Monday, September 5, 2011

The post-PC era: The harbinger of death is mobile internet

Some people really love their PC's and strenuously object to its demise. The PC is not going to die, but it is going never going to occupy the same place it has in our live for the better part of two decades.

Some people really love their PC's. They tweak, overclock and customize them. But most people did not have a love affair with the PC. It was the Internet they loved, and the PC was their conduit to that. The end of the PC era was not brought about by the smartphone or the tablet, but by mobile internet. 

There was a time when the PC was the only way to browse the web and the wealth of information in it, communicate with people in far away at a low cost via email, instant messengers, and later VOIP and Social Networking, play games online and view the growing library of online multimedia content. Stuck to a dial up modem or a cable connection, the PC was the best way to interact wit the Net.

Lenovo IdeaCentre. The desktop is evolving but not enough to keep it from leaving your homes and going back to the office.
But now, internet is mobile, first through WiFi hot spots and now to 3G, a device which sits on a desk the whole day is or even something as portable as a laptop, but which still has to used on a desk, loosing relevance in many applications.

The Internet has gone from desktop to your pocket.
Communication is best when it is done in real time. Email, instant messaging, VOIP and Social Networking have taken their proper place beside voice calls and SMS on your smartphone. The smartphone being the smallest and handiest computer we have, is the one we are most likely to have with us the whole day, so it makes sense that all forms of communication will center around it. The smartphone can do other things too. You can browse the web, do 3D gaming and a lot of neat stuff. In the end, if you had to pick only one "computer" I think we would pick the smartphone over the tablet, laptop, desktop and console.

Mobile web browsing, mobile access of multimedia content and mobile gaming are going to the tablet. PC advocates point out that the tablet lacks power for true gaming. Right now it looks like tablet power is doubling every year. 

Kinect for Xbox by Microsoft.  There is just no way a PC can compete with new interactive gaming. It is a lot healthier for your kids too. So get rid of the keyboard and mouse, and if you can't get them unto the football field, at least you can get them back on their feet.
When you go back to your own home, this are not looking better for the PC either. For gaming at home, the console which once seemed to have died a permanent death in the late 80's, began clawing back in the mid-90's, and these dedicated gaming devices (which now offer a whole lot of additional feature too) will continue to take more and more of the gaming market from PC's will continue to do so. With the additional pressure from the tablet, and the new interactive gaming technologies, PC gaming is doomed, and it really is just a matter of time. 

Sony Internet TV. 1080p really looks best on you 32-inch++ LCD TV.
Internet at home, well it will become the province of our TV's. We will go to  YouTube and search Wikipedia in the same way we tune in to CNN.  

So what happens to our desktops and laptops. The PC was for a time a jack-of-all trades. Like all in one tools, it can do everything but not as good as a dedicated device. PC's will go back to what they were designed for in the first place, as office machines. There are still people who need computers for work. So the PC is not dying anytime in the foreseeable future. But is is definitely out of the communications and entertainment business.


  1. "There is just no way a PC can compete with new interactive gaming."
    This single comment makes your entire article worthless, as it's obviously been written by someone with absolutely minimal knowledge on gaming of ANY sorts. As amazing as the Kinect is, it's an awful tool for serious gaming, and anyone gaming by themselves, regardless of age, will not choose the Kinect. It might be fun for kids regardless of having friends, but anybody over the age of 14 would rather use a console pad or PC (personally, I choose PC).

  2. I think we are just going to have to wait and see on this one, but I so not think the keyboard and the mouse will sway for ever.


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