Desktop Computers Destined for the Scrapheap?

The IBM Personal Computer (PC) was thirty years old last Friday, and according to those in the know, it might not be around for much longer. A blog post by Dr Mark Dean, one of IBM’s longest serving and most respected computer designers (who helped build the classic IBM 5150) has been making big waves across the technology sector after he claimed that the PC was heading in the same direction as vinyl records and the typewriter, light bulbs and the vacuum tube.

Dr Dean points out that PC’s and cheap laptops have had their time and place but that now they have helped to create a world which needs a new type of device depending on use and form.

Claiming that he himself has moved beyond the PC and only works on a tablet, he notes that PC’s will still be around a while longer but that “they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing.”

He goes on to say that it will not only be tablets and phones that cause the demise of PC’s but also a change of mindset about the place of computing in society and the progress of man. Instead of being about computing they are now a way of facilitating innovation not on the devices themselves, but “in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact.”

When IBM released the 5150 in 1981 it soon set the standard for how PC’s were to look and operate. The computer, which had a massive 16k of ram and cost more than $1,500 was one of the computers that began the ‘PC Era’, that revolutionized the way we work and live.

An IBM 5150 PC

An IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150)

According to Dean, such a revolution is also underway once again. He is not alone – in another blog about the 30th anniversary of the PC, Microsoft’s Frank Shaw argued that the proliferation of tablets, phones and other such devices was the beginning of a new ‘PC Plus Era’, if not necessarily an indication of the end of the PC and traditional computer devices.

So what do you think? Are you ready to ditch that PC just yet?

14 thoughts on “Desktop Computers Destined for the Scrapheap?

  1. Well, not for me for now. Personally, I’m quite a hardcore gamer mentality. As a result, PC is the best. Unless one day Tablet can have a very good and realistic graphic processing, then I think Tablet will win this war. So far, I can see Tablets and Smart Phones over taking casual games, but not the others. I will still not ditch my PC as long as the gaming passion is there 🙂

  2. No, I am not ready to throw my desktop as it is too important for me. I don’t have a tablet and I don’t want to have an iPhone as I don’t see the point carrying any of these devices with me as I am afraid of losing my personal space and life

  3. I don’t think the PC of today is analogous to the typewriter of yesterday. A PC and printer could do everything a typewriter did, only better – with the exception of filling out paper forms (actually because of this, you still find at least one typewriter in many offices).

    Neither a netbook nor a tablet can do everything, or even nearly everything, that a desktop PC can do. Try encoding video, for instance, on your tablet or netbook.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      That is very true Jason, as of yet, tablets aren’t as powerful as desktops, neither are notebooks or laptops…

      Welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  4. Laptops or tablets are definitely good looking and easy to carry but as I am a crazy gamer so I will always prefer desktops over them. It is good that computers have reduced their size with the passing time and people can carry it easily anywhere, but PC has its own place.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      It is the best option I agree Carla, but it’s maybe not the cheapest one!

      Thanks for the comment, you are now part of the Technology Bloggers community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  5. PC still have a use. I still can’t see how I would be using a tablet for my programming and designing. Yes laptops can do all this but having the dual and triple monitors is a real help when performing these tasks. So it’s still in my future as long as they keep making them.

  6. Tablet PCs have been predicted to take over the post PC (desktop and laptop) era. Although desktops and laptops are still going to be around, they are not going to be used they way that it’s being utilized today. Steve Jobs compared them to trucks, which back then are more popular than cars as the popular mode of income was farming. He said that they’re still going to be around, but will not be used as much anymore. I really don’t think they are going to be obsolete.

  7. I think there’s a place for tablet pc’s, laptops, and desktops. But maybe only people that work in IT would use 2 out of these 3 an a regular basis. I use my tablet pc for surfing the web sitting in front of the TV, and use my desktop for work. I like using a desktop because of a)screen size b)keyboard c)playing music. I don’t think a tablet is good for long term use (I mean sitting with it for hours). I use a computer for about 10 hours most days (work and play) I can see the tablet computer actually doing away with the laptop, but not the desktop..

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Gosh, 10 hours is a lot!
      I know what you mean, they both have advantages and disadvantages, and really it depends as to what you are looking for in your machine.

      Thanks for your comment, welcome to the community Graham 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

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