Why the Much-Hyped Post-PC Era Never Arrived
NEWS ANALYSIS: Despite the hype from phone and tablet aficionados, sales of desktop and laptop computers are on the rebound and Windows might even be one the reasons.The idea of a post-PC era has been around long enough now that most people think it's a given that sales of desktop and laptop computers are in a permanent, spiraling decline. The belief is that we'll eventually reach a point where those dinosaurs of yesteryear will quietly vanish, except perhaps for some in quaint special applications. Reality, unfortunately, has a way of intruding on long-held beliefs. Recently, I was chatting with my colleague at eWEEK, Chris Preimesberger, who told me of a discussion he recently had with veteran PC maker Michael Dell. The word from Dell is that sales of desktop and laptop computers are up. Chris says that this is because there are a lot of jobs that you simply can't do with a phone. To illustrate that, Michael Dell asked, "When your kid goes off to college, are you going to give him only a cell phone?"
Taken tens of thousands of times over, and expanding the view beyond college to the workplace, it's easy to see why larger PC models are holding their own. There are simply some jobs, ranging from engineering to content creation, that need a larger form factor. While it's certainly possible to type a term paper or a book on a tablet or even a phone, the issue isn't about what's possible, it's about what's practical.