The PC Turns 30. Will It Make 31?

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the PC — the IBM PC, to be specific — it’s interesting to note that Big Blue’s current Middle East/Africa CTO, Mark Dean, says the PC is dead. His blog post on the subject notes that he was there at the very beginning, one of a dozen engineers who worked on the original model. But now…

I, personally, have moved beyond the PC as well. My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs. PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device—though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets—but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.

Naturally, he goes on to say that IBM is well-positioned to be a leader in the so-called “post-PC era” that Apple’s Steve Jobs has been talking about, but the important takeaway is that the guy who designed the first PC is now walking away from PCs, and it sounds like he’s walking away fast.

Source: A Smarter Planet

One Response to “The PC Turns 30. Will It Make 31?”

  1. CoBOL was dead a long time ago, too.

    Granted, tablets have a use, and are very cool. So do “netbooks”.

    But, not everyone wants to do, or has the visual acuity to enable, most of their work on a tablet sized device. Then tablets will become larger and before you know it, you have a PC sized tablet.