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Thursday, March 03, 2011



I read somewhere today that Steve Jobs has announced the death of the PC. A little shocking, for those of us who still hug our laptops closely to our chests. While I love my iPhone for its portability, and I'm intrigued by the iPad (but not enough to buy one yet) I am interested in this pronouncement and its timeline. Will non-profit organizations (the world in which i work) chuck all their infrastructure and invest in expensive iPad technology in a heartbeat? I think not. Would love to hear more about your thoughts about the rapid pace of technological advancements compared to the practicality of constant upgrading and change. At some point, I just want to enjoy what i have for a while without being made to feel that I'm already obsolete.

I'm going to read my (paper) newspaper now.


My view: the 'death of the PC' is a metaphor regarding the primacy of the platform. The 'mainframe' is 'dead' according to some, too - but there are lots of mainframe computers still running and there will be for a long time to come.

So, the PC *as a platform* is not where the innovation is happening anymore. It's 'dead' in the sense that all the interesting challenges (for technologists) are elsewhere - in mobile (read a stat that 60% of people on the planet have a cell phone now - there are people who'll have and use smartphones before they EVER see or touch a PC) and tablets.

In terms of upgrade/replacement - I think a 3-year cycle for desktops and laptops (or even longer) is still quite appropriate. My iMac is more than 3 years old and I just bumped the memory and hard drive and hope not to replace it for a couple more years at least.) Maybe 2 years on smart phones - which coincides with the (stupid, draconian) contract lengths, anyway.

And don't let people all the buzz make you feel obsolete. If what you've got works for your needs, it's not obsolete.

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