On the 30th anniversary of the first IBM personal computer Mark Dean, now the company’s Middle East and Africa chief technology officer, says he has dumped his PC and uses a tablet.
Writing at the IBM-sponsored Building a Smarter Planet Dean says IBM is leading the way in the post-PC era:
“I, personally, have moved beyond the PC as well. My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs.”
IBM left the business in 2005 when it sold its PC division to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo. Dean says he is proud his company was ahead of the industry moving to the post-PC era.
Dean has a point. Aside from Apple, PC makers don’t enjoy stellar profits. Most of the money from desktops and laptops still ends up in Intel and Microsoft’s coffers – and both those companies have seen better days.
There’s a move away from a world centred on conventional personal computers. New Zealand’s internet companies report the amount of data traffic from mobiles and handsets is about to go past PC traffic – in some countries that’s threshold has already passed.
Yet PCs are not likely to disappear overnight. Tablets and mobile phones are good for accessing information, short-form communications and inputting simple data. PCs are better tools for creating documents and digital media.