By Lon Hosford
PC Sales 1Q 2013 dropped 14% According To International Data Corp in this article, PC Outlook Darkens as Sales Slump Deepens in 1Q, posted by Associated Press.
One reason given is the consumer’s move to mobility devices such as smartphones and tablets.
If you define a personal computer by its appearance and its mobility, then you see a major change. If you define a personal computer as how you use it, then we have an explosive growth in personal computing that is unmatched in the history of computing.
For example email, social networking, web browsing and entertainment have moved to mobility devices. As well there is a movement of business and personal productivity functions such as video conferencing or time and to mobility devices like tablets. Education needs are all well met by tablets. You can read books, take tests and watch instruction on mobility devices.
So a key reason for personal computers, their usage, has moved. Actually has spread out.
But more so the physical components of a personal computer have spread out.
If you remove a personal computer or laptop’s processor and storage you basically have a television screen. The mobility devices can wirelessly use that screen and regular television screens.
The processor is now, a bit less powerful but with more efficient software, located in mobility devices with some software.
Storage has moved to mobility devices, but not completely. A lot of storage was already on the move to cloud storage. Google Drive and Apple Cloud are good examples.
The input device has become a a fully portable touch screen with the additional capability to view the output. Users choose to use the touch screen or attach a traditional physical keyboard as well can choose to use the touch screen or broadcast to a TV or computer monitor for a larger view.
Software has become distributed. Software may run completely on a device but the trend is software running as a service or some say in the cloud. The mobility devices contain only the needed software functions to deal with the device local storage due to loss of network connection plus some security information and information about where and how the device is used such as in GPS and network access portables detected.
The personal computer as one unit is in decline, but has exploded into many devices all still performing together as a personal computer has in the past.
There are still productivity function where a large monitor, good keyboard, mouse, touchpad and stylist is needed. Some software just demands powerful local resources like these. Drafting, 3D animation, software development tools and even still productivity based word processing seem to retain the need for the traditional personal computer as one unit.
The mobility devices we see today, tablets and smartphones, are going to evolve and become part of mobility suites of devices you have. We have smart watches and smart glasses on the way.
The personal computer of the past will become woven into login to your mobility device suite. You might being tracke each time you open the fridge or even will tell you what is in the fridge while you are shopping.
Consider Google glasses. Another mobility device on the horizon. It could detect help you shop gathering information from your kitchen and helping direct you in purchases. It might advise you about economical quantities to purchase to avoid spoilage.
When you shop for personal computing, you will find thinking about the mobility device suite available to you and to some extent who share similar mobility device suites.
You may even find purchase will include a set, rather than making each item a separate purchase decision. That set may include a TV sized monitor, a few input devices of the past like a wireless keyboard and mouse, a table, a smart phone, a watch, a set of glasses and more as inventors think of them.