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Are PCs doomed?

Greetings, Leo! I’m retired and depend on my PC for communication, personal business, writing, maintaining a modest website, research, education, and entertainment. These days, I constantly read about the end of the PC era. What’s your opinion of the future of PCs, especially for home users? Please advise.

In my opinion, the death of the PC has been grossly exaggerated. They are not doomed. They are not going away anytime soon.  I have several different reasons I say that.

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Long live the PC

Lately, the rise of alternative devices have led to a fair amount of “PCs are doomed” hysteria. The problem is that there are still many tasks that are better suited to the PC form factor and the power.

For example things like video editing and graphics work are still significantly easier and often more precise on a PC or a PC kind of form factor than they are on some of those alternatives. For those and many other tasks desktop PCs remain the mainstay of the office and in fact, most workplaces.

As long as they continue to be a key staple for the office, PCs will be available for the home.

Nothing like a real keyboard

I use all of the different kinds of devices throughout the day and I have to say that nothing beats a real keyboard. While keyboards are available on some of the smaller form factor devices like tablets and even the phone for that matter, they’re still not quite the same. It’s still a tablet with a small keyboard or a phone with an even smaller keyboard. For people trying to do significant content production, the full-sized keyboards that are usually associated with desktop PCs and laptops are the only way to go.

Is the PC Dead?New devices doing different things

I will say that the balance is tipping. Many new devices provide a level of convenience that PCs or laptops never could. For example, laptops are extremely portable, but not in the same way that my smartphone is. I can stick that in a pocket.

These new portable devices have absolutely enabled new types of interactions and activities that simply wouldn’t be feasible with laptops and desktop PCs. That’s great. They’re different devices doing all kinds of things.

And there’s overlap. I can read email on my phone or tablet. But I’ll still come back to my desktop to do a lot of it. I certainly can’t see myself writing articles like this one on anything but a PC or PC-like device for quite some time.

While the number of PCs may go down somewhat and the ratio of PCs to mobile devices may change over time, they will not be going away any time soon. They’re just too darned useful.

9 comments on “Are PCs doomed?”

  1. Truthfully im tired of the “pcs are dead” hype. They also forgot to factor in, for a lot of people, they just cannot afford the tablets or mobiles or anything. Im one of those people i use a 5-year-old PC which i keep in good shape and its more versatile and in better shape than year-old tablets from other people I know online

  2. I think apart from the wow factor of wanting the latest “thing,” a major factor in the number of PCs and laptops being replaced by tablets and phones is that many people only use their device for surfing the web and a few emails a day. In other words, data consumers as opposed to content creators. I know a few people like that. My children, for example, use computers at work, but at home they only use their phones and tablets. The home computer is almost strictly for their kids’ homework.Tablets and smartphones are perfect for this type of user. Although, I’m not sure of the upcoming generation. I’ve seen some teens who can type faster on their phones than I can type on a keyboard 🙂

  3. For me, smartphones and tablets will never replace a PC – they merely complement it. In the past, if I wanted to “stay connected” I had to wait until I got home. Now, I can “stay connected” wherever I am.

    But for any serious work nothing will replace my PC.

  4. I agree that PCs are not dying anytime soon, but there is another factor to consider, voice recognition. Google has learned my voice very well & can produce the typed word faster than I can type. I am a very fast typist upwards around 65 to 75 words per minute.

  5. Hi Leo
    Have read your article again and think there may be one factor not covered. This of course is the size of the screen. Even where I live TV’s of 40/50 inches are the norm !!!.
    I myself use a normal size Laptop and an iPhone. While I think the fone is truelly brilliant and use it a lot, nevertheless my only criticism is the size of the screen. If I was still working with disposable income I believe my first priority would be a new Laptop with a much larger screen. Do believe that a lot of people round the globe would echo my sentiments.
    Any views yourself on this matter ???

  6. I prefer PCs now. They are so convenient to read and type. I’ve also purchased a tablet, just to get used to it. But, I find it uncomfortable and time consuming to use for online purchases. I also miss the mouse there. I find some of the fields do not work in tablets. It must be worse in smart phones.
    Whichever way the world moves, I may retain the PC or atleast the laptop!

  7. The problem with that all-in-one stuff is: something fails, all fails, and leaves you empty handed.

    For me desktops whether PC or Mac are the things to be.
    And pre-owned fast business computers are very cheap to buy.
    They are easy to repair if necessary.

    Laptops are prone to hardware problems that are expensive and/or difficult to cope with.
    I have still two running here until the day they completely die.

    I’ve a tablet too, must be hiding somewhere in a corner.

    Another post mentioned screen size.
    I don like wide screens (and scrolling), they look nice but when you do a lot of Photoshopping/Gimping you find yourself short of vertical height on most wide screens.

    If I feel the urge to buy something portable again I will go for a 7 inch phablet with a separate headset/microphone. And some stuff for navigation.

  8. Kind of like the “DOS is dead” mantra every time a new version of Windows came out. (As of Windows 7 — the last 32-bit Windows I used — MS-DOS was still alive and well, being able to run a 1984 version of our software.)

    I wonder… Is there a 32-bit version of Win10?

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