5 reasons why the PC isn´t dead

12 Aug 2011


Who hasn't cracked this joke? A friend turns 30, so quip: "It's all downhill from here!"

The personal computer is 30 years old - and has never looked better!

It's funny, because some see hitting the big 3-0 as the end of their salad days and the start of sober Friday evenings, parenthood and feeling drafts. The big gag is normally met with a wistful smile, before the birthday boy or girl boards a plane to Las Vegas.

So when one of the fathers of the first PC, which turned 30 on August 12, pats it on the casing and says "it's over for you, mate", I'm sure the humble personal computer would see the funny side of it.

But this is no punch-line. Dr Mark Dean, who worked on the IBM 5150 PC, says it's the end of the PC era and he's serious. Dr Dean believes that services are now at the cutting edge of computing, and not the PC.

The good doctor carries a lot of gravitas, but we think there are a few good reasons why the PC will remain at the forefront of our computing lives for years to come…

1. Performance
Tablets are very nifty, but they don't yet pack the raw processing power that a desktop PC can offer. As long as there's graphic-laden video processing software and demanding web design tools, there will still be a need for a high performance PC.

2. Keyboards
Using a PC equipped with a full-sized keyboard remains the most comfortable way to type out a document. It's true, laptop keypads are improving fast, while tablets are making the most of more responsive touchscreens. However, sitting down to type a lengthy document or coding would take longer and be more uncomfortable without a regular keyboard.

3. Gaming
Hardcore gamers don't compromise when it comes to graphics, while you'll need the speediest of processors to avoid lagging behind your opponents on World of Warcraft. Whatever they're playing, PCs continue to be the weapon of choice for top gamers.

4. Businesses
If you're working in an office at the moment, then look around you. What do you see? It's a sea of PCs more than likely. Businesses love desktop PCs because they're affordable, easy to update and crucially, should anything ever go wrong, quick to repair. Although the threat of cloud-driven computers looms large, don't expect powerful PCs to disappear from the office just yet.

5. Microsoft
IBM's Dr Dean might have declared the end of the PC era, but Microsoft corporate communications chief Frank Shaw sees it differently. We've entered the 'PC plus' stage, apparently - and seeing as how Microsoft still have great control over the technology that enters our homes, we should take what they say seriously.

Has the PC had its day, or will it be around long past its 30th birthday? Comment below or tweet @DixonsinTheKnow