Re: How many are waiting for Windows 8 to be "retired"? @Steve Knox
I think that modern PCs are used for more than those from 1981.
Remember back then. No Internet (including facebook, twitter et. al.) no common graphics standard (and nothing capable of displaying a photograph), no digital cameras, connectivity to the outside world by modem and BBS if you were really advanced, no email, no audio hardware, no writable optical drives to rip/write CDs, no DVDs at all, no video, no mice. Monochrome dot matrix printers if you could afford $/£1000 otherwise no hardcopy.
If you are really talking 1981, then no hard disks. Everything from 5.25" 360KB floppy disks!
No porn! (at least none that was interesting - remembering animated ASCII art of a flasher that I remember doing the rounds by sneakernet).
And, and and. A PC would set you back $/£2500 (I'm actually looking at an IBM PC advert from 1982 in an old magazine at the moment), which was more than most people paid for their cars!
OK, you still had people writing letters and doing basic spreadsheet and simple database, and you did have text and basic block graphics games but that is about all that is common between then and now.
But now, there is very little that you can think of that a PC made in the last 5 years or so cannot do. Even new technologies such as 3D printing is well within the capabillities (with a suitable printer of course) of a modern PC.
What is happening is that the common sub-set of technologies that Jane and Joe Public need can now be done from a device that is more like a tablet than a computer. Only nerds like you and I use some of the other stuff.
I mean, really. A Chromebook or a tablet or even a modern phone with the option of an external keyboard and connectivity to a telly will do all of the media consumption and social media that your average non-technical user will ever need.
I can see nothing that will prevent the decline of the PC into the technical niche that it emerged from. It'll never disappear completely, but will become to a tablet as a tape recorder is to an MP3 player.