Is the PC's Reign Ending?

Bill Loguidice's picture

There's an interesting piece by Mercury News Columnist, Troy Wolverton, boldly titled, The PC's reign is ending, where he basically states that this is the beginning of the end of the PC's dominance as our primary computing device. This is the same basic premise as "PC gaming is dying", which we all know is an overblown idea that's been run up the flagpole since the 90's, but, as with that well-worn mantra, I have to agree there's some truth to the concept when it's not taken strictly as a sensationalistic headline. After all, many of us, myself included, have smartphones that perform the majority of functions we used to need powerful desktop or laptop computers for, effectively replacing them in a surprising number of situations.

Luckily, the article is not as superficial as the headline and opening, and does in fact make the point we've made around here time and again, that the reality is a computer by any other name is still a computer. So while it may not be a big gray tower under your desk or a clamshell notebook with a full stroke keyboard in your briefcase, it's really just an evolution of the form factor and more specific functional repurposing (e.g., a smartphone being designed around making calls first, or a videogame console being designed around playing games). The reality is when you factor in things like smartphones and now, tablets, computers are more explosively dominant than ever and will continue on such an upward trajectory until we reach the point of complete saturation and actual disposable computing devices. It's said everything will eventually have a microchip, and really, we're not that far off. I for one welcome our new computing overlords, no matter what shape they take or by what other category we try to place them in.

Comments

Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
Don't look at the workplace

Don't look at the workplace if you want to see the future of computing. You should take ride on my daily commuter train. There are people working on Windows 2000 laptops. They are also usually given Blackberry phones. If I take a later train, with just normal travellers (not business people) they have iPhones and MacBooks.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Another "PC is dead" article,

Another "PC is dead" article, though again, the most shocking bit is the title, not the actual content, which states like we've been stating that the computing universe will simply expand and the PC itself is not going anywhere, just how critical it is: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/216781/the_pc_is_dead_long...

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Quite right, Bill. It's all

Quite right, Bill. It's all too easy to get some attention by announcing the premature death of something. "The University is Dead," "English is dead," "Elvis is not dead!" and boom, there's a gaggle of reporters there to publicize the nonsense.

Saying that PC gaming is dead is particularly stupid. What does it even mean? There have always been exclusives and games that were not ported to PC. There have always been more profitable venues (except perhaps just after the crash Christmas and, less likely, during the early 90s). How big of a bonehead do you have to be not to see the enormous profits made by WoW and other MMORPGs, games like Civ 5, Starcraft II, Farmville, etc.?

As far as I'm concerned, anyone claiming that PC gaming is dead is either a liar or an ignoramus. If you want to talk about PC gaming not receiving exclusives or top-priority, fine, but that's a different discussion.

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
"Dead", "Death", "Killer",

"Dead", "Death", "Killer", they are link-bait for headlines.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Crazy old John C. Dvorak argues the opposite...

Well known flame baiter John C. Dvorak argues that videogame consoles are dying or already "dead": http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375916,00.asp . I'd be embarassed if I made any of these "this massively successful category is dead" statements, be it PC gaming, consoles, etc.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Yeah, when you think about

Yeah, when you think about all the homebrew out there, it's a bit hard to say any platform is dead! Even the Vectrex or CP/M isn't really dead. I bet there are still people out there using Windows 3.x or Microsoft Bob.

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