David Keane (Global) - PCs Are Dead, Long Live the Tablet
Mobile Communications

David Keane (Global) - PCs Are Dead, Long Live the Tablet

On the frontlines of BYOD and enterprise mobility we can see an obvious trend. We've all seen the headlines - the PC industry continues its steady decline, Intel's ditching the motherboard business and Gartner shows a 4Q12 4.9% decrease in PC shipments.

Though there are plenty of concerns associated with BYOD, organizations are increasingly (albeit begrudgingly, in some circumstances) allowing the use of mobile devices in the workplace. So what does the PC's steady decline and the rise of the tablet mean for IT professionals across the board?

As tablets - the PC's smaller, cheaper, portable and affordable rival - overtake the IT domain, enterprises must address the resultant challenges, concerns, strategies and benefits.

Enabling mobile workers with a mobile device is not enough for IT departments when it comes to delivering on the promise of tablet computing. In order for the tablet to successfully surpass the PC's legacy, enterprises must ensure employee productivity via user empowerment productivity-based solutions. When IT departments begin the process of researching solutions for their mobile workforce, there are three key elements required for success:

Security
It's no secret that security woes have been at the forefront - and indeed the main reason for controversy - when it comes to BYOD. Security on mobile devices entails more than simple document encryption, because content today includes more than files - there are apps, HTML, video, forms, etc. to consider. PCs are secure, but are tablets? It's far more difficult to ensure the right content is sent to the right people at the right time and location, based on roles defined by the organization. Therefore, in order for mobile app security to work, role-based access and content control is required.

Intelligence
Because tablets allow remote workers access to business content on the go, it's difficult to determine who uses what content, and why. How do employees use content? Users require a certain level of interactivity with the documents and other content they receive, regardless of their location or the device being used to access it. They need to be able to edit, share, make and control annotations, etc., and it must be done in a way that helps end users make better use of the massive amount of content pushed to them on an hourly, daily and weekly basis.

Social features
End users must be able to learn from each other and leverage expert intelligence from within the organization. The system an enterprise chooses to deploy must offer internet feeds and other content right to the users devices.

In the end, the numbers don't lie, and the growing popularity of BYOD shows there is unlimited potential for organizations as the trend continues to dominate the marketplace in 2013 - the number of worldwide tablet users has reached 760 million and the mobile enterprise content market shows $48.2 billion in untapped opportunity. Though the ‘PC is dead' trend has certainly infiltrated the IT industry, it's up to enterprises to provide a secure, intelligent and social application that ensures work content is available remotely, remains in the right hands and that company productivity and is not sacrificed.



By David Keane, Founder and CEO, bigtincan

 

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Comments

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A.Lizard on March 15 2013

No, one-size-fits-all solutions are dead. I rather doubt this article was written on a tablet or smartphone, even with an external keyboard. Traditional desktop towers are becoming niche solutions. But for desktop productivity users, nothing I've seen works better than traditionally organized desktops. What sense do the optimizations needed to make a smartphone usable make on a 19" desktop monitor? What advantage does a touchscreen have over a mouse or touchpad for a person composing a document on a keyboard? Just who is it that would compose complex graphics or produce video on a tablet? Tablets are fine for media consumption, replacing traditional clipboards, or for lightweight editing on word processor documents. The only shift I see for productivity is towards laptops and notebooks. While the desire of OS/app developers to write single app UIs for all platforms is understandable, their convenience means nothing to me. If they don't provide what I need, I'm not buying. Look at Win8/Metro sales numbers and the anger of the Ubuntu users over Unity if you want to look at the future of productivity computing. I run Ubuntu with a KDE desktop. I've heard sales of hacks to make Win8 look like Win7 for the few people who bought those machines are doing well.

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GORDON HALL on March 15 2013

In what universe are tablets cheaper than PCs? Definitely not in the one in which I live. PCs are also more easily upgraded and have/can carry far more memory.

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John Murphy on March 15 2013

The author of this article is a complete idiot. Tablets will never replace PCs. That's like telling everyone to replace their cars with smart cars. Smart cars have their uses and their users but not everyone needs one. People need people carriers, pick up trucks, vans, articulated lorries. Anyone who says tablets are going to replace PCs need to be laughed at for the rest of their life for being such an idiot.

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jeff chard on March 15 2013

I have an iPad and Surface RT. I also use win workstations where ever I am. I have almost discarded the iPad. I use the RT for all my consumption, and when necessary mobile creative work. However I would never replace a workstation for real creative work. Tablets will never replace them. All my blogs chardjeffrey.wordpress.com with the assistance of SkyDrive are created using my Parramatta office workstation, my Sydney office workstation, and my surface RT. Workstations with dual screens and a real keyboard are clearly my preferred option.

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Sourav on March 15 2013

Tablet can't be a replacement of PC. Tablets, smart phones are good in their class but they're just a tool, they're just a new extension. Tablets and smart phones are getting popular for decreasing prise, mobility, style. It's just a trend to have that kind of gadgets. Go for any hardcore task you'll need a PC (Desktop or Laptop/Windows or Mac). Processing power, storage, customization, large view and so on, everything under a roof. Tablets and smart phones are designed to do some specific tasks. Other hand, the machine by which you can do everything is called a PC.

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Jay Zed on March 15 2013

Settle down, of course this article is wildly biased towards tablets. The writer runs a company that provides enterprise features for companies using them. And it wouldn't be as much fun if the article was balanced - 'horses for courses' etc. The bigger issue in my mind is the dumbing down that moving too many workers to a consumer product brings. I use a tablet at work (for presentations and to read documents) but I also have a laptop and a powerful desktop. Each has their place for different tasks. However, an account manager at our business moved to a tablet and the quality of his work has suffered as a result. Mind you, he's a luddite and I think we spent more time fixing his laptop (which was a magnet for malware) than he did using it. Tablets are great for consumption. It'll be a long time before they will be useful for creating anything decent. In the meantime, I share concerns that the takeover of the consumer space by these mostly passive goggle boxes will drive the price of proper machines up as they become more niche. I also think a lot of the slowing in growth of PC's is related to the high power of recent and current CPUs. People just don't need to upgrade as often, but they still use their PC's.

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John Taylor on March 15 2013

The limiting factors are ease of data entry and visibility of displayed data. The holographic keyboard and screen addresses both of these issues. All current devices will become obsolete once Tony Stark gets it right.

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Frank Lee Speakin on March 15 2013

Riiiight!!... So is the Explosion Engine that powers individual, commercial, industrial and military vehicles....and the electric car is here to rules the world's roads and highways... Well give it a dozen more years will you?... to the PC I mean. And then try again.

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Kimberley on March 15 2013

... or perhaps in the cloud. With WiFi everywhere, 4g, cloud storage, the normal PC will not be needed by most. The desktop system, apart from when it interfaces to special devices like Lab systems or CAD/CAM, etc., has really gone now. The laptop will follow in the same way, because users don't need the complexity any more. Software on smartphones is cheap and cloud based solutions are much easier to maintain. So unless you really need the laptop/desktop, you won't bother. Young people simply will go straight for the iPad/tablet. I myself with poor vision use a laptop as a desktop with a larger monitor and keyboard, but I also have a smartphone and magnifying glass to help with very small text. Manufacturers will make what the markets buys, even if that is not the best thing in reality. profit will drive this whole process.

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nt300 on March 15 2013

PC's cater to a different market. They cater to people with tablets and people that have no tablets. They are both different and each serves a purpose. PC Gaming for instance has been growing in popularity. Especially from people that build PC's from the ground up. Is the PC dead? No, is the PC dying? No.

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jeff on March 15 2013

PCs will not die because tablets have inherent limits: size, weight, and power. People that use tablets want a light, easy to carry system. That precludes heavy batteries and big screens. They want it to run all day without charging which precludes power hungry, high resolution screens (the Microsoft Surface Pro bumps into this problem). The limited power also forces manufacturers to use CPUs and disks that run slower. The network is wireless 100 Mbit instead of wired gigabit. Will some of these restrictions ease over time, sure. But PCs will also be moving ahead. If you want the best performance, PCs will always be ahead of tablets. I have replaced my desktop with a laptop workstation in a dock but I'm not a gamer so it works for me. Tablets replacing PC? Maybe for highly mobile people that are mostly content consumers. Not for content producers.

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Paul on March 15 2013

Leave the; let's call them 'workstations' so we include Apple Desktops as well, to the people that do real work shall we? And we'll downsize everyone that only need a tablet for not doing real work. I would love to see anyone put in an honest day's work on a tablet alone. And answering email is not work! I mean actually contributing IP or unmissable effort!

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kennyrosenyc on March 15 2013

Yeah right! This is sooooooo wrong for two major reasons (and a host of minor ones that I won't even get into). First of all - Scientifically speaking - it is impossible to build anything smaller than an electron (or any sub-atomic particle - even a Carbon Nanotube has to have at least one atom of Carbon). We are, at present, building processors and components that use electrons They aren't commercially available, but that's not the point. The point is, at some future date it will become impossible to improve upon tablet design simply because of the size. Second of all - There are presently 12.5 million Americans out of work but 5 million computer related jobs available (factoring in the fact that many of these jobs carry no geographical requirements whatsoever... you don't have to live in England to design a website in England). Why aren't Americans getting these jobs? It's because we're running around replacing devices that allow you to learn and use code with devices that are designed to put ads in your face 24/7. As a consequence people in places like India and China (where old desktops are plentiful and cheap) are swallowing these jobs up. In fact the kids working at Foxconn (who we are so angry about) will more than likely be our new bosses in 10 years because they will know way more about technology than we do.

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Martin Mato on March 15 2013

Can I: 1. Try out a new OS on a tablet? 2. Install a heavy-duty db (Oracle, SQL Server etc.) on a tablet? 3. Configure LAMP, WAMP etc. on a tablet? Till these are possible, the PC is guaranteed healthy respect (and long life) among IT pros.

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RCM on March 16 2013

Can we get the numbers showing that corporate PC buying has been declining (separate for home and corporate acquisitions)?

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ITinMD on March 16 2013

Tablets will eventually replace the pc in the conventional sense. I am an engineer is a large. SaaS and IaaS organization. Everything we are engineering is for remote access and use. Everything from how power virtual desktops to whole ecommerce sites. What I am getting at everything in the future, even your email apps, games and basic word processing apps will be in the cloud. Cheap monthly or even yearly charges that five years of service would equal the cost of a conventional pc today but the cloud never goes out of date. The tablet will be a tool to get to these resources and or the smart devices like your tv. Right now I can take my table and wirelessly sync my screen to my 47 inch smart tv and my tablet becomes my mouse and keyboard as I develope and enginner in the cloud. When I go on a trip my tablet then can be used as a tablet and I work from it in the cloud. No real power needed. Go to the office, there is a large screen smart tv in the conf room, we throw what we see on the tablet to that tv for everyone to vie or share it so they can view in their tablet. All my work, all my docs, designs, etc. In the cloud, backed up, and accessible anywhere. Why do I need a pc? It is coming. They even have gaming specced virtual systems in the cloud.

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Aidan Cheddar on March 16 2013

Tablets are another form of PCs (aka. Personal Computers)! Explain to me how am I wrong? I can personalize it, especially Android devices, and last time I checked there was a computer underneath that screen. They are not dead, just taking on another form factor.

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Rowland Carver on March 16 2013

When fingers get smaller this may happen. Until then, we will use both tablet's and PCs.

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Pradip Sagdeo on March 16 2013

I know I am paraphrasing the famous quote of a famous author. Has anyone declaring the PC dead tried to do any serious scientific, engineering, graphics, or for that matter, word processing, database, presentation work on a tiny tablet? The people declaring PC dead must be working for the marketing department of the tablet makers. It is their job to sell these puny little things, no matter what the user really needs. I am not buying one for the foreseeable future. I just built a state-of-the art PC myself. Thanks.

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Dr. Salah Shakir on March 16 2013

Tablets can not kill PCs the same way rental movies did not kill movie theater. I use Ipad and Iphone all the time but I use PC more than my tablet. Some day, the usage of PCs will go below the tablet's usage.

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Dick E on March 16 2013

... which is Fortune 500 and state government MIS consulting, tablets thus far are status-symbol vehicles for note taking during meetings. Their real value to most users in this setting is to offer gaming, email and net browsing, and other diversionary activities to relieve boredom. I'm a dinosaur who still uses pen and paper, leaving my Google Nexus 7 at home for its intended purpose.

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EphYoo2 on March 16 2013

I signed up here solely to right the author and rip him apart for being so dumb: tbankfully A.Lizard has spoken much more eloquently than I on the same point. Thx to: A.Lizard Idjitz to: Article Autbor EphYoo

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Charles Ostman on March 16 2013

OK, I get it, fine. It's a nice attempt at an attention getting title, sort of a techno pheromone blog piece, but the "PC is dead", seriously??? From the extreme outer fringe frontiers of frivolous fluff journalism, this is one of those quirky diatribes that will some day come back to haunt the author. The archives of future history will dredge up this bit, to be eternally regurgitated into the virtual universe. Remember some of those "futurist" books (books, you know, those things with printed letters on actual paper) from a few decades ago, with their fantastic pontifications of a new world (brave or otherwise) looming ahead? Well, I'll be charitable here. Let's just say, not so fast with the "dead PCs" bit, really. Oh, BTW, I'm typing this on my HP Pavilion HPE PC - quite happily so! Just for reference, I've been around since before the first "PCs" ever existed, before there was an "Apple" anything. Even built my own PC, from scratch. Oh my . . . I still use a phone! I mean, an actual telephone . . . gasp!

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JimH338 on March 16 2013

Now that the power of a laptop has fallen in line with that of a closely priced desktop, I've decided never to buy another desktop. Sure, it is easier to upgrade the hardware in a desktop - and I am fully capable of doing that myself - but I examined my computer use over the past 20 years. What I realized is that in actuality, I rarely did any upgrades other than hard drive replacement. I used each computer until it became obsolete, and then replaced it completely. In other words... I'd been treating desktop systems as if they WERE laptops. The only advantage over a similarly capable laptop was price - which until about 5 years ago or so was a 50% or more premium just for the ability to carry it with me. This difference is now minimal. Currently, I use my laptop as a desktop system when I am home (plugged into an HDTV, USB 3.0 hub with three 2TB external drives, wireless KB and mouse), and when I'm away, I just grab the mouse (I hate trackpads!) and enjoy my laptop's display - which, at 17", is much larger than any tablet I've seen.

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Jim Moore on March 16 2013

No writer should throw out an acronym without at least, one time, explainging what the hell it is! Where did you ever learn journalism????? Yes, I DO own computers, repair them, design websites and I'm also a journalist. Are you just trying to throw around acronyms to make us think you're smart or superior? Your article is kind of dumb, too!

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Mike on March 16 2013

I have used two different tablets, and they work fine, but will never replace the PC. They are an extension of the PC for mobility and that is all. I could never be as productive on a tablet as a PC or a laptop. Don't know who they are trying to convince

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Rick Ash on March 16 2013

I agree with 90% of the other comments. Dual 27" screens, full QWERTY kybd, multi-function mouse, GTX 295 GPU, 32GB RAM, Dual NIC, Smart, removable USB drive for backups, CPU Cooler, screaming Intel CPU (and OC'd)Let Intel stop mfg mobo's, EVGA, ASUS or somebody will. And I have a tablet, an iPad, a Kindle Fire, a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle 3G. Plus my iPhone 5. Give ME a PC for real work or play.

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janet on March 16 2013

So, tell me all about long complicated gaming on a tablet and how much fun that is and I don't mean a silly arcade game. how is Skyrim on a tablet? how about storing all those mods and all those saves and backups? you get a few heavy-duty games on your tablet and how is it that you have room for all that? how do you run your shooter? how about all the games and DLC with long download time? and re productivity, if you spend your days transcribing technical material, tablets are really fun for hours and hours of real work? it takes the right tool to do the job, whatever it is.

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Schyler Jones on March 16 2013

The title of the article is a very inaccurate statement and it has nothing to do with the article. Tablets are making it old fashion to haul laptops around, but they're not even a consideration for replacing a desktop computer.

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say what? on March 17 2013

really? I dont think so. I think the author did not do a good job researching the info. Tablets are not viable for many tasks within a company. Also that means said company needs a dev team to develop apps to run on tablets. So no, tablets are not going to replace PCs and anyone who says that is an idiot.

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John Waltham on March 17 2013

Looks like yet another author who made the big step from the used car sales yard to IT. It shows a total lack of understanding of the IT industry and the devices in use. Let me clarify: 1. The tablet is a subset of the PC/laptop. Not an evolution. Many consumers were buying laptops and PCs but never needed them. When the tablet, a trimmed-down device came along, they went for it. It's like in the past trucks were the only available "cars", and now passenger cars have become available. So the users who don't actually need trucks buy a passenger car. The true market for PCs and laptops is not shrinking. It is, in fact, expanding as new businesses start up in BRICS countries. However yes the consumer segment that never needed a PC or laptop has left the market, which was artificially inflated because of them. 2. There is a kind of economic issue in the world at the moment. It is affecting the economies of the US and Europe, two of the largest markets for business PCs and laptops. Thus, in these markets, purchases have been postponed, and replacement cycles made longer (say every 4 years rather than every 3 years). This has affected the sales volumes, but does not mean there is less market. It is just that the market takes longer to replace their units. 3. Microsoft's Windows is still the leading OS for PCs and laptops. They have once again screwed up their product (due to their own lack of understanding of the market) and launched the awful Windows 8 which is neither for tablets nor PCs. In the past, businesses would align replacement cycles with major new Windows releases to some degree. The lack of a usable new Windows version has caused businesses to lack the incentive for an OS-driven replacement/upgrade. Bottom line: there's nothing wrong with the PC industry. Some people in different, consumer-oriented industries try to push tablets, using all kinds of BS hype that has no foundation in reality. Please get some industry mileage before wasting people's time with useless articles like this. I'm surprised IDG lets you publish this kind of drivel.

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mrklaxon on March 17 2013

Do you want readers? Stop writing baseless inflammatory articles... This reflects a current marketing trend only and doesn't provide any value. Put a bunch of excitable comments in a supposedly knowledgeable article and hope for some witless CIO/CFO/CEO to read it and think it's gospel. Tablets cannot be PCs with current horsepower. Once they gain that horsepower they become touchscreen pcs. Centralized computing (no I won't use the other abused term "cloud") is the one valid argument that could be used in favor of tablets but as noted earlier they still have limits and cost savings has been shown over and over again to be minimal only under special circumstances and usually not at all. Stop beating the drum and come up with some useful information on making tablets affordable and useful.

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Captain Obvious on March 17 2013

Face it, there's a "cool factor" in tablets or phablets; just for taking notes. But when it comes to really complex applications -- and a lot of them -- my precious tablet just isn't enough. I'll prefer my desktop over my laptop (and I can get to it with my tablet), or a laptop when I need a lot of portability right now. As far as satisfying my development needs, the tablet ain't it.

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Dante1969 on March 17 2013

Funny! this article seems written from an 8 y old child, because a 12 years old one is just DREAMING of a Quad Core I5 PC to play with minecraft , WoW and make video on Youtube. Tablet are useless TOYS, with NO optical unit, NO Graphic card for work, and no keyboard. Try to take a look in an OFFICE in the world....

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dan on March 17 2013

Wireless, can drop off, mobility tablets are not powerful computers that's form following functionality!!!

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Lin on March 17 2013

I do computer artwork and there is no way I could do it on any tablet around today.

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Michael Moore on March 18 2013

I think the PC is certainly not dead but she's become more like the ageing actress - once quite the sexy leading lady now she's the reliable "go to" girl. I strongly suspect the declining PC sales has more to do with people realising their PC does all it needs to do with its current operating system and current applications running on its current hardware. And like those glamourous leading ladies of the past as long as it still performs it will still have a job and still be relied on but the new money is going to the sexy new starlets - the tablets and the smartphones and the new hybrid "when I take my top off I'm incredibly sexy!" machines with their detachable touch screens and bluetooth keyboards. There will be a place in most homes and just about every office for the star that the ageing PC once was for many, many years to come but they've definitely lost their sex appeal to the new, younger, sexier girls in town!

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Mikey Gold on March 18 2013

I don't know who this guy is talking about, but I am a developer in NYC's financial industry, and I can say for certain: No developer, or heavy duty Excel jockey, or financial analyst, or trader, or math or science or engineering guru, is going to get their work done on some tablet. They want and need big, powerful, easy to use PC's, databases and servers. The PC is not going anywhere in the big business world for a LONG time.

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Rond peek on March 18 2013

I disagree with that pcs at dead., they can fixed by you if you know how and it holds more memory. A tablet is great but if it bricks-you have send it off to fix it or buy a new one. The tablet ,I don't think its is meant to replace home pcs.....just a more portable version.

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Richard on March 18 2013

As a design firm, we will not be doing plans on a phone or tablet as designers need to see large images on large displays and enough processor power to render and calculate at high speeds. Yes, other devices will augment PCs, but for many of the reasons stated above PCs are far from dead. VDMs are still are not 100% replacements either. I am unsubscribing because I need information that is NOT marketing hype or BS and this smells of both.

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Eric on March 18 2013

You have got to be joking if there is even a smidge of seriousness in this article.

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Doug Trotter on March 23 2013

Forget dollar cost. Tablets are a "We can do the job if the stuff needed is it. And don't try to juggle it with one-handed operation. The PC, with its large file and program storage capability and multiple medium choices is not going away. Yes, the tablet is remarkable with its present and projected capability; however, "The Cloud" is not always within reach. If you know how to do the job and the resources are in your PC, you can get the job done now... and with both hands :).

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A.Lizard on March 15 2013

No, one-size-fits-all solutions are dead. I rather doubt this article was written on a tablet or smartphone, even with an external keyboard. Traditional desktop towers are becoming niche solutions. But for desktop productivity users, nothing I've seen works better than traditionally organized desktops. What sense do the optimizations needed to make a smartphone usable make on a 19" desktop monitor? What advantage does a touchscreen have over a mouse or touchpad for a person composing a document on a keyboard? Just who is it that would compose complex graphics or produce video on a tablet? Tablets are fine for media consumption, replacing traditional clipboards, or for lightweight editing on word processor documents. The only shift I see for productivity is towards laptops and notebooks. While the desire of OS/app developers to write single app UIs for all platforms is understandable, their convenience means nothing to me. If they don't provide what I need, I'm not buying. Look at Win8/Metro sales numbers and the anger of the Ubuntu users over Unity if you want to look at the future of productivity computing. I run Ubuntu with a KDE desktop. I've heard sales of hacks to make Win8 look like Win7 for the few people who bought those machines are doing well.

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GORDON HALL on March 15 2013

In what universe are tablets cheaper than PCs? Definitely not in the one in which I live. PCs are also more easily upgraded and have/can carry far more memory.

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John Murphy on March 15 2013

The author of this article is a complete idiot. Tablets will never replace PCs. That's like telling everyone to replace their cars with smart cars. Smart cars have their uses and their users but not everyone needs one. People need people carriers, pick up trucks, vans, articulated lorries. Anyone who says tablets are going to replace PCs need to be laughed at for the rest of their life for being such an idiot.

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jeff chard on March 15 2013

I have an iPad and Surface RT. I also use win workstations where ever I am. I have almost discarded the iPad. I use the RT for all my consumption, and when necessary mobile creative work. However I would never replace a workstation for real creative work. Tablets will never replace them. All my blogs chardjeffrey.wordpress.com with the assistance of SkyDrive are created using my Parramatta office workstation, my Sydney office workstation, and my surface RT. Workstations with dual screens and a real keyboard are clearly my preferred option.

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Sourav on March 15 2013

Tablet can't be a replacement of PC. Tablets, smart phones are good in their class but they're just a tool, they're just a new extension. Tablets and smart phones are getting popular for decreasing prise, mobility, style. It's just a trend to have that kind of gadgets. Go for any hardcore task you'll need a PC (Desktop or Laptop/Windows or Mac). Processing power, storage, customization, large view and so on, everything under a roof. Tablets and smart phones are designed to do some specific tasks. Other hand, the machine by which you can do everything is called a PC.

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Jay Zed on March 15 2013

Settle down, of course this article is wildly biased towards tablets. The writer runs a company that provides enterprise features for companies using them. And it wouldn't be as much fun if the article was balanced - 'horses for courses' etc. The bigger issue in my mind is the dumbing down that moving too many workers to a consumer product brings. I use a tablet at work (for presentations and to read documents) but I also have a laptop and a powerful desktop. Each has their place for different tasks. However, an account manager at our business moved to a tablet and the quality of his work has suffered as a result. Mind you, he's a luddite and I think we spent more time fixing his laptop (which was a magnet for malware) than he did using it. Tablets are great for consumption. It'll be a long time before they will be useful for creating anything decent. In the meantime, I share concerns that the takeover of the consumer space by these mostly passive goggle boxes will drive the price of proper machines up as they become more niche. I also think a lot of the slowing in growth of PC's is related to the high power of recent and current CPUs. People just don't need to upgrade as often, but they still use their PC's.

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John Taylor on March 15 2013

The limiting factors are ease of data entry and visibility of displayed data. The holographic keyboard and screen addresses both of these issues. All current devices will become obsolete once Tony Stark gets it right.

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Frank Lee Speakin on March 15 2013

Riiiight!!... So is the Explosion Engine that powers individual, commercial, industrial and military vehicles....and the electric car is here to rules the world's roads and highways... Well give it a dozen more years will you?... to the PC I mean. And then try again.

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Kimberley on March 15 2013

... or perhaps in the cloud. With WiFi everywhere, 4g, cloud storage, the normal PC will not be needed by most. The desktop system, apart from when it interfaces to special devices like Lab systems or CAD/CAM, etc., has really gone now. The laptop will follow in the same way, because users don't need the complexity any more. Software on smartphones is cheap and cloud based solutions are much easier to maintain. So unless you really need the laptop/desktop, you won't bother. Young people simply will go straight for the iPad/tablet. I myself with poor vision use a laptop as a desktop with a larger monitor and keyboard, but I also have a smartphone and magnifying glass to help with very small text. Manufacturers will make what the markets buys, even if that is not the best thing in reality. profit will drive this whole process.

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nt300 on March 15 2013

PC's cater to a different market. They cater to people with tablets and people that have no tablets. They are both different and each serves a purpose. PC Gaming for instance has been growing in popularity. Especially from people that build PC's from the ground up. Is the PC dead? No, is the PC dying? No.

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jeff on March 15 2013

PCs will not die because tablets have inherent limits: size, weight, and power. People that use tablets want a light, easy to carry system. That precludes heavy batteries and big screens. They want it to run all day without charging which precludes power hungry, high resolution screens (the Microsoft Surface Pro bumps into this problem). The limited power also forces manufacturers to use CPUs and disks that run slower. The network is wireless 100 Mbit instead of wired gigabit. Will some of these restrictions ease over time, sure. But PCs will also be moving ahead. If you want the best performance, PCs will always be ahead of tablets. I have replaced my desktop with a laptop workstation in a dock but I'm not a gamer so it works for me. Tablets replacing PC? Maybe for highly mobile people that are mostly content consumers. Not for content producers.

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Paul on March 15 2013

Leave the; let's call them 'workstations' so we include Apple Desktops as well, to the people that do real work shall we? And we'll downsize everyone that only need a tablet for not doing real work. I would love to see anyone put in an honest day's work on a tablet alone. And answering email is not work! I mean actually contributing IP or unmissable effort!

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kennyrosenyc on March 15 2013

Yeah right! This is sooooooo wrong for two major reasons (and a host of minor ones that I won't even get into). First of all - Scientifically speaking - it is impossible to build anything smaller than an electron (or any sub-atomic particle - even a Carbon Nanotube has to have at least one atom of Carbon). We are, at present, building processors and components that use electrons They aren't commercially available, but that's not the point. The point is, at some future date it will become impossible to improve upon tablet design simply because of the size. Second of all - There are presently 12.5 million Americans out of work but 5 million computer related jobs available (factoring in the fact that many of these jobs carry no geographical requirements whatsoever... you don't have to live in England to design a website in England). Why aren't Americans getting these jobs? It's because we're running around replacing devices that allow you to learn and use code with devices that are designed to put ads in your face 24/7. As a consequence people in places like India and China (where old desktops are plentiful and cheap) are swallowing these jobs up. In fact the kids working at Foxconn (who we are so angry about) will more than likely be our new bosses in 10 years because they will know way more about technology than we do.

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Martin Mato on March 15 2013

Can I: 1. Try out a new OS on a tablet? 2. Install a heavy-duty db (Oracle, SQL Server etc.) on a tablet? 3. Configure LAMP, WAMP etc. on a tablet? Till these are possible, the PC is guaranteed healthy respect (and long life) among IT pros.

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RCM on March 16 2013

Can we get the numbers showing that corporate PC buying has been declining (separate for home and corporate acquisitions)?

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ITinMD on March 16 2013

Tablets will eventually replace the pc in the conventional sense. I am an engineer is a large. SaaS and IaaS organization. Everything we are engineering is for remote access and use. Everything from how power virtual desktops to whole ecommerce sites. What I am getting at everything in the future, even your email apps, games and basic word processing apps will be in the cloud. Cheap monthly or even yearly charges that five years of service would equal the cost of a conventional pc today but the cloud never goes out of date. The tablet will be a tool to get to these resources and or the smart devices like your tv. Right now I can take my table and wirelessly sync my screen to my 47 inch smart tv and my tablet becomes my mouse and keyboard as I develope and enginner in the cloud. When I go on a trip my tablet then can be used as a tablet and I work from it in the cloud. No real power needed. Go to the office, there is a large screen smart tv in the conf room, we throw what we see on the tablet to that tv for everyone to vie or share it so they can view in their tablet. All my work, all my docs, designs, etc. In the cloud, backed up, and accessible anywhere. Why do I need a pc? It is coming. They even have gaming specced virtual systems in the cloud.

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Aidan Cheddar on March 16 2013

Tablets are another form of PCs (aka. Personal Computers)! Explain to me how am I wrong? I can personalize it, especially Android devices, and last time I checked there was a computer underneath that screen. They are not dead, just taking on another form factor.

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Rowland Carver on March 16 2013

When fingers get smaller this may happen. Until then, we will use both tablet's and PCs.

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Pradip Sagdeo on March 16 2013

I know I am paraphrasing the famous quote of a famous author. Has anyone declaring the PC dead tried to do any serious scientific, engineering, graphics, or for that matter, word processing, database, presentation work on a tiny tablet? The people declaring PC dead must be working for the marketing department of the tablet makers. It is their job to sell these puny little things, no matter what the user really needs. I am not buying one for the foreseeable future. I just built a state-of-the art PC myself. Thanks.

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Dr. Salah Shakir on March 16 2013

Tablets can not kill PCs the same way rental movies did not kill movie theater. I use Ipad and Iphone all the time but I use PC more than my tablet. Some day, the usage of PCs will go below the tablet's usage.

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Dick E on March 16 2013

... which is Fortune 500 and state government MIS consulting, tablets thus far are status-symbol vehicles for note taking during meetings. Their real value to most users in this setting is to offer gaming, email and net browsing, and other diversionary activities to relieve boredom. I'm a dinosaur who still uses pen and paper, leaving my Google Nexus 7 at home for its intended purpose.

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EphYoo2 on March 16 2013

I signed up here solely to right the author and rip him apart for being so dumb: tbankfully A.Lizard has spoken much more eloquently than I on the same point. Thx to: A.Lizard Idjitz to: Article Autbor EphYoo

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Charles Ostman on March 16 2013

OK, I get it, fine. It's a nice attempt at an attention getting title, sort of a techno pheromone blog piece, but the "PC is dead", seriously??? From the extreme outer fringe frontiers of frivolous fluff journalism, this is one of those quirky diatribes that will some day come back to haunt the author. The archives of future history will dredge up this bit, to be eternally regurgitated into the virtual universe. Remember some of those "futurist" books (books, you know, those things with printed letters on actual paper) from a few decades ago, with their fantastic pontifications of a new world (brave or otherwise) looming ahead? Well, I'll be charitable here. Let's just say, not so fast with the "dead PCs" bit, really. Oh, BTW, I'm typing this on my HP Pavilion HPE PC - quite happily so! Just for reference, I've been around since before the first "PCs" ever existed, before there was an "Apple" anything. Even built my own PC, from scratch. Oh my . . . I still use a phone! I mean, an actual telephone . . . gasp!

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JimH338 on March 16 2013

Now that the power of a laptop has fallen in line with that of a closely priced desktop, I've decided never to buy another desktop. Sure, it is easier to upgrade the hardware in a desktop - and I am fully capable of doing that myself - but I examined my computer use over the past 20 years. What I realized is that in actuality, I rarely did any upgrades other than hard drive replacement. I used each computer until it became obsolete, and then replaced it completely. In other words... I'd been treating desktop systems as if they WERE laptops. The only advantage over a similarly capable laptop was price - which until about 5 years ago or so was a 50% or more premium just for the ability to carry it with me. This difference is now minimal. Currently, I use my laptop as a desktop system when I am home (plugged into an HDTV, USB 3.0 hub with three 2TB external drives, wireless KB and mouse), and when I'm away, I just grab the mouse (I hate trackpads!) and enjoy my laptop's display - which, at 17", is much larger than any tablet I've seen.

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Jim Moore on March 16 2013

No writer should throw out an acronym without at least, one time, explainging what the hell it is! Where did you ever learn journalism????? Yes, I DO own computers, repair them, design websites and I'm also a journalist. Are you just trying to throw around acronyms to make us think you're smart or superior? Your article is kind of dumb, too!

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Mike on March 16 2013

I have used two different tablets, and they work fine, but will never replace the PC. They are an extension of the PC for mobility and that is all. I could never be as productive on a tablet as a PC or a laptop. Don't know who they are trying to convince

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Rick Ash on March 16 2013

I agree with 90% of the other comments. Dual 27" screens, full QWERTY kybd, multi-function mouse, GTX 295 GPU, 32GB RAM, Dual NIC, Smart, removable USB drive for backups, CPU Cooler, screaming Intel CPU (and OC'd)Let Intel stop mfg mobo's, EVGA, ASUS or somebody will. And I have a tablet, an iPad, a Kindle Fire, a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle 3G. Plus my iPhone 5. Give ME a PC for real work or play.

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janet on March 16 2013

So, tell me all about long complicated gaming on a tablet and how much fun that is and I don't mean a silly arcade game. how is Skyrim on a tablet? how about storing all those mods and all those saves and backups? you get a few heavy-duty games on your tablet and how is it that you have room for all that? how do you run your shooter? how about all the games and DLC with long download time? and re productivity, if you spend your days transcribing technical material, tablets are really fun for hours and hours of real work? it takes the right tool to do the job, whatever it is.

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Schyler Jones on March 16 2013

The title of the article is a very inaccurate statement and it has nothing to do with the article. Tablets are making it old fashion to haul laptops around, but they're not even a consideration for replacing a desktop computer.

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say what? on March 17 2013

really? I dont think so. I think the author did not do a good job researching the info. Tablets are not viable for many tasks within a company. Also that means said company needs a dev team to develop apps to run on tablets. So no, tablets are not going to replace PCs and anyone who says that is an idiot.

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John Waltham on March 17 2013

Looks like yet another author who made the big step from the used car sales yard to IT. It shows a total lack of understanding of the IT industry and the devices in use. Let me clarify: 1. The tablet is a subset of the PC/laptop. Not an evolution. Many consumers were buying laptops and PCs but never needed them. When the tablet, a trimmed-down device came along, they went for it. It's like in the past trucks were the only available "cars", and now passenger cars have become available. So the users who don't actually need trucks buy a passenger car. The true market for PCs and laptops is not shrinking. It is, in fact, expanding as new businesses start up in BRICS countries. However yes the consumer segment that never needed a PC or laptop has left the market, which was artificially inflated because of them. 2. There is a kind of economic issue in the world at the moment. It is affecting the economies of the US and Europe, two of the largest markets for business PCs and laptops. Thus, in these markets, purchases have been postponed, and replacement cycles made longer (say every 4 years rather than every 3 years). This has affected the sales volumes, but does not mean there is less market. It is just that the market takes longer to replace their units. 3. Microsoft's Windows is still the leading OS for PCs and laptops. They have once again screwed up their product (due to their own lack of understanding of the market) and launched the awful Windows 8 which is neither for tablets nor PCs. In the past, businesses would align replacement cycles with major new Windows releases to some degree. The lack of a usable new Windows version has caused businesses to lack the incentive for an OS-driven replacement/upgrade. Bottom line: there's nothing wrong with the PC industry. Some people in different, consumer-oriented industries try to push tablets, using all kinds of BS hype that has no foundation in reality. Please get some industry mileage before wasting people's time with useless articles like this. I'm surprised IDG lets you publish this kind of drivel.

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mrklaxon on March 17 2013

Do you want readers? Stop writing baseless inflammatory articles... This reflects a current marketing trend only and doesn't provide any value. Put a bunch of excitable comments in a supposedly knowledgeable article and hope for some witless CIO/CFO/CEO to read it and think it's gospel. Tablets cannot be PCs with current horsepower. Once they gain that horsepower they become touchscreen pcs. Centralized computing (no I won't use the other abused term "cloud") is the one valid argument that could be used in favor of tablets but as noted earlier they still have limits and cost savings has been shown over and over again to be minimal only under special circumstances and usually not at all. Stop beating the drum and come up with some useful information on making tablets affordable and useful.

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Captain Obvious on March 17 2013

Face it, there's a "cool factor" in tablets or phablets; just for taking notes. But when it comes to really complex applications -- and a lot of them -- my precious tablet just isn't enough. I'll prefer my desktop over my laptop (and I can get to it with my tablet), or a laptop when I need a lot of portability right now. As far as satisfying my development needs, the tablet ain't it.

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Dante1969 on March 17 2013

Funny! this article seems written from an 8 y old child, because a 12 years old one is just DREAMING of a Quad Core I5 PC to play with minecraft , WoW and make video on Youtube. Tablet are useless TOYS, with NO optical unit, NO Graphic card for work, and no keyboard. Try to take a look in an OFFICE in the world....

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dan on March 17 2013

Wireless, can drop off, mobility tablets are not powerful computers that's form following functionality!!!

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Lin on March 17 2013

I do computer artwork and there is no way I could do it on any tablet around today.

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Michael Moore on March 18 2013

I think the PC is certainly not dead but she's become more like the ageing actress - once quite the sexy leading lady now she's the reliable "go to" girl. I strongly suspect the declining PC sales has more to do with people realising their PC does all it needs to do with its current operating system and current applications running on its current hardware. And like those glamourous leading ladies of the past as long as it still performs it will still have a job and still be relied on but the new money is going to the sexy new starlets - the tablets and the smartphones and the new hybrid "when I take my top off I'm incredibly sexy!" machines with their detachable touch screens and bluetooth keyboards. There will be a place in most homes and just about every office for the star that the ageing PC once was for many, many years to come but they've definitely lost their sex appeal to the new, younger, sexier girls in town!

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Mikey Gold on March 18 2013

I don't know who this guy is talking about, but I am a developer in NYC's financial industry, and I can say for certain: No developer, or heavy duty Excel jockey, or financial analyst, or trader, or math or science or engineering guru, is going to get their work done on some tablet. They want and need big, powerful, easy to use PC's, databases and servers. The PC is not going anywhere in the big business world for a LONG time.

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Rond peek on March 18 2013

I disagree with that pcs at dead., they can fixed by you if you know how and it holds more memory. A tablet is great but if it bricks-you have send it off to fix it or buy a new one. The tablet ,I don't think its is meant to replace home pcs.....just a more portable version.

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Richard on March 18 2013

As a design firm, we will not be doing plans on a phone or tablet as designers need to see large images on large displays and enough processor power to render and calculate at high speeds. Yes, other devices will augment PCs, but for many of the reasons stated above PCs are far from dead. VDMs are still are not 100% replacements either. I am unsubscribing because I need information that is NOT marketing hype or BS and this smells of both.

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Eric on March 18 2013

You have got to be joking if there is even a smidge of seriousness in this article.

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Doug Trotter on March 23 2013

Forget dollar cost. Tablets are a "We can do the job if the stuff needed is it. And don't try to juggle it with one-handed operation. The PC, with its large file and program storage capability and multiple medium choices is not going away. Yes, the tablet is remarkable with its present and projected capability; however, "The Cloud" is not always within reach. If you know how to do the job and the resources are in your PC, you can get the job done now... and with both hands :).

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