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PC-Plus Era: The Mythology of the Post-PC Era

John Boline

The nightly news, industry analysts, and some technology leaders all seem to have embraced the “post-PC” era. They use it as a way to describe the end of the PC, as if it has come and gone. Did you miss it? Me too! If you believe what you hear in the media, the PC is dead. But is it really? I believe the rumors are greatly exaggerated.

Size No one can argue that the size of computing devices getting smaller and smaller. The fact is the first computers filled entire floors of buildings and when the first PC came about, it could sit on the desktop, but took up most of it. Green monitors gave way to amber ones and then color, albeit CYMK monitors that really looked bad. Technology progressed, and first came the advent of cell phones followed by the earliest smartphones. (Remember the first time you asked someone what that thing was and they said a BlackBerry?) Today’s smartphones have more storage and processing power than the first PC’s.

Smaller and More Portable Apple released the iPhone. It was not ready for business, but it was friendly. With upgrades to iOS, the next model iPhone was more business centric. This started the slow death of BlackBerry as the leader in Smartphone market share. The first Android Smartphone was released and everyone said an operating system that can be customized would not work. People liked the look and feel of it just as they had the iPhone. They also liked the fact that there were so many apps that were available for free with this platform. This caused another switch. Now Android leads Apple in smartphone deployments, and both companies have outstepped the BlackBerry.

Readers and Apps and Movies, Oh My! Amazon released a reader in 2007. They called it a Kindle. Suddenly, there was a new device that everyone had to have. You could take a library of books with you wherever you went and the display was visible in bright sun at the beach. Several other readers from competitors came out that were less popular and still others went out of business (remember Borders?). In 2010, Apple released the iPad and it was new. It was in color. It could do what the readers did and run apps just like the iPhone. Kindle Fire and Nook Color followed. Samsung put out the Galaxy Tablet and was promptly sued by Apple. In his 2011 biography, Steve Jobs said that he would stop at nothing to take down Android. "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank to right this wrong," Jobs said in his biography. Tablets are here to stay and they will have a part to play in our technology choices. People use tablets for instances when laptops are too cumbersome. Now Microsoft has released it’s Surface tower and is looking for a piece of the tablet market. The fallout from that may be the reason Steve Ballmer is on his way out according to those in the know. Tablets
PC Plus Era What remains consistent, in regards to technology, is innovation. It is what drives the PC and computing marketplace. Someone innovates and then someone manages to top that innovation. Technology is seldom an all or nothing proposition. PC’s, be they desktops, servers or rack mounted blade servers powering the cloud, will be there to power the tablets and mobile devices. As Lenovo, one of the largest PC and electronic device manufacturers said, “we are in a PC-plus era”. Lenovo’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing said, “We don’t think there’s a post-PC era—we see a PC-plus era. We know that the PC is no longer the only Internet-access device, but it’s still critical.” Tablets and mobile devices are compliments to the desktop or laptop PC, which are typically used when someone doesn't need full-size processing power, screen size, or a physical keyboard.
Post PC Era RIPTo say we are in a post-PC era is like believing that most companies stopped allowing telecommuting. While it is true that Best Buy and Yahoo! changed their policies, 97% of companies surveyed did not. The same is true of PC’s. Have you or anyone else seen a change in PC deployment in your company? Did you throw out your PC at home when you got a tablet? Of course not! These new technologies compliment, but do not replace the older technology. My PC’s are used to stream content to tablets and smart phones. I doubt that I will ever be able to edit HD or greater video on my tablet due to the size of the files and the limited space the tablet has for storage. Can you do the kinds of things with CAD on a tablet or other smart device that you can on a PC? The answer is simply no. The fact is, we really are not going to be in a post-PC era for quite some time.

How can I get more information on this subject?

There is an old adage that says don’t believe everything you read. That can now extend to hear or see as well! Look at the hardware requirements of what you use, be it CAD software, serious gaming or video / audio editing and see if you can use those things without a PC. Enough said!

If you have questions or comments about this article, contact me.

All product names / logos, company names / logos are copyrights of their respective holders. John Boline is an MCSE, MCTS, CNE, USE and a member of the Network Professional Association.The content herein is often based on late-breaking events. Much of the material is based on information from sources that are believed to be reliable. Hagerman & Company, Inc. disclaims all warranties as to the ultimate accuracy or completeness of the information. Hagerman & Company, Inc. and its employees shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained within this article or for any interpretations thereof. The recommendations, positions and best practice policies outlined herein represent Hagerman & Company, Inc. initial analysis and therefore are subject to change as further information which may have bearing on these positions is made available. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Hagerman & Company, Inc. assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements made in this newsletter to reflect any change in circumstances, after the date of publication.Entire contents © 2013 Hagerman & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden.

Submitted by John Boline, Services Manager, Hagerman & Company, Inc.