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back to article PC market's bleeding slows thanks to XP phase-out

The end of support for the Windows XP operating system has triggered a jump in sales, bringing a rare bit of good news for PC vendors. Research firm Gartner found that PC sales in the first quarter of 2014 are down 1.7 per cent over the same period last year. While still showing decline, the figure points to a possible rebound …

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Silver badge

Tablets do not replace PCs

We have three tablets in my household. We use them, but not all that much and certainly not for any kind of work. Everyone here has a laptop and everyone is either on that laptop or on a full-blown PC every single day. They are also on their phones about the same amount as the PCs.

Somebody is going to make a killing selling thin, light, capable PC notebooks. They can replace a desktop for most people. Tablets can't replace anything. Phones are something new. Getting a phone does not mean you don't need a PC and having a PC does not mean you don't need a smartphone. Two of these three things you actually need if you are to participate fully in our culture. The tablet is not one of them.

It is hard to predict things, especially the future, but here is what I think would be a desktop PC killer:

Notebook PC:

- Less than 2 pounds

- SSD

- 16GB RAM

- 4 core processor 2.5GHz/3.5GHz turbo

- Graphics to drive four monitors

- 3 HDMI ports

- Built in multi-port USB3 hubs

- The usual network connectivity

- NOT Windows 8.whatever

- Decent usable keyboard -- I have never seen one on a notebook

- storage spaces into which can go flash drives, small mouse and power adapter

- fast charge battery

- 16 inch 1920x1080 screen

Option -- available companion monitors that match and fit together with the notebook screen

Out of box experience should look like this:

Hey it booted already and is asking for my password. <Enters password> Hey, it is actually connected to the Internet on its own using a complimentary wifi access point. What the ... there is an unobtrusive welcome icon on the task bar. Hey, a free open source office suite pre-installed. The music player has a library with music in it and a complimentary account on a music service as well as internet radio stations ready to go. The Email works already on a complimentary account. My welcome Email tells me how to hook in my other accounts if I wish and how to access my complimentary online backup storage. Well, I'm a bit disappointed that it is not already set up, but the welcome mail tells me if I reply with a subject line "Send a phone" it will set up a phone number and internet phone for me for free. The free internet fax service is a head-scratcher. Is anybody actually using it? Whatever, it's free. Now that's a browser, simple fast, capable and opened to a page that allows me to choose from a set of sensible home pages and set them up with a single click. Privacy button allows me to surf anonymously, fake cookies, ignore web bugs, etc. I am amazed that there is a proper archive tool, non-invasive open source PDF reader and a free store that allows me to filter for only open source applications and install them without having to sign in or answer invasive questions about myself.

I am amazed to find that everything I need is installed already but there is no crapware anywhere in sight. The vendor supplied control panel allows one touch backups, security scans, warranty status, help that works, a link to online chat support and no gratuitous crap.

The 'booted already' is because it has been completely set up and runs and was just sleeping and came out of sleep when you opened the case.

The three HDMI ports are so that three big monitors can be used instead of a the modest built-in monitor.

Cost: For me, complimentary because I invented it. Retail: $499. Special introductory offer at $399.

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Holmes

Re: Tablets do not replace PCs

A "Start" button, with a listing of all the installed programs, is very useful.

I still have XP on my computer. On the Right side of the screen is a tool bar, I set up, with short cuts for the programs I use often. I tried to do this on our Win7 laptop and couldn't figure out how to do it, without messing up the tray. Surely there has to be a simple way to do this.

Oh and don't muck up the BIOS so that only Windows 7 or 8.XX can be loaded on that machine. Linux keeps looking better with each "advance" in MS OS

Computers are tools. One shouldn't have to take classes, use Google, or search You Tube, to figure out what was fairly intuitive in XP and even MINT16.

How about a variety of free GUI, so that the style of desktop you want can be loaded from a list on a web site. The operating system can then just be the operating system. MS can upgrade the OS and whatever, as long as they don't mess with the hooks in the GUI. That would make upgrading less painful.

Microsoft has forgotten about the KISS principle for their users. There is too much change for change sake with each upgrade. Why the every changing nomenclature? And stop moving stuff around, on top of the label changes!

One last thing - Get rid of the Registry. A properly designed OS doesn't need it.

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@ITS Retired Re: Tablets do not replace PCs

Win 7 removed the pop-out toolbars that XP had. I'm just glad I tried Linux and MATE (etc).

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PC or not PC?

Had a call from a friend yesterday -- they have an ancient PC and a now dead (I was beginning to call it Frankenstien* as I'd resurrected it so many times) laptop.

"what are we gong to do ?, there are all these messages and pop ups "

'Put the kettle on and start the updates off - you'll be O.K.for a while'

They have an old flatscreen monitor that has a far lower res than a £250 lappy screen, the PC is run off steam and has even less memory than politician.

So it's a £250 lappy they'll be gettting -- they have no need of a PC format any more.

The smart phone and tablet have replaced the old idea of a laptop and, for most, newer laptops have replaced the P.C.

And they'll be getting W8.? that's now a bit easier to make it look like a legacy O/S.

They will find it easier to adust to it than anything Penguin. And as they don't spend thier lives online, wrapped up in all things Google they won't neeed Chrome, either.

* yes, yes, I know.

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My 2 cents

10 years working at a computer store, and this is probably the busiest we've been. Lots of people coming in with XP systems (leaky caps, IDE, AGP, 56k Modems) The OS isn't their only issue. Also, many business owners needing/wanting upgrades and one thing i hear a lot is: "I can't run my business from a tablet" so they buy a new (or refurbished Lenovo, HP, Dell,) PC...

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