
 

quimby999

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I still prefer browsing with my 17 inch ;lap top sitting in my cpmfy chair in the evenings when I fee;l like relaxing instead of sitting in my desk chair while on my tower a 10 inch screen will never suffice for my needs , for power gaming its the power tower all the way for casual gaming ;like diablo or starcraft the laptop is great . I could never type on a phone so I just dont text or tweet from my phone, its for making calls and I only have a cell phone to take with me on long trips for an emergency, for me thats whata phone is for, i have little sympathy for idiots who fall in fountains while texting and especially for that idiot lady who sued because she fell into a fountain because she was so stupid, stupidity is a personal choice and you are responsible for your acttions when you have pushed your stupid switch to the on position, PC user forever , I did once consider getting a Mac book but sanity returned in the nick of time .
 
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Tablets are toys, nice toys. I don't mind them but I don't own one because they aren't functional enough to me. I don't like tapping letters on screens, I touch type, TYVM. I also like 2 displays of 24" each.

PCs will stay around. I think a large change is towards laptops of various forms and shapes. I use one at work, but even that goes into a dock for multi-monitor support and full-size peripherals. Laptops are really sensible in many work environments, I can easily take it to a meeting, or work from home.

But tablets? No.
 

dandirk

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The "literal form factor of PC"s (not sure what that is supposed to mean) is certainly not declining. It may be that temporarily because of the world economy people are cutting back on their PC hardware budgets--but I've seen no indication that *fewer people* are using PCs now than has ever been the case.

Comparing cell phone sales to PC sales, which is what the guy who wrote this article does, is about as smart as comparing PC sales to underwear sales. I'm sure that underwear sales this year will dwarf PC and cell-phone sales alike, but that doesn't mean underwear is going to take the place of PCs...;) Ever. Likewise, people can buy all of the cell phones they want, but that will have nothing to do with the number of PC's people will buy or build this year. (Another analogy: mobile homes will overtake and replace traditional homes simply because they are mobile: not going to happen.)

And when the author of this nutty story talks about the PC market (which includes Macs of course) using less "ram" than the smartphone/tablet market (whatever *that* is), we find later, buried in his text, that what he's talking about is FLASH ram. Well, duh. My box at home is a full-fledged "PC" but has 0 mb of flash ram on board. 99.9% of PCs don't use it directly. As far as normal DDR is concerned, the PC walks off with it. I've got 8 gigs in my box at home--name me the tablet or phone with 8 gigs on board. Storage? The PC walks off with that one, too. Graphics horsepower? No comparison, the PC is often several hundreds of times more powerful than the most expensive tablet or cell phone.

In short, the author has to fudge and misrepresent many statistics to make his case, unfortunately. It's always the same.



It's because laptops have never been cheaper--and the same is true for desktops, of course. The only thing, and I mean the only thing, that cell phones or tablets excel in is portability. A PC by it's very nature is not portable--it's like the 100" TV some folks have on their walls--it was never designed for portability, but for other things, entirely.



So what do you say to someone you have so advised who needs to replace his hard drive, screen, etc? Do you also inform them that they'll need to box it all up and send it back to the factory for between 2 & 6 *weeks*, (if it's under warranty, that is)?

If you don't *need* portability then buying portable is always more expensive and less practical than buying a desktop. I always advise people to buy desktops unless they have a definite need for portability--or to buy the desktop first for home use and the portable device later, if they have to make a decision between them.

Desktops are an order of magnitude easier and less-expensive to service and to upgrade--indeed, most portable devices are "throw away" in the sense that they cannot be upgraded internally at all.



Lots of people are supplied laptops for work because the portability is required. But if you don't need the portability, then the desktop PC is the only way to go. PCs are still by far the best buys--you often pay through the nose for portability, and I could care less about allowing Apple to keep its miserly profit margins...;)

Am I going to give up 27" of screen real estate and a large, comfortable, human-sized keyboard with *real feedback* and a 2000-dpi precision mouse for something as clunky as an iPad? No way!...;) And of course, it's such freedom to be relieved of constantly having to think about battery-life, recharging, and the whole shmear.



Problem is that if tablets ever do "bridge the gap" then they won't be "tablets," anymore, will they? Indeed, for a tablet or a cell phone to be such in the first place is *not* to bridge such gaps...;)

Considering that dollar for dollar and pound for pound the PC blows away devices like cell phones and tablets in terms of computational power, cost, serviceability, and ease of hardware upgrade potential, I wonder that we ever have these conversations. Personally, I love being able to travel at will without having to constantly monitor the location of my tablet or laptop lest someone steal it or I leave it behind! Ah, the freedom of it...;)

Portability has its place and its value, no question about that. The mistake is when these very limited devices are compared directly to desktop PCs. The only thing these devices have going for them is portability. On every other count they lose dramatically to the traditional desktop PC.

I think you over-estimate the usefulness of desktops (and their power and serviceability), especially in the home.

1. Portability is HUGE... People can take their laptop on trips, family gatherings, the couch especially. Desktops pretty much force one place for use. My girlfriend and relatives that got a laptop at my advice LOVE the portability of it, even if its just in the house.

2. Prices and performance of laptops are reaching a point where you don't save that much from a desktop, but lose portability.

3. Yes laptops are harder to support but at $500 these days, if it lasts 2 years you get your use out of them. HDD and memory are easy to replace and repair in every laptop I have had to do those things. Sure other things have to be sent in, but its a flexible device rather then a static one for a desk.

4. Laptops don't have to hinder screen preference, I am typing this on a duel 25" screen setup with a laptop. I also have the same setup at work. As a matter of fact, where I work they are pushing to a flexible workspace, where you just plug into any desk available, because they all have docking stations and monitors, keyboards and mice.

I would believe the numbers that PC sales are falling, currently being replaced by laptops. I see it every day.

Problem is that if tablets ever do "bridge the gap" then they won't be "tablets," anymore, will they? Indeed, for a tablet or a cell phone to be such in the first place is *not* to bridge such gaps...;)

That is a bull argument. The gap is performance, the ability and power to run the tasks needed. Just like with laptops, which were at one point just as useless as tablets/phones now, tables as we know them will have the power to replace the laptop, just as now the laptop has the power to replace the PC.

When that happens, there will be tablets that will fit in a doc. Call it what you will, but things will change. Will it be tomorrow, no. Will the computer or laptop die, no not at all. But eventually these mobile platforms will have the horse power to do most what we need.
 

CoSWill

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If personal computers are on their way out, then why is it so hard to buy a new gen video card on release up to a month after?
 

Tudz

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Is the Era of the Personal Computer Over?

No, next question please :D
 

Red Falcon

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lulz @ the techno-luddites for not understanding what a PC is, or thinking that their usage patterns are the "correct" ones...


With your logic, technically a cell phone is a PC. :rolleyes:
Ivy Bridge level CPUs in a tablet, um, links/proof or shens.

Also, no, one would not be able to edit HD video, especially when tablets only carry about 1GB of system memory, when anyone who seriously uses media production beyond Windows Movie Maker needs 16-32GB+ system memory.

The fuck are you on?
 

Starcrossed

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I think the funny thing is the fear that the PC is somehow going to vanish or will have diminished support.
 

Red Falcon

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P.S. There are a multitude of computing devices... get used to it, you old farts.

There have been since the 90's, and technically the 80's.
It's just that the stupidity of these articles is really starting to get to us, considering they are factless and baseless.

Believe me, anyone with any knowledge of technology knows that the desktop PC is not going to disappear any time soon.
 

mullet

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The personal PC/Enthusiast [H]ardcore speed demon will never I repeat never go away. Unless the thirst of humans on planet earth no longer care about speed and pure awesomness!!!!!!!!!

AM I WRITE?????
 

nutzo

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2. Prices and performance of laptops are reaching a point where you don't save that much from a desktop, but lose portability.

Disagree. Maybe the priice is close on the ultra-cheap home systems, but there's a big diference in price on higher end systems.

The only reason someone gets a laptop at the office, is if they actually need the portability.

I can buy a quad core desktop/tower with a 22" display for less than the cost of a dual core laptop.
Plus the quad core has a higher clock speed than the laptop.

When it was time to upgrade, some of our developers have moved back to tower systems, due to the higher performance. And with the lower price of the tower, they can get better/larger LCD's.
 
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With your logic, technically a cell phone is a PC. :rolleyes:
Ivy Bridge level CPUs in a tablet, um, links/proof or shens.

Also, no, one would not be able to edit HD video, especially when tablets only carry about 1GB of system memory, when anyone who seriously uses media production beyond Windows Movie Maker needs 16-32GB+ system memory.

The fuck are you on?

Well, cellphones *are* general purpose computers these days.... I am specifically talking about x86 tablets and Android tablets here though.... so learn to read I guess.....

Haswell will offer greater than Ivy Bridge performance in tablets when its released... Intel is specifically targetting mobile form factors with it....

The idea that laptops would have the power to perform high end gaming duty, or run advanced production software was laughable just a few years ago.... the same generational improvements are in no way limited to the laptop form factor....

I guess someone has completely missed the last few decades of increasing processing power fitting into smaller and smaller spaces and thermal envelopes...

The fuck are you on?
 

JeebusSK

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I havent gone through the entire backlog of everyone else has posted so forgive me if I'm repeating some ideas.

I'm fairly certain (though no proof) that according to this story, Personal Computers (Desktops) have become so powerful over the past decade that the upgrade cycle is lengthened. The common users of personal computers do not take advantage of all of the hardware feature sets that are available ot them. They might stream video as the most complex activity they do on their machine. Balancing checkbooks and web surfing, including streaming video and e-mail, disc burning and such can still easily be done on a 13 year old rig. 13 years ago I was running a 1.4Ghz Athlon Tbird with 512MB RAM and a Voodoo 3 video card. If there were more popular technological advances that required more recent featuresets then we would see more desktop sales.

I'm one of the types of users that will evolve their box. I will usually improve one system piece of hardware a year until I need to upgrade an entire platform due to a CPU Socket change, and even then I usually would skip generations of socket changes. Laptops have shorter life cycles or upgrade cycles and that's not taken into account as this is firmly focused on Desktops.

I for one will never go without a desktop computer because it just feels like the central point of my electronics collection. Everything electronis that has a GUI and operating system in some way interfaces with my desktop, so it's ingrained in me to always have one. Sure a laptop would get you by but if that breaks down due to hardware failure or a virus you cant easily use a tablet or smartphone to download files to a USB drive to boot or fix an OS installation, or driver issue.
 

Chrisroman

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Come on even Star Trek still has a computer and it's even named "Computer" Sure Tricorders are cool, but it's the computer that does all the heavy lifting... Just sayin
 

Tudz

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When it was time to upgrade, some of our developers have moved back to tower systems, due to the higher performance. And with the lower price of the tower, they can get better/larger LCD's.

Yeah, I'm not sure how true this is since I don't have a lot of experience outside of the companies I've had contact with, but it does seem some people have gone back to desktops because they realise the life-cycle costs of laptops are higher. You either pay much more initially to get the same, or pay the same and get less, then in a year or two when the desktop is still going strong the laptop is barely keeping up and needs to be replaced, and for the most part it seems laptop components don't last as long even if they are high end they seem (at least in my limited experience) to wear out faster.

I'm personally wondering if the same is gonna happen with tablets. I wonder if people will realise given how low end they are, they need to replace them more often to keep up or maybe realise they still actually need a desktop system and the cost of desktop + tablet isn't worth the additional price of just having a desktop.

I don't necessarily see the tide turning toward tablets, at least just not right now, they still need to prove to consumers that they're around for the long haul rather than just a fad (and yes I know they've been around for a long time already, I'm speaking specifically of the recent iPad driven tablet boom).
 

Red Falcon

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Well, cellphones *are* general purpose computers these days.... I am specifically talking about x86 tablets and Android tablets here though.... so learn to read I guess.....

Haswell will offer greater than Ivy Bridge performance in tablets when its released... Intel is specifically targetting mobile form factors with it....

The idea that laptops would have the power to perform high end gaming duty, or run advanced production software was laughable just a few years ago.... the same generational improvements are in no way limited to the laptop form factor....

I guess someone has completely missed the last few decades of increasing processing power fitting into smaller and smaller spaces and thermal envelopes...

The fuck are you on?

I've been hearing this for years now.
I'll believe it when I see it.

White paper specs always look good, but reality shows a different story.

The idea that laptops would have the power to perform high end gaming duty, or run advanced production software was laughable just a few years ago
...and it's still laughable now. :rolleyes:
High-end gaming duty on a laptop?
Yeah, on those gigantic desktop-replacement laptops maybe, but definitely not on anything else, and definitely not on anything with embedded graphics, and certainly not a tablet.

I guess someone has completely missed the last few decades of increasing processing power fitting into smaller and smaller spaces and thermal envelopes...
While this has been happening, it is not to the extent that you are making it out to be.
You would make a great PR campaign associate for Intel, but the rest of us will continue to live in reality, k thx bye.
 

mrpc9886

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Laptops powerful enough to do everything I need (Business Analyst/PM) also fry my nutsack.

I'd rather work on a desktop system with enough RAM (hmm, not enough? I'll add more) and other upgradeable components AND store my files in the cloud (or sharepoint).

Then I can access everything I need in meetings or at home (VPN) on a the nutsack oven or a tablet.

Grownups with real jobs pretty much want to (need) a full sized keyboard and the ability to see documents and spreadsheets at the same time without wasting energy swiping and clicking to switch back and forth.

I'll take workspace efficiency over coffee shop poseur for $1000 Alex.
 

Starcrossed

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There have been since the 90's, and technically the 80's.
It's just that the stupidity of these articles is really starting to get to us, considering they are factless and baseless.

Believe me, anyone with any knowledge of technology knows that the desktop PC is not going to disappear any time soon.

I've owned a PC since the 80's. It's just annoying that older people have this tendency to remain stuck in the past because they cannot accept the present. The so-called PC has transformed -- now we have more so called PCs than ever, it is simply a matter of convenience that we have made them smaller and more portable. The PC will continue to transform and infiltrate every part of personal lives. This idea that it necessarily remain the same is no more than a nostalgic need to remain stuck to the past.
 
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