Mike Elgan’s article in Computerworld, Dispatch from the post-PC revolution is about “well, I’ve told you so!” PC fading away in favor of tablets.
He has all the right to do so, since he was one of the pundits who have predicted this phenomenon at the launch of the first iPad, two years ago. His predictions are confirmed by statistics, there are way more tablets sold than PC’s and the numbers are looking better and better for tablet makers. PC is something that covers quite many different types of devices, but in this post, I will follow Mike Elgan in calling PC a workstation or a laptop.
Can anyone say no to Mike Elgan or to Tim Cook and all the other gurus? Will anyone, by looking at the numbers and listening to these guys, claim we’re not in a post-PC world?
Let me be the one saying it, but let me add to it, we’re not yet in the post-PC world , but we’re heading towards it with full speed. Here is why:
Tablets are not replacing PC’s
Tablets (and here I would include smartphones too) let you do things that with a workstation or a laptop would be quite cumbersome, like accessing the Internet on the go, or while laying on a sofa while watching TV. Touch screens are way more intuitive to use than a mouse or a trackpad, hence the popularity of tablets even among non-technical people.
PC’s are still more ergonomically adapted as tablets
As intuitive as it is a touch device, it is still not as efficient as PC with a keyboard and a mouse, when it comes to ergonomics, it’s OK to write an email or a blog post on a tablet, but I would like to see that secretary who has to type every day hundreds of emails doing it on the screen of a tablet. I’m sure at the end of the day her neck and her wrist will be soar as hell.
What it would take to really talk about post-PC?
Tablets have succeeded in taking over from PC the entertainment part, but they are still far from dominating the workplace, because of productivity issues. In response to this deficiency and because the tablet market is expanding, there is a whole new sector mushrooming, the accessory producers. There are plenty of keyboards already that work with tablets, that will make typing more easy, but we still have to solve the problem with the limited screen size of a tablet.
Be that a wired or a wireless solution, in the end we will need a way to connect tablets to a bigger screen or why not, to several of them. It’s a long known fact that having a fast computer with enough screen that you don’t have to juggle with windows on top of each other, will improve productivity.
When we talk about big screens, sorry, but touch is out of question and the good old mouse or something similar to it, will be a lot more easy our wrist than stretching out to push a screen, especially when it comes to repetitive movements performed over a long time.
For storage, I think tablets are doing good, maybe the 16G version won’t be too practical in a professional environment, but I’m sure SSD prices will end up dropping and we’ll laugh at the price Apple is charging right now for the 64G iPad.
What is your take on this, are we or not in the post-PC era?