back to article IBM PC daddy: 'The PC era is over'

One of the dozen engineers who designed the original IBM PC, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Friday, says that the reign of the personal computer is coming to an end. "They're going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs," writes IBM's Middle East and Africa CTO Mark …


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  1. Eduard Coli

    IBM - I've Been Marginalized

    Nothing on Mr. Dean, I'm sure he is a clever fellow.

    IBM has been losing relevance since upper management started the process of swinging the ax and writing themselves bonus checks.

    Who knows, perhaps shared systems will come back into vogue and they will be able to sell AS400/big iron again.

    But typically and as Mr. Dean has said they will extricate themselves from this commodity market and give it over to a competitor or make their own as they did with Lenovo.

  2. SgtFalstaff

    I think I've heard this one before

    Guess I'd better put my PC in the bin with all that paper I don't use anymore...

    1. Asgard

      I'm going in, I could be some time...

      @"I'd better put my PC in the bin with all that paper I don't use anymore"

      Tell me where you live, because I feel the urge to practice the ancient art of dumpster diving. ;) ... I could do with another PC. :)

      Its recycling after all, so good for everyone and the environment. :)

      Cheers icon for the free gift and Happy Birthday PC!

    2. Rickenbacker

      Read the blog first

      He is not saying the PC is dead, he says that "while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So how many of these 80 something posts have been sent from a tablet?


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Or, as my mum says "Question Easily Done"

      2. JEDIDIAH

        Even better!

        > He is not saying the PC is dead, he says that

        > "while PCs will continue to be much-used

        > devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge

        > of computing"

        That's even funnier and more pathetic.

        Someone who does or has worked for IBM should really know better.

  3. Brian Miller

    PC is dead because their revenue stream died long ago

    Of course the PC is dead! How much of a revenue stream was it for IBM in the first place? It was copied not long after its release, and finally after losing money on it they sold it to Lenovo. The fact of the matter is that most people who interact with a PC only use a bare fraction of its functionality. Who needs a keyboard when you only want to watch a movie and browse the web?

    If Mark Dean was still *designing* hardware, then of course a tablet *wouldn't* be his primary device. Why, he'd need something with a keyboard, decent display, and a mouse! He's now an executive, so now he just needs to read a few things and have a secretary type something for him.

  4. Majid

    An IPad is still a PC.

    PC just means Personal Computer. Its yours you can do with it what you want, it can compute.

    Tadaaaaa: It's a PC.

    Just because it doesn't have a keyboard and mouse (by default) doesn't make it something else all of a sudden.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      They mean the desktop era. Having a big dusty box with fans that takes minutes to boot.

      Having big whirring discs, lots of expansion ports and wires everywhere.

      Even though the term PC means personal computer it is synonymous with Wintel.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        ...a tad premature

        Anything that can fully replace the PC will look an awful lot like one.

        Although the really bit problem with this declaration is the fact that most Post PC devices are still entirely dependent on conventional old school PCs. Either they are tethered to a real PC or they need the computing power of a real PC to help deal with certain limitations.

        It doesn't look like the PC is going anywhere any time soon. It still needs to linger in order to make things like Apple and Android tablets useful.

    2. david bates

      In that case

      an iPad is NOT a does what Steve wants it to do.

      A tablet from anothe company, however...

      1. Steven Roper

        A tablet from another company

        isn't available anymore since megalomaniApple are in the process of suing anyone who makes flat rectangular objects out of business.

    3. arglborps

      Weell, on that basis…

      You can't always define everything by the literal translation of a term, otherwise a blue ray disc would also be a DVD (digital versatile/video disc), or you could call an iPhone an MP3 player, because it does play MP3s!

      And a Mac is also a PC… You get the gist. Many terms carry a meaning way beyond the plain and literal meaning of the words it consists of.

      1. Cameron Colley


        A Mac most definitely is a PC and only shit-for-brains marketroids will have it otherwise. Well, them or the clueless people brainwashed by stupid advertising to think that a personal computer is either a Mac or a PC -- a PC being "Something what runs Windows.".

        PC stands for Personal Computer and has been pretty much defined as "A computer designed to be used directly by an individual, usually small enough that each person can have their own." since they emerged. Examples include, but are not limited to, the Sinclair Spectrum, the Commodore Pet and the IBM PC/AT.

        By that definition an iPad probably is a PC, as is your phone, and there is nothing wrong with broadening the definition to include them. After all, this is about "the traditional PC" being replaced.

        1. Shakje

          What was that computer Apple released called again?

          A Power....BD? EV? DT?

        2. Jonathan Richards 1


          If you were there at the time, you will remember that 'PC' started as meaning the IBM PC (other people didn't call their machines Personal Computers, with capitals, much before that), and then was extended to machines compatible with IBM PCs, i.e. having a BIOS which would work with IBM's open hardware architecture. These rapidly dominated the market, squeezing such things as Amigas to the very margins. Now lots of people don't remember that there was ever an alternative evolutionary path, see Cambrian Explosion, passim.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    Am I the only one who gets decidedly dis-chuffed when people keep claiming that this or that is 'over'. WTF! Are they time travellers or something?


    If memory serves me correctly, they are usually wrong.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      wrong predictions

      let me see...

      phonograph was the end of musicians

      radio was the second end of musicians (RIAA still didn't learn their lesson)

      television was the end of radio

      computers were the end of paper documents

      Internet was the end of paper news

      laptops were the end of desktops

      consoles were the end of gaming PC

      and now iFads are the end of PCs

      I too see a pattern here...

      even tape and CDs didn't kill vinyl, though CDs did kill audio tape, the data tape is still strong

      transistors didn't kill vacuum lamps

      nearly all past technologies that were in common use find a niche in which they excel to this day

      IMHO, at worst the number of PCs will stagnate for a while, but it will pick up again, I just don't see all people putting their only copy of family pictures or videos to cloud

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But video...

        ...did kill the radio star.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          vid. v aud.

          I think you're right in that single videos killed the concept of making an entire decent album. I think Sinbad had an amusing take on how 8 tracks forced musicians to put some effort into their work and that cd's made it all to easy to skip to the one song that was worth listening to (i.e. popular).

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      The same IBM

      "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

      Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

      And produced a confidential report for <redacted bank name> stating that <redacted country name> would have a requirement for only 3 ATMs. That same bank now has several branches that have more than 3 ATMs each

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    because your computer is small and wrapped in a shiny skin doesn't mean it isn't a computer. Especially since the smallness and shinyness make them ever more personal than the original versions ever were.

  7. Mikel

    30 years is a generation

    It was a good run. You did well, PC. Now it's time for a party and a gold watch to remember us by. Head down the to tav and take up corner stool and you can wow the crowd with tales of how things used to be.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


      Ok, I'll start - here's how it used to be..

      There I was, watching some TV (on my PC) whilst checking the Reg, and keeping an eye on my email.

      In the background I have a linux distro downloading and I'm ripping some of my films with AnyDVD, then I'm using DVD shrink to convert them to single VOB files and transferring some I did earlier off to my NAS drive.

      That was how it used to be, about 10 seconds ago.

      I suppose in 10 seconds time (i.e. the future) I will be able to close down whatever email app I'm using on my fondleslab to play a game, then shut that down in order to watch a movie, then shut that down to make sure I'm up to date with my email/IRC chats. It must feel like the future, living in the future like you do.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Be fair

        You can have background tasks on most tablets and phones these days, though why anyone would want to use such a limited device as a general purpose computer is beyond me.

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Sir

        "... close down whatever email app I'm using on my fondleslab to play a game..."

        Clearly your fondleslab runs DOS 2.x. Ah, the circle of life. The only difference is AT&T drops my 3.14159G connection just often enough to accurately simulate my old 14.4kbaud modem. (sniff) It's just like the good old days.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


          Mea culpa, I didn't realise that they were all now multi-tasking.

          I'm not knocking them, I just get fed up with people who consign something to the bin of history because they are no longer using them.

          Just because I eat with my fingers, doesn't mean the knife and fork have become obsolete now does it? Every tool has it's purpose, as I'm sure these slabs do. They just aren't a replacement for a workhorse PC that does video editing and massive file transfers etc.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You eat with your fingers...

            ...and claim to be *SIR* Runcible Spoon?

            Renounce the honour immediately!

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


              "Renounce the honour immediately!"


              If eating with your fingers was good enough for King Richard the Lionheart, it's good enough for me.

              I fart as well you know - great big trumpeting blow-offs that scare the hounds! What jolly japes.

  8. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Have not seen a tablet yet...

    That can run L.A. Noire, Crysis or let me do intense database runs. The PC is here for a while. Well, unless you want a tablet that weighs 4 kilo's.

  9. CatFunt


    OK, a clever twat. But anybody who uses a currently availble fonndleslab as their "primary device", clearly doesn't do any real work: underpowered, no real keyboard, no major applications, no mouse/stylus for detailed design work, limited screen resolution.

    OK, they can do simple cloud stuff, email and eBay, but nothing really usefull in my business life.

    Todays fonndleslab currently FAIL, I still use my old HP TC4400 (Intel Dual Core 2.33GHz processor) Tablet PC. It is powered by Windows 7 and runs ALL of my needed vertical applications which just don't exist for low power ARM/Atom based tablets, however pretty they are.

    The TC4400 is heavy, the battery only lasts 3 hours or 7 with the travel battery BUT I can do REAL work with it:

    PCB design, Visio Design, Word, Excel, HD Video Editing, Visual Studio for designing applications for Web, XBOX, Windows Phone 7, SQL/Oracle Databases, run Virtual machines hosting Windows Server or Linux (yeah, I'm not totally MS!). AND I get the choice of keyboard & mouse or Stylus.

    For my job, Functionality beats pretty (useless) Form evrytime.

  10. John Sanders
    IT Angle

    I'm sick of this really

    And it is getting us nowhere.

    Computers are essentially the same things as they were when this chap cobbled together some spare parts at IBM to compete on a market they (IBM) had no interest on (That's why the original PC's were so crappy BTW)

    Now if you tell me that because of advancements in miniaturization, reduction of costs and better software, regular people with no interest in computing as a science or as a profession will use computerized appliances to get news or watch media, that's ok for me.

    But please, stop this nonsense about the death of the PC this, decline of the PC that it's getting tiresome now.

    PC's are not going anywhere, they're multiplying in shape and form, and what my daughter (6yr old) is asking for Christmas is a bloody PC like the one I have in my desk.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Doesn't have to

      Ahh, but most PCs don't do intense database runs, that's a server workload.

      Most PCs aren't running LA Noire, that would be a console. (AFAIK it's not even available for the PC). Even Crysis was available for consoles, and is a case-study in why consoles are better for gaming then PCs (hardware predictability).

      The tablet is your "window" into the resources of a more powerful system. We have been moving that way for a while. Whether that is a good model for most of what we do, is another question entirely.

      1. Sooty

        not wanting to get all technical

        but that was exactly what use cases were designed for.

        a writer will, primarily, want to create and format text, do some research, maybe move about for 'inspiration' ie they want a reliable machine with a good keyboard, probably a laptop.

        a graphic designer will want a good display, input choices and a good display. likely a desktop machine with lots of processor grunt, a very large, high end display and graphics tablet, possibly combined. so a desktop based system

        a gamer will want a machine with lots of grunt, processor and graphics, high memory, low response times, good display. They will want a desktop or very high end laptop, serious gamers want a desktop.

        a developer will want lots of memory, good keyboard, good processor, possibly graphics, depending on what they develop. high end laptop or desktop.

        If, however, all you want to do is faff about on twitter and facebook, watch youtube, browse the net, send the odd email, play angry birds. Then yes a tablet is ideal.

        if you think you may want to do a bit more, possibly write something more substantial than a paragraph, create a few basic graphics, do some calculations with a spreadsheet. Then you need a bog standard pc as well as your tablet.

        alternatively, you could always have a tablet, with a stand, and add on keyboard, with external memory/disk... but that would just be silly, especially when there are better tools designed specifically for those scenarios.

      2. Mephistro Silver badge

        @ Oninoshiko

        "and is a case-study in why consoles are better for gaming then PCs (hardware predictability)"

        That predictability also implies that the graphics quality you get in a console is always below that of a middle-range PC graphics card. Ditto for processing power, that plays an important part in most modern games. And don't get me started on console controllers. For a vast majority of games, a keyboard+mouse beats any console control pad.

      3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Paris Hilton


        "Ahh, but most PCs don't do intense database runs, that's a server workload."

        Nowadays, yes, back when you were in nappies/diapers no.

        I can remember looking a Wang PC many many years ago that came with an application coded in Bill (I'll never make operating systems) Gates first version of basic.

        If the tablet is just a "window" into the resources of a more powerful system are you saying you need a tablet AND a PC?????

        QED (quod erat demonstrandum)

        Paris, the other meaning of QED

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      They run spreadsheets and all manner of stuff. iPad even has tools for SQL databases and stuff like Qlikview for business intelligence.

      There's Garageband on the iPad, you can even plug in a MIDI device.

      It's not so much a software limitation but the fact that developers aren't all flocking there yet or it takes time to port over desktop applications to the touchscreen user interface.

      With a bluetooth keyboard a tablet is much better for typing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Giles Jones

        The iPad is just a toy. Until Apple allows developers to install apps on the iPad without going through App Store and Apple taking 30% of revenue, you will never get any serious software installed on it.

        Developers are waiting for Windows 8 and Windows 8 tablets.

        You will see the iPad dumped in businesses for a Windows 8 tablet especially when they will be able to use MS Word and Excel for their work.

      2. JEDIDIAH

        It's not all point and click...

        This "argument" all boils down to one important question. Is everything you do all just "point and click". If so then you might be suitably serviced by a tablet. Otherwise not. That is what a tablet is. It's essentially a device limited to a mouse only. It's not something that looks like a mouse so it it doesn't get recognized as such. However, that's what it really is.

        If all you need is a mouse, that's fine. A lot of people need more flexibility and efficiency in their input devices.

        This even includes people interfacing with databases.

        It's almost like a reprise of the GUI vs. CLI argument.

      3. david bates

        "With a bluetooth keyboard a tablet is much better for typing"

        So by the time you're lugging around a keyboard, and presumably a mouse to make your tablet "much better for typing", and something to keep the tablet in an orientation thats useful how is it any different from a badly designed, underpowered netbook? Albeit one thats probably incapable of running the software you routinely use on your desktop...?

        Horses for courses...tablet <> desktop replacement or indeed notebook replacement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @david bates

          Have you seen those iPad covers with an integrated bluetooth keyboard? It's hardly lugging it around. There's even a version for the Galaxy Tab. It's hardly lugging it around.

          The software routinely used on my work laptop, VPN, RDP and SSH. I do most of that with my N900 except now I've just come into possession of a BT keyboard cover ...

      4. BongoJoe

        That's good to hear

        ...because nothing would please me more than having all my VBA running in my Office applicatons on the tablet as well as being able to continue to develop my applications which requires ADO access to a massive database.

        If I can get this to run happily on a tablet ten I will concur with the man's argument. Of course, when I am bashing code I am using two large monitors for a reason - they are not for show but for practical purposes and I would love to be able to have the same sort of visual space available to me on the same tablet.

        Not against a tablet, but I wonder if that man does any real work other than let his documents loose in the cloud, look at a few web pages and does nothing but make a few notes.

        If he thinks that the PC is dead then he's wrong. He's just got a souped-up Kindle.

    3. westlake

      Not so crappy after all.

      >>Computers are essentially the same things as they were when this chap cobbled together some spare parts at IBM to compete on a market they (IBM) had no interest on (That's why the original PC's were so crappy BTW)<<

      The desktop systems that were built around custom hardware with limited expansion options are all dead.

      Exit the Atari. The Amiga.

      Exit the PPC Mac. Enter the x86 Hackintosh.

      The IBM PC began as an affordable stand-alone office workhorse with a serviceable 16 bit CP/M clone in PC-DOs that sold for $40.

      CP/M 86 would have set you back $240. $586, adjusted for inflation. The MS-DOS PC was a commercially viable product before the cloning of the IBM PC BIOS.

      MBASIC. MS COBOL. FORTRAN. Assembler. The programmer had a full suite of development tools available from Day 1.

      Enhanced functionality is no further away than a plug-in card or chip. External 80 column display. External, built-like-a-tank, IBM keyboard.

      The form factor couldn't be bettered. The upgrade path from the 8-bit PC and CP/M couldn't have been made easier or cheaper.

    4. Volker Hett

      Real Work?

      My Brother in Law is a farmer. He's sitting on a combined harvester to bring in the crops at the Moment.

      This can't be real work since he does not need a keyboard and mouse to do it.

      Farmville on the other hand .....

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Volker Hett

        "This can't be real work since he does not need a keyboard and mouse to do it."

        You obviously haven't been at the controls of a modern combine ...

    5. streaky Silver badge


      Crysis doesn't run on consoles. Crysis 2 and Far Cry 2 did and they're both kinda crappy. LA Noir will be out on PC in Q3 because they're actually giving it proper textures a la GTA 4. Not that it matters because everybody will be playing BF3 by then.

      Back on topic my PC is going nowhere, for work, gaming and personal reasons.

      1. Boothy

        Crysis 2 on PC (and PC gaming in general)

        Also Crysis 2 on PC was updated to run in DX11 mode (far more advance than any current console), and had a free high quality downloadable texture pack (1.7GB), which has much better textures than the console version.

        Currently I run at 1080P (1920 x 1080) with DX11, the texture pack, and all settings on Ultra.

        The game looks astounding. A comparison with the console version, and the XBox version looks like it's running on a budget laptop with a mobile GFX card.

        Also console controls will never beat keyboard and Mouse in an FPS (in a 3rd person game, yes sometimes console control is better, but never 1st person).

        Also, I have nVidia 3D vision, and can still run with Ultra details when in stereoscopic mode :-)

        Basically current consoles = mid range PC from about 2-3 years ago.

        A modern mid range PC, even a reasonable Laptop, will be at least twice the CPU and GPU power of any current console.

        A modern high end PC will utterly destroy any console.

        For comparison, the current consoles (XBox 360/PS3) GFX card is basically equivalent to an nVidia 7800GTX or ATI X1900.

        That was current tech back in 2006 when these were being created, that's 5 years ago now! These chip sets are so old, no one sells them any more.

        To make matters worse, modern tablets (Tegra 2 etc.) and catching up rapidly with the consoles. The current versions aren't quite as fast as a console, but the next versions, due later this year or early next, will be.

        If the PS3 and XBox 360 aren't replaced within the next 6 months (which they won't), then they won't even be able to keep up with mobile phones and tablets!

        Current consoles are not 'next gen', they are not even 'current gen', they are 'past gen' and by several generations as well.

        1. Oninoshiko

          wow, I seem to have hit a nerve

          yes, there are a few of you here who like to run the never-ending PC upgrade treadmill. That maybe 20% of the elReg readership, it's closer to 1% of the (developed) world at large. A developer cannot depend on you having the newest wizzbang-shiny graphics card, ergo they cannot afford to assume you do.

          Most people do not buy a top-of-the-line PC. Most people do not upgrade their PC every 2 years. YOU ARE THE EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE. (feel good about yourself, I just called you exceptional!)

          Games are not made to show off the top-of-the-line machine, they are made to make money. That means they need to be playable by a wide-spread audience. Even if you make a PC version, you still have to target a 2-3 year old machine.

          In processing resources, tablets may be able to challenge consoles (ignoring that tablets are a crap interface for most popular game-styles (would work well for RTS I bet)), you can't DEPEND on what's there. It's actually worse then the PC.

        2. ChuckInCA

          and another thing to consider....

          If your current desktop machine is having trouble running your favorite game, you can just hop onto a computer parts website and order what you need and upgrade it yourself. Can't do that with a console, tablet, or smart phone. Plus you can change the basic operating system to very nearly anything you want if you run one of the virtual hypervisors.

    6. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Entry level

      "to compete on a market they (IBM) had no interest on"

      However, always remeber that the orginal IBM PCs were sold by IBMs entry level system sales division.

      "PC not powerful for sir's needs? would sir care to purchase an AS400 instead?"

  11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Not the point

    Tablets don't replace computers.

    Tablets replace TV/Books/Magazines - it simply happens that before dedicated tablets people used a PC to watch videos and browse websites

    If internet connected TVs had come along 10years ago - we would be saying that tablets would replace TVs.

    PCs replaced typewriters, minicomputers and to a lesser extent mainframes

  12. 404 Silver badge


    This commentard will have his dev machines until hell freezes over. There are times you need grunt and times just to get by - meaning 4-8 core processors, all the memory it will takes, and all the storage vs. just getting by with a tablet for a lil internet/network troubleshooting etc.

    I also have a stock of incandescent lights too lol

  13. Bob Boblowski

    Yes I get what he is saying ...

    ... but nevertheless I'd like to invite him to write my reports or to create any other relevant content longer than 140 characters on his tablet.

  14. Arkasha


    Fondleslabs are all very well and good and can only get better but theres just some things that are done better with a PC.

    I can see tablets being more common for casual users, especially with big monitor, keyboard, mouse and docking station. However, I don't think many developers, CAD engineers, etc are going to want to give up their workstations any time soon.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    depends what market your talking about

    This might be the problem for IBM, note decreasing market share in many areas. PC's tend to have more power for those high end calculations and are perfect for parallel computing as they have a lot of power. The PC probably won't die anytime soon.

  16. Don Mitchell

    IBM, UBM, We all BM for IBM

    IBM sold their PC business a long time ago, and view the PC and Microsoft as an enemy now. An IBM vice president once said he wanted to put an ice pick into Bill Gate's head. So not really interesting to hear them say the PC is dead.

    We can be thankful that IBM created the PC and then blunded by letting it become an open platform that they couldn't control.

    Who knows what the future of personal computing is? A device with a big screen and a keyboard is not going away any time soon. It's clear that consumers value a mix of products (TV, cell phone, desktop computer, etc).

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: IBM, UBM, We all BM for IBM

      IBM is vendor neutral about PCs, surely. If customers want Dell desktops, or Mac laptops, it will supply and service them.

    2. Hud Dunlap

      IBM did not let it become an open platform

      The Federal threatened to break up IBM because it was a monopoly. Letting loose of the PC was a small price to pay.

  17. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    El Reg Readers need not apply

    to understand what the man is on about.

    Because they are El Reg readers they don't fit the bill of being a bog standard PC user.

    Because you are an El Reg reader you:-

    - play games (time to grow up IMHO)

    - Run Autocad or some specific design app

    - Do DB design

    - Do Application (of any sort development)

    In general, you an IT professional not a 'Joe Sixpack User'.

    I'd fully expect that you will need your i7 4.6Ghz, 16Gb Ram and 4Tb of disk monster under your desk (or in extreem addict cases on your lap) to run those SPECIALISED applications.

    I'm in the same situation. I run tools lie Eclipse(in WID form), TOAD, SOAP-Ui etc. There is no way I'd be run those on the current generation of fondleslabs. That could very well change in a couple of years.

    It's Friday so a few pints of HBB await.

  18. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "going the way of the incandescent light bulbs"

    There is a laws forbidding the sale of PCs out?

  19. Tubs

    Dead my a***

    I'm still using vacuum tubes, vinyl records, CRTs and incandescent light bulbs; and have no intention of giving them up any time soon!

    1. Steve Knox

      My wife...

      0. doesn't read El Reg,

      1. doesn't play any games beyond casual ones that fondleslabs can run,

      2. doesn't run Autocad or anything like that,

      3. knows what a DB is only because of my job, and responds to anything deeper than "I work with data" with "ZZZzzzzzz....",

      4. doesn't do application development of any kind,

      5. took one look at my tablet, and said "No thanks, I'll keep my laptop TYVM."

      I understand what the man is on about, but of the many 'Joe Sixpack User's I know, 100% of them look at tablets as potential supplements, not replacements, for their PCs. So as much as I understand his point, I respectfully disagree with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They Also come in handy for...

      A spreadsheet or two... a bit of word-processing...

      Does anyone who happens to have a PC within reach browse the net on *their phone*?

    3. Ralthor

      You can pry my inner child from my cold dead fingers.

      - play games (time to grow up IMHO)

      IMHO growing up is much over rated and if more people retained a sense of their inner child the world would be a better place.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "- play games (time to grow up IMHO)"

      Time for you to stop getting your opinions on gaming from the Daily Mail and enter the modern world (IMHO)

      Not everyone thinks that watching Corrie and getting pissed are the only forms of entertainment worthy of grown ups.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        re AC "- play games (time to grow up IMHO)"

        Dear AC,

        As you had a go at me and decided to hide behind an AC, I feel I must reply

        1) I certainly don't read the Daily Wail - It is the Indie for me.

        2) I wouldn't be seen dead watching Corrie (or just about anything on ITV or Sky or Virgin for that matter)

        3) I don't get pissed and haven't for at least 10 years. Everything in moderation.

        4) I started playing computer games in the late 1970's. Adventure on a VAX. Then I got a life and got on with it. I have tried a few console games since but frankly I have better things to do like writing my second novel (on a PC not a fondleslab) or walking the 8miles along the downs to see the Olympic Cycle event.

        1. Graham Dawson

          Has anyone noticed...

          It's worth repeating the observation that there is no such thing as a bubble opinion.

          1. Graham Dawson


            That should be "humble". Stupid tablet.

            See this is why they'll never replace the PC. :D

        2. PassingStrange

          Re "I have better things to do..." - No you don't.

          Funny how some people seem to think that physical competition (such as cycling) is somehow "grown up", yet more sedentary competition (such as computer and other games) isn't. Unless the game is, say, chess or bridge, when it suddenly becomes magically grown up and acceptable again...

          I also started playing computer games in the 70's (along with board and role-play - all social activities, in case you hadn't noticed, and just as valid IMO as, say, hoofing a soccer ball around a pitch once or twice a week). The difference is that I never stopped (in fact, I've a Warcraft session running full screen on the other, 24" monitor of my PC as I type - and let's see someone do *that* with a tablet any time soon....). It didn't stop me playing multiple sports, coaching rugby, learning to juggle, having a career and a social life, being happily married and raising four kids, and generally getting on with a host of other, unrelated things along the way. You wrote a book? Bully for you. That you did so had precious little to do with your not playing games. I've found time to write plenty along the way myself (although I realized quite quickly that I'm far too florid in my style to be commercial, and far too anal about consistency of detail to ever finish anything to my own satisfaction anyway). But I didn't "not grow up" - I just never learned to be embarrassed about doing things I enjoy, simply because people whose opinions I couldn't care less about don't understand them. I try things that take my fancy, and I don't give a toss what other people think about them (I've been trying to learn some basic Poi for the last few weeks - finally got the hang of a simple move called the three-beat weave about four hours ago, to my intense elation). My advice to anyone who feels differently is to lighten up, and enjoy life while you still have it - you'll be as dead as me in a couple of hundred years (and unless you're another Shakespeare, just as forgotten, too).

          Back on topic, though - IBM didn't understand what they had when they brought the PC to market, or they'd never have let Microsoft have the OS - and they were thoroughly focused on the tech, back then. Why anyone should think any of them know any better now, when all that counts is squeezing a few extra bucks out of the bottom line any way that they can, is beyond me. Other people have said it - the PC hashigh-end roles that simply aren't going to be met any time soon by the supposedly "competing" tech.

          (Oh - that career I mentioned? Pushing four decades as a techie inside IBM...)

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge


            "Unless the game is, say, chess or bridge, when it suddenly becomes magically grown up and acceptable again..."

            I often resort to playing bridge on a computer when I can't get four to play round the table. Anyone fancy a rubber or are you all duplicate snobs?

        3. Anonymous Coward

          @Steve Davies 3

          "I have better things to do"

          Like being a miserable, opinionated git, for example.

  20. James Chan

    IBM needs new money-making idea

    To declare something is dead is one of many ways to promote a new product. Old wine in new bottle.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Lastday. Report to Carrousel.

    12 August 1981 - LastDay. Report to Carrousel.

    Renew! Renew!

    (The Sandman jacket, quickly - I've got a Runner...)

  22. Mage Silver badge

    Only consumers

    don't need a mouse and keyboard.

    People that actually create information DO need a keyboard and mouse.

    No-one is taking away my laptop.

    I'll have one of every size Tablet to go from 4" to 12" though to go with it. That's the bit that Trek git wrong.

  23. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    If by PC he means

    a Microsoft OS running on x86 well, yes there's that. Otherwise - not a chance. If a PC is a personal computer then then they've only just started. Wait for the implanted PC -that's personal by ten. On the other hand (the one not holding the fondle slab) if by PC, he means something with a screen, a keyboard and some sort of pointing device, well, until the aforesaid implants come along they ain't going to be disappearing. So, yes, the IBM PC is dead, long live the PC!

  24. Optimal Classifier

    Not over yet

    Not long ago I noticed that when I clicked in the search entry box the entire entry was highlighted and if I clicked again the cursor was at the end instead of the beginning. Previously the cursor would be where you clicked. For me this marked the date of the end of the PC as an online research tool. This weekend I may purchase a Honeycomb device to take advantage of this Internet transition but continue to use my PC for developing applications software. The Honeycomb device will be used strictly to have access to the Internet away from home while at home the PC will continue to serve me for applications development. In fact, I will continue to improve its speed and power by adding servers to my home network and expect that this is the way the PC will go - more powerful and faster rather than filling up my garbage can.

    1. Cameron Colley

      @Optimal Classifier

      What? Your browser of choice is crappy so you're ditching the PC for web browsing.

      I've new for you -- if the iPad is anything to go by the search box is even more of a PITA to use on tablets because you have to click the box then move your finger around until you see the spot you want highlighted in "a magnifying glass" (perhaps Android does it like Windows does*) -- meaning that to modify a search you have to click, hold, then drag very, very, very carefully. This means that even if the browser you use was written by muppets it's still harder to do the same task on the default fondle-slab.

      *I recall the fun days of Windows CE and phone editions where tapping the screen in what amounted to the same place about 8 times in quick succession until the right place was highlighted was the order of the day -- if Android does it like this then your point is still valid, to some extent at least.

  25. Neil Lewis

    Going the way of vinyl?

    Really? Seems to me there's a strong upswing of interest in vinyl right now. There's even an upswing of interest in shellac...

  26. Bucky 2


    I want a new law.

    When an expert makes a prediction, he needs to give a date by which this prediction will come to pass.

    If that date comes and goes and the prediction doesn't happen, then it should be illegal for any journalist to quote that expert, henceforth and forevermore.

    Also, the expert must wear a dunce cap whenever he is in public.

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      And, while we're at it, have a similar law apply to politicians and their so called 'promises' with the exception that if they don't keep their promises they don't wear a dunce cap but have their entire head removed instead.

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Agreed

        Nah, it looks awful. They should be just removed from public space.

  27. Zot

    I know what you mean, but he was talking about 'Personal' computers...

    ...Not business workhorses - 'personal.' I'm typing this on a PC tower at home, but If I didn't need it for my work, I would probably have a laptop to save space. And if I didn't do much typing apart from the occasional message, I would probably only need a tablet. They're more convenient, and batteries last longer than a lot of laptops. And they don't burn my legs. : )

    It's all about the general public (you know, the plebs) and what they're ultimately trending towards. Do they really want a desk, taking up space?

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Personal Computers

      My parents still need a real PC to download pictures from digital camera and put them on our website. Not to mention the whole issue of printing... They are in their 50 and just recently learned to differentiate MS Word from LibreOffice/OOo Writer.

      PCs in form of tower boxes or laptops are here to stay.

      Updating facebook or twitter isn't "computing", you can do it from a phone.

      1. Zot

        They could still use a laptop, it's all about what they're used to.

        Of course the boxes will still be around, because that's what people are accustomed to. But, I don't see it lasting. Laptops are the new PCs, and tablets are the new internet search devices, and social media connections.

        Vinyl record players are still around, as well as those ancient CD players. But they are the "old person's" preferences.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cars are no longer at the cutting edge of travel

    They'll be around for while yet, though.

  29. Johnny Canuck

    This is not a title

    Not gonna happen anytime soon, and I can prove it! I got the data somewhere on one of these 5.25 inch floppies.

  30. Dropper
    Thumb Down

    Predictions from IBM?

    hmm I seem to remember the last two predictions IBM bigwigs made.. "no one will ever want their own computer" just before personal computers hit the world like a storm and "no one will ever want more than 640K RAM" after it became apparent they hadn't so much as designed their own PC as thrown it together in a panic with spare parts. Maybe this guy knows his stuff, but his company's track record in predictions isn't exactly solid. My own feeling is PCs will remain as long as people play PC games. No gamer will be happy with using a phone or a tablet as a gaming device because you can't update the graphics, sound, ram and hd to keep one running the latest games with everything turned on. And wifi latency? Not seeing many shooter fans that'll settle for that.

    1. jake Silver badge


      The "640K" quote is also falsely attributed to Bill Gates. In all reality, when configured properly the original 5150 could access around 760K of "low" RAM (if you could afford it!).

      The real "should be enough" quote was Steve Jobs, when demoing the original Apple Macintosh at the Home Brew Computer Club, a couple weeks before the official unveiling. He said, and I quote "256K should be more than enough for home users" ... and he had a point. We had flight simulators running in 64K of RAM!

      Sometimes I look at the modern world and despair over the sheer waste ...

  31. carter brandon

    I need my PC

    to copy recorded gigs to from my obsolete minidisc recorder

  32. Gary F

    With due respect, he's a corporate idiot

    I'm glad the author mentioned that the company line was being towed.

    How the heck do I design websites and code applications for my clients on an ipad? How do I write very long project briefs on an ipad? WTF would I want a 10" screen instead of my dual 24" one and a propper keyboard and the precision of a mouse?

    If he represents IBM then they've finally lost the plot.

    1. Zot

      But you do very different things than the average Joe.

      What percentage of computer owners are developers like ourselves? It's very small, and certainly not the biggest market for the consumer cash-tills.

      For some, a windows PC desktop is a really expensive way to play 'Spider Solitaire' !

      1. hj

        For some, a windows PC desktop is a really expensive way to play 'Spider Solitaire'

        Funny thing is: a tablet is - often - more expensive than a desktop PC!

  33. jake Silver badge

    Interface users or computer users? Two different kettles of fish.

    Interface users fondle their slabs/iFads/other so-called "smart" phones..

    Computer users engineer the hardware, OS and applications running on fondleslabs/iFads and other so-called "smart phones".

  34. DaveDaveDave

    Spot on

    Dean's spot on. Hardware is essentially a solved problem compared to UI. That so many geeks think otherwise is the reason UI is so crap still.


      Looking good while completely missing the point.

      > Dean's spot on. Hardware is essentially a solved

      > problem compared to UI. That so many geeks think

      > otherwise is the reason UI is so crap still.

      The main reason I find myself pulling out the bash shell is the fact that most people who fancy themselves HID acolytes managed to drop the ball when making their GUIs.

      People think that a few pretty pictures and an appearance that doesn't scare away people is good enough. It isn't. It's thoughtless in a subtle sort of way. You may have to be a "geek" to understand what's broken.

  35. CatFunt
    Thumb Up

    Me again, with the HP TC4400 Tablet PC (in tablet mode)

    BTW, incandescent bulbs are a darn site greener or eco freindly than CFLs. No mercury or other heavy metals, fewer components - most of which are easily recycleable ( eg glass & metal), dimmable, more robust than complex CFLs which tend to fail/dim way before the quoted 8000 hour life expectancy.

    Can't wait for LED lights to become mainstream though. First gen ones are still a bit iffy.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      @CatFunt on CFLs

      CFLs are noticeably dimmer well before the 8,000 hour life because that lifetime is quoted for "reduced to 50% output". (That also represents a massive drop in efficacy*)

      They fail before that because the control gear in 99% of them is shit. I've never seen a dead CFL that failed due to the tube.

      CFLs are a dead technology, currently held up by the poor understanding of politicians - it was only last year that the EU finally decided to base the rules on luminous efficacy instead of specific technologies. This suddenly made tungsten halogen popular.

      So actually, tungsten is on the way back in! Most of my house is lit by tungsten halogen.

      - Incidentally, good LED is available now, it's just far too expensive for domestic use. If you've got £500 to £1000 then you can get some really great fittings rated at ~70,000 hours to 70% output.

      Of course, domestic consumers simply aren't going to pay that!

      *This is not a typo.

  36. Captain DaFt

    Eh, the PC'll be around a while yet.

    It's just going to settle into it's own niche.

    Up to now, it was PC (I'm talking about the beige box here) for all your home computing needs. Now there's laptops, smartphones DVRs and tablets, as well as the general purpose PC, each filling a useful role with its own strengths.

    WARNING: Car analogy ahead!

    It's like personal vehicles, there's everything from mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles, to sedans, SUVs, trucks and sports cars, all for personal use, and each filling a particular need. I don't see anyone saying that the family car is obsolete because the others exist.

  37. Criminny Rickets


    Didn't they use the same type of logic when they dumped OS2?

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Criminny Rickets

      I still use OS/2 in some places. You can too. See:

  38. Quantum Leaper

    Who is doesn't like slabs?

    If you look at what most people use slabs for its not productivity, but to play games. I think Nintendo is the one that truly hates slabs, because they sell games for under $5(US) most of the time. Microsoft has had slabs for a long time, but the form factor and weight, is what killed it. Apple made it lighter and more useful, and that is about all. Microsoft is hoping to do something about market share with Windows 8, which may or may not work. Just like phones, I think slabs get replaces a lot faster than a Desktop, so the market can flip in one or two years. Who rules cell phone market, Android, with Apple being number 2 again.

    I think in a few years Android slabs will be the one ruling the the market, and not Apple but it may take a few product cycles to make that happen...


      Who doesn't like slabs?

      People responding in the web forums. That's who.

  39. PJI


    In my frequent browsing of the Register comments, of which this set on this topic contains good examples, I am struck by how conservative, old fashioned and out of touch most correspondents are. They do not like the new, do not understand it and love to condemn it.

    Face it, IBM is rather successful and has been for a century or so. It has not done that by being consistently wrong.

    The iPad in particular is very successful. I work for a major, international firm with a very large IT department, or should I say, several very large departments around the world. More and more of my colleagues use an iPad to take notes in meetings, read emails, view data and then enjoy a book, a film or web browsing on the way home. An acquaintance one of whose firms installs PCs for companies and whose other interest sells customised (with pictures etc.) carpets, both successfully, told me just last Thursday that he and his staff are using iPads now for their customer work, using a back-end server for storage, to great effect. He would not work without them. External contractors are bringing in Apple computers and iPads to read documents, do design, keep notes. The iPads are moving faster and faster into work environments and the PCs are retreating to the few things for which they are necessary or better suited such as programming and big document preparation.

    Everyone I know with an iPhone (not those with an Android or Nokia, curiously) reads their private email (and even work email if they install a MS client) almost exclusively on that device as it saves logging in at home ... and is such an easy interface. My team leader uses his to check our application's health via Safari. I do not as I am still using a simple-ish Nokia, or I would.

    Face it, the vast majority of users, even technical ones, hardly need and rarely like their PCs. Keep fighting; but you've lost, just as I have with my liking for a UNIX shell command line and fondness for OS X.

    The PC's place is changing, as surely as the mainframe moved over for the mini (such as the Vax, Prime, DG) and they did for the PC and now, the PC must move over for the tablet and the better "smart" mobile telephones.

    So, I understand why you all cling on to the old. Your "skills" and "knowledge" took years to acquire and will be useless for most of us amazingly fast. Accept, adapt or be unemployed or change careers.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ad hominems? *my* The Register?! it's more likely than you think!

      1. PJI

        Read more carefully

        My BROWSING. Your way of browsing and what you read may differ.

        Odd how many thumbs down I got. Reinforces my view. Stick-in-the-muds are so hurt by the obvious. Seriously, every technological change is accompanied by wails that the old is the only way. PCs have had a good innings. On to the new.



      No. The PC isn't outdated. The Turing Machine has just found a few new input methods that are allowing them to slither better into some new niches. Although they have been actually doing this for awhile already. You probably just didn't notice. You needed Apple to make it obvious for you.

      It's like saying birds are going to wipe out all animals that still wander around on legs.

    3. david bates


      Hmmm..I think that says more about iPhone users than abut email...I check my mail on my Android, but nothing beats a keyboard when you actually need to reply.

      As for tablets in meetings. I've been to very few meetings where laptops have been generally used. Paper and pencil, yes, laptops, no.

      It sounds to me more like the tablet is supplanting clipboards and smart phones than PCs.

      1. PJI

        You have got a point

        True, though it sounds as if I have seen more laptops in meetings than you have had to suffer. But the fact that people find a tablet, at last, good enough to replace paper and pencil is a clear sign of their utility within a very short time of their successful introduction in their current form. The same ease of use is causing them to supplant PCs (screens plus keyboards plus mouse, portable or not) for an increasing range of tasks. Those hundreds of thousands of applications include an awful lot of good business and IT apps.. Personally, I am sticking with paper and pencil for the moment.

        As for iPhones and email: I think you are mistaken. Everyone I know who does it, either professionally using a microsoft exchange client or privately, cites the convenience, ease of use, good interface and removing the pain of logging in to their PC when they get home (or to work in the sad, work cases). It is far too fashionable and pat to dismiss iPhone users just because they are iPhone users. Actually, I know more professional IT and business users of iPhones than private ones, all at their own expense and none of them stupid. No doubt plenty of Android and Nokia users manage email and similar things too, assuming their email user agent is good enough (I do have a friend who manages his emails for letting his French holiday gites on his Nokia, mainly because it is always with him even cycling across Europe. So he can be prompt and not lose a letting).

        Now, tell me, why are Android buyers not laughed at for buying an immature technology without reliable support, because it is not an iPhone and is cheap? Why would any intelligent person refuse to even consider a device just because it is popular? Ah, I know, the sort who think PCs have been with us forever and will be with us forever in their current form.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    damn title's, ok, lets go for Marquis of NAND


    They're the ones who took all the good stuff from Bletchley Park in the 40's and the magically 'invented' it in the U.S., while all the brits kept schtum until their deathbeds

    Thank god they didn't skank us with jet engines either

    I may be wrong

    1. david bates

      To be fair...

      without IBM there might have been less need for IBM. I seem to remember reading a book about their data machines being very useful for organizing the holocaust.

  41. Nick Sargeant

    Would you put your faith in the man who brought you Micro Channel and the PS/2?

    Ah, Mark. Along with Chet Heath, the man that brought you the worse of two implementation of Micro Channel - the other being RS/6000, and far superior. Very clever man, right place at the right time for the PC and the AT, but sheesh what a left turn at the lights. Being a technologist, especially a former one does not make one a visionary.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    I remember....

    Just before the release of IBMpc, I was at a trade show, and a rather drunk IT guy said two things, that small computers had a future, but they were going to have Motorola 6800 processors rather than Intel 8080 family. First part right, second wrong, despite it wasn't until 10-12 years later, with 80386 and the large, flat memory model, that Intel had a decent architecture. Everybody remembers the 640k lower memory limit, but nobody remembers the 20-16 bit segmented memory model. Good thing they have forgotten, it was an awful mess. Probably kept DOS crippled, and MicroSoft retarded.

  43. 404 Silver badge

    The fscked up part....

    The other day, I had my tablet sorting through my mp3s, (Acer Iconia A500 if you must know) sitting on my knee, Hp laptop -just over there- remote desktopped into my server, installing BBM server in defense of having my laundry outed to the public at some future date - not that I'm planning to take over the world mind you, it's just the idea some busybody might want to one day, when my wife, sitting over there (over there in regard to the other over there where the laptop was, but in a different direction) with her Kindle, noticed a prompt on the server, on the laptop desktop, to which I promptly tapped on the laptop's screen in puzzlement because it wouldn't execute, to which my wife burst out laughing...

    Damn laptop doesn't have a touchscreen.. Stop laughing, just stop it right now, it can/will happen to YOU!


  44. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Evolving, not dead

    The big desktop computer isn't going anywhere but its form and uses will change. Socializing, communications, and information have been moving to small portable devices while desktops become more tools. There's ALWAYS a professional job that requires more power. There's ALWAYS a game that requires more power. There will ALWAYS be tasks where a tablet/laptop is not ergonomically matched for interaction. Even if telcos become saints and upgrade your stone-age wires, there will still be tasks where speed of light latency costs more than buying local computer. I wouldn't expect the desktop to lose its cables any time soon either. It could be decades before WiFi signals can be encoded in a way that is both fast and reliable.

  45. Doug Glass

    Originally ...

    ... IBM declared the whole PC thing was a passing fad.

  46. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Microsoft. Now a Sell?

    Their traditional market is being threatened on all sides. The days of the Desktop PC for the majority of users is indeed very nearly over.

    With the advent of the Cloud (ducks for cover) all you need is a device with a suitable screen and a method of entering data and you are good to go.

    Why do you need something burning lots of electricity running Windows (Xp,Vista or 7) with its own multi gigabyte HDD to enter a few figures into a spreadsheet and do emails? You don't.

    Finally the Citrix/Winframe idea comes of age.

    Something like the Google Chrome OS is a perfect answer to kicking your windows junkie habit.

    There are many other simple alternatives to 'Every desk will run Windows mantra'.

    As to what is going to replace all this desktop power?

    Well,Thirty years ago mid range systems threatened the Mainframe. The MF survived by the skin of its teeth and is actually selling more each quarter. Ironically, the MF is the ideal cloud server as none of the pretenders can touch IBM MF Tech in terms of Virtual workloads.

    PErhaps it is time to mark IBM as a Buy?

    1. Magius

      Cloud? cloud?

      I laugh every time someone waves that term around...

      It is a rehash of old technology... so yawn.

      True we have re-wrapped it in fancier clothes (and to some extent it has its uses) but it has limitations and vast security implications.

      What to do if I am not connected? Sure, you can probably work offline and sync back when you get s connection, but then I can do that right now with a PC without having to pay extra for a cloud service. Which brings us to the next consideration.

      How much is it going to cost the users? Surely you what you expect is some company to rent "cloud power" to users (since affording one of those IBM MF is well out of the budget of most people). The how much will it cost a regular person per month? Compare that to what a good computer costs these days. Considering a regular person will keep their PCs for years before upgrading again, who do you think wins in this scenario? The answer is pretty obvious.

      True, smaller devices have their uses but they are usually narrow and specific. Also, their absolute reliance on continuous online connection limits their use. Tablets are a dream for IT but then there are some companies out there that do not allow or have wireless connections at work. They are also great for users at home but they are not for everyone.

      Tablets such as the iPad are very cool toys, that's about it.

      Now one thing can save you and that is very, VERY good marketing. Dazzling regular people with terms like cloud (instead of networked storage, mainframes, etc.). Making them believe they can do anything on their pretty, shiny, pad. My guess is that you either gobbled up the bait with gusto or work for them.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I totally believe in IBM... not

    This comes from the company that made 2 biggest fuck ups in the history of PC computing:

    - using Intel-outside garbage 8-bit CPUs in the PCs while there were better 16/32-bit solutions available,

    - not purchasing all license rights for PC-DOS from M$.

    Great vision there, Mr. Dean and IBM, great vision...

    1. Steve Knox

      There were no 8-bit CPUs in IBM PCs

      The original PC used the 8088, which is a 16-bit CPU with an 8-bit external bus. Future models in the PC line used either the 8088 or 80286.

  48. Morteus

    Dead? Not in my house matey!

    I'm sitting here, cup of tea, listening to music(on decent speakers), reading posts in the only personal 'zone' I can get in a busy household. I think he asumes we all want to dash around with a phone to our ear browsing on a fondle slab. Well that's all very well for them who enjoy that lifestyle but I like comfort. And as for gaming, well there's games and there's games. Can't imagine trying to organise a raid in wow from an ipad somehow. Nope - not convinced.

  49. Furbian

    But I like...

    .. my 28" Monitor, that I can have an SSD and extra drives for keeping my H.264 hi-def movies on. I also like my Alienware Tactx keyboard for typing on, and using my Logitech Performance MX mouse. It's hooked up to my 58" Plasma if I want to watch things on that instead. It also serves as a hub for my mobile devices as I have a 2TB drive with movies on it, they don't quite fit on an iPad, which I have never watched a movie on anyway, why would I want to? Oh let's leave the large Plasma, I'll watch it on my tablet because it's so convenient?

    My children all have iPads (and a PC each as well obviously), I had one too, after three months of barely using it, I sold it and bought my self a HP Envy 17 laptop when I was due to travel. Even for pleasure I'd rather watch a hi-def movie on the laptop than the iPad, and gaming, yes consoles are good and I play the odd Xbox 360 and/or PS3 game, but Dragon Age for example is a dreadful experience on those devices, but was fantastic on the PC.

    iPad games, though improving, can't really compete with console or PC games.

    Yes I do check basic websites and my e-mail on my iphone, am I going to tap out lengthy replies and include images when needed on it?!

    .. as for the commercial environment, unless it's a 'media' company, employees of an IT firm providing software solutions to, for example, the manufacturing industry, will usually find themselves using a terminal editor to connect to a Unix system... I suppose an iPad with a keyboard could fulfil that role, but then some of these systems use Windows ...

    The gentleman toeing the company line is a bit elderly, and tablets do appear to suit that age group with light usage quite well, my father is getting one to make video calls with as he simply finds the laptop I gave him too awkward to use for the task.

  50. Jude Bradley

    How will I ....

    Play FSX on a ipad device?

  51. Dropper

    Outdated / Don't Like?

    It's not that Reg readers don't like tablets or smartphones, it's that we usually require a lot more than either can deliver. I love my Andriod - but it's a complete pile of shite for gaming or even watching movies (even if Netflix has finally arrived). Same with the iPod Touch. I've tried games and watching video on both and it always ends up doing a number on my neck.

    The point of the negative comments goes back to the point of the article - which is trying to tell us that these limited devices could replace PCs. For anyone that still uses a PC for gaming that statement is delusional. Even if it was possible to build an over-sized iPod with the power of a PC, within a year it would be obsolete.

    Most reg readers use their PCs for a hell of a lot more than browsing and typing the odd letter in Word. If closed-off operating systems, poor network latency, rigid resources and no upgradeability were viable for those that want to play the latest shooter or render 3D animations then reg users would think owning a iMac was a pretty neat idea (ref: digital watches).

    I liken people who think phones or tablets can replace PCs to.. well if you get the reference you'll understand. If you don't you need to read some books. I read mine using a kindle app on my phone.

  52. Magius

    Pfft, says IBM...

    The ones that scoffed at the idea of computer being used at home. "Who would want that?".

    I imagine that at some point portables will indeed take over, however that day is not here yet. Portables are still not strong enough to successfully multitask, handle multiple screens, etc.. When the day comes that I can take my cell phone, dock it, and then run all my applications in high resolution on multiple displays then yes I would gladly take my PC to the curb. Otherwise stfu.

    All these know-it-all people have been claiming the death of the PC is near since the early 90's. Here we are 21 years later and they try to sing the same song while flogging around their latest toy. *yawn*

  53. Anonymous Coward

    PC Daddy

    The Idea of "progress" ended in the early "70's, i don't think he is throwing the P.C away, just the

    Idea that "Machines" are discoveries,inventions, just like flint rock to make fire is out dated, but it

    still works, it doesn't mean you have to throw it away, it will find it's own application through the

    people who use it

  54. elderlybloke

    Why the Arguments?

    If your Box/PC/FondleSlab/IPad/IPod/CellPhone gives you want you want ,why worry about what others use to do what they want.

    There must be more important things in the world to concentrate on.

  55. Fryerman

    The PC is dead. Long live the PC

    The PC was brilliant. It brought computing power to the masses in an efficient form factor. Many people got hold of them in the early days, just to have a PC, not because they were power users like you and me. They used them as electric typewriters, and to run arcade games. The thing is, they only had one platform - the PC. Now we have many: PC, laptop, netbook, tablet, console, mobile phone..... There is a trend is towards minituarisation and mobility that will appeal to the vast bulk of people who dont do power computing and just graze the cloud, they won't have need of a PC anytime soon. Even school kids, who usually want some grunt in their machine, seem to prefer laptop styles as they can cart them around (& lose them). So, as convenience dominates, and the technology of batteries, displays, and memory advances, the PC market will diminish. Howere, it won't go away.

    Please excuse any typos in this submission - I'm using a smartphone and the keyboard is s**t. I could have moved 50ft to my quad core desktop, but the weather is too nice in the garden @ the moment.

  56. Jim 59

    Blurb writer

    "Dean, who now uses a tablet as his "primary computer..."

    No he doesn't.

    "...Dean is toeing the company line"

    Yes he is.

    "...our continuous transformation is a strategy..."

    Sounds like blurb straight from marketing.

  57. dave 46

    the PC is at a desk

    Things you don't want to sit at a desk for use other devices (phones, tablets, game consoles).

    There's plenty of things you want to do at a desk though, fps gaming, strategy games, any non trivial word processing / spreadsheets / cad / graphics.

    The difference is things we don't need a desk for, we no longer need to do at a desk. That doesn't stop a desk being useful, and no matter what you want to call it, that computing device you use at your desk is a PC.

    It could be your tablet plugged into a dock, or it could be a great big biege box, it's still being a PC.

  58. shaunhw

    What really is a tabet ?

    An iPad, and to a lessor degree Android tablet, is a simply a computer, without a keyboard, with an (in my opinion) inferior locked down operating system with a slower processor. Anyone who thinks a tablet can replace high end PCs in all applications isn't living in the real world. I own an Android tablet, have seen the heavily controlled, jobsworthian, unflashy, holier than thou iPad and wouldn't give up my PCs if I got the tablets for free. Even the Android device (Asus transformer with keyboard) now bores me to death and appears as if it was nothing more than a novelty rather than anything really useful. I sometimes use it for web browsing downstairs or a cursory read of my emails, but never for anything serious.

    Many people still need a proper operating system and a proper computer with all the proper peripherals.

    How odd that people think an intrinsically inferior, and generally more expensive device will unsurp the PC. It will have to get much better before that happens.

    on MY computer or tablet:

    1: I want to be able to install whatever I want on it.

    2: I want supported FULL access to the operating system, including the kernel if necessary.

    3: I want keyboards, printers, mice, external monitor and all other devices that make the use easier.

    In Asda the other day, I saw a windows laptop with Win7 premium64 bit for £287... Compare that with a tablet ? Is touch screen really that important. Soon all laptops will have them, and probably detachable screens as well with some kind of decent OS (not locked down rubbish PhoneOS) optimised for touch screens.

    It should be noted that to develop anything for the current populiar tablet devices one still needs a PC, or for iPad, a Mac. It's not a proper computer then, otherwise it would be able to host the development environment it needs, for itself!

    I was never a big Windows fan (I loved the Acorn RiscOS in its time) but wouldn't be without it, in favour of iOS, or Android alone.

    Even for simple jobs, sending an email on the computer with a decent keyboard, (or writing this response) is far faster and easier using a decent computer with a proper keyboard.

  59. Sarah Davis

    Is it Rik Myslewski or Mark Dean on drug !!!

    ... or perhaps they just have never done any real work on a computer (blogging your misinformed opinion isn't work!)

    What an absurd article. It has no basis in reality. Consider the scales of computing kit. At the pinnacle you have your workstation PC (the most powerful most capable computer, with a huge array of large monitors and peripherals which allow it to do almost anything very well). Next, and quite a huge step down is the Laptop (less powerful, less capable, a lot less connectivity, but portable, and for some this is capable enough). Down another step is the Notepad (even less powerful, with an even smaller screen, and less use-able, but slightly more compact portable). Then at the bottom of the techno pile, the meager Tablets and Phones (ven less power, even less useful, with even smaller screens, and even less connectivity).

    For many folk, a Tablet and/or is pointless as a serious computing device because it is SO under powered and incapable. As a portable device it's ok for txt'ing & phone calls, GPS can be useful, or even surfing the web if it's important, or playing a game if you're bored waiting for a bus, or using as a media device, but it's barely use-able unless you have a seriously light weight work load.

    Realistically you can't do Audio Recording/Production, Video Editing/Production, 3D Production/Rendering, C.A.D, Web Dev, Serious Gaming, or many other professional applications on anything other than a PC because on any of the other devices the screen would far to small to be professionally use-able, it would be under powered (so take longer - if it could cope at all), it would not have adequate connectivity/capability/drive-space, and you cannot blind type a touch keyboard on the tiny screen.

    (Ok, some Laptops can do some of the tasks mentioned above in a limited fashion or with compromise).

    How can you plug in say,... 3 monitors, 2 sound cards, 2 midi keybs, 2 control surfaces, jog-wheel, scanner, printer, tablet, webcam/mic, usb2 hub, usb3 hub, mouse & keyb into anything other than a PC? A Laptop couldn't cope, and Notepad would be even more inadequate, and Tablets and Phones are just laughably inept (espesh if it's so stupidly designed it doesn't have any USB's).

    Of course, if all you do is blog, txt, and play angry birds, and you're rather desperate to convince the world and yourself that you're cool (and quite, quite gullible) then the meager tablet probably would be more than adequate for such small needs, and you may actually believe that YOU have no need for a PC and therefore, as YOU don't need a PC the PC era is over. But for many many millions of professionals, the PC is the only option!

  60. Jemma Silver badge



    Hail to the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.

    The era of the PC as a box with another box with a glass bit and a keyboard and a mouse is indeed beginning to drift away. But its not drifting towards touchscreens and iDicks. Its moving towards nothing more or less than a smaller version of the exact same functionality.

    I have a Nokia E7, which runs a quick processor, a powerful OS (which still has more functions and more security than iOS (iDiot On Slab) and Android put together, but I digress). Its got a Touchscreen and a physical keyboard. I have tried both the touch keyboard and the physical one, no prizes on which I can type much faster and its not the Apple Special.

    But the kicker with this phone and a very few others - you can attach USB mice, keyboards, CD-Roms, Hard drives, Memory sticks and the like, it'll even talk to a hub with multiple devices. The ENTIRE device is about one twelfth the size of my Netbook, and it can do exactly the same thing, and fit in my pocket. Not to mention carry amazing amounts of information, and last almost 2 days on battery with judicious use.

    Now its true that I dont do development work, I dont have a fetish for splattering people in high definition, im not particularly interested in PCB design - because I am not a developer, nor a gamer, nor have any reason to know the ins and outs of 5 layer PCB mothering. But I do write books and I do write essays and I do write reviews, and for that, fondleslabs and iPhones just dont cut it. The less said about the 'cloud' the better. I have this weird thing, my ideas and my work is MINE. I cant guarantee its safety on 'the cloud' therefore it will not be going on there. End of.

    There is no way at this point in time that a touch keyboard will be comparable to a physical keyboard, it just cant.

    If you spent your life opening up PC's like I did for a long time, you will notice all that wasted space (not to mention the dead mice/rats/species new to science, or the impossible to refit case covers). All that is being done now is to take the space out of the equation. Where once you needed an ISA/EISA etc card, now you can do it with PCMCIA (or whatever they're calling it this week) or SD or something else suitably small.

    So what is the point with the huge lardy case - there isnt one - except in the few specific places where the job (high throughput high storage situations for example) and even then you can, with suitable money and a little work, find a machine that is both small and strong enough to handle it.

    The original PC three box approach (system, screen, keyboard) is rapidly becoming as relevant today as a 1920s Morris. Yes it does the job, but inflexibly, with poor use of space. hence you get the all-in-one machines. Same processor, same power, a quarter of the space.

    The point here I think has been missed in spectacular fashion.

    The PC as regards what it actually is is in no danger of dying off, Core i7s and motherboards and all the rest of the palaver will not suddenly disappear like an embarrassed Tyrannosaur who didnt get the thing about the asteroid because he doesnt use Twitter... That power and that system and that paradigm is alive and well and will be for a long time.

    The thing we are going to lose, and not before time, is the mindset that a business PC has to be something huge cumbersome and mostly just hot air (sorta like a Conservative party political broadcast). To ride the dinosaur analogy until it falls apart - we are leaving the age of the dinosaurs, and entering the age of the little early mammals, same function, same niches, just 100 times smaller, lighter and more efficient (and yes I know the comparison on the last one is a little tenuous).

    And my poor aching back will be forever thankful...

  61. Riquin

    The emphasis should be on the operating systems and not in the hardware.

    I have a tablet 500 HP that uses windows 7 which we use to complement the network of computers that we have at home.

    We also have a KVM that allows me to hook up the Tablet and get immediate access to the keyboard, DVD, the big monitor screen and mouse. The Tablet is good to read the internet from the garden under a tree because of the glare, video conferencing and short typing but will not replace the PCs and laptops that we have.

    By using Windows 7 we have access to all the software that we are very comfortable with like ooVoo for video conference, Flash for the internet, Adobe PDF reader, Norton security and purchased MS office that we installed very easily from the DVD under the KVM.

    The emphasis should be on the operating systems and not in the hardware. For us having a standard OS in our network is a big plus because you can switch from the PC to the laptops to the tablet and you know how to use them all.

    Like always MS is behind the OS development for this mix environment but with time they will be there.

    What is important to MS is to have a clear, easy and economic way of upgrading all the PCs in the network to have them all at the same software level.

  62. attoman

    PC dead A LONG TIME AGO- long live the PC

    Ah, gee IBM did not create the personal computer and neither did Mr. Dean. Although I'm happy to accept that Dean may well have created the late comer IBM PC product. The IBM PC was essentially dead by 1994 as a product.

    The personal computer is alive and well and thriving in all its forms as smart phones, and a myriad of programmable personal computing devices.

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