Thursday, April 11, 2013

Save the PCs

First of all, I would like to admit that I probably don’t know what I am talking about, but that has never stopped me before.  Therefore, I will endeavor to persevere in spite of my ignorance again.

Anyway, what this is about is all of the talk I have been hearing about the advent of tablets and smartphones that sounds like a death knell for personal computing.  For it is being strongly suggested that almost everything will be done through [cloud computing] in the very near future.

Yeah, I may be knee-jerking over a bunch of knee-jerking by stock market analysts again, but I am getting a really bad feeling about this.  For big-shot corporate types pay more attention to their bottom-lines than anything else, and with PC sales [plummeting] in the face of rising tablet and smartphone sales, PC makers may decide to spend most of their resources on developing slicker ways of accessing the cloud.

If you are not familiar with what cloud computing is yet, it is basically about using a device to access server-based programs over the internet.  Have you ever heard of apps for your smartphone?  Well, many of them are actually access links to those server-based programs.

Yes, the absolute truth of the matter truly is that most have no need for all that an actual personal computer has to offer.  For they just want to go online to see the sites and occasionally do some image editing, which can be accomplished through one of those server-based programs.

Furthermore, bloggers have been already using server-based programs for years.  For this is what the Blogger, WordPress and all of the other blogging platforms are.

Oh, but what about those who want to keep a copy of their work?  Tablets and smartphones do not have a hard drive!

On the other hand, storage of personal projects is readily available online for free, but just how long is that going to last?  Oh, and what about when there is a glitch in the system?  Do you really want to leave the continued existence of your 100-page presentation in the hands of someone floating around on a cloud?  Now, I don’t know about you, but most of my experience with the customer service provided by the likes of a Google has been somewhat lacking in satisfaction.

No, I am not expecting anything drastic anytime soon, but the writing is on the [wall].  Therefore, it might do you well to buy that big and powerful PC you have been dreaming of much sooner than later.  For corporate types have a habit of pricing things that they do not make much of much higher than they have to in order to justify continuing to make them.  Sigh.

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Joseph Chengery said...

Hello Jerry,

I think many keep talking about the end of the PC and such, but that the talk is a bit premature when it comes to laptops at least. Yes, laptops will transform (such as into Ultrabooks and hybrids of tablet and notebook), but likely will last through at least the end of the decade because of the hard drive space and the fact that people won't be that comfortable putting things "on the cloud." Heck, look at how long it took before people got comfortable sharing information and shopping on the Internet, and there are still some who aren't that fond of it in 2013.

Traditional PCs will probably only be used by enterprises that need massive computing power, but they'll likely be around as well.

As you mentioned, smartphones and tablets, while useful, don't have hard drive space to save anything, and people likely won't be easily swallowing the idea of having to pay for storage space. Many are complaining about how they have to pay for a smartphone, the resulting plan, and even extra data packets. They also mention about their wireless Internet that's bundled with their high cable packages and/or satellite packages.

I don't think cloud computing will take off right away due to privacy concerns and pricing concerns (granted, Amazon doesn't charge much for digital storage and usage right now, but if that were to change, people likely wouldn't be too thrilled to have to pay storage space to keep their items in a place that is not totally secure).

Recall that everyone was saying that VCRs were going to go by the wayside, as were DVDs. Yet, even the VCR format still exists in 2013, let alone DVDs. In fact, it's arguable that they are in just as good of a position as Blu-Ray because, with everything going on DVRs and online storage spaces (think NetFlix), do you think Blu-Rays are any better off long-term than VCRs and DVDs? Not really, which again comes back to being able to hold an item physically and accessing it from another place (i.e. the online cloud).

Therefore, yes, the PC market is slowing dying out, but the death won't happen immediately, and smartphones and tablets still don't have near the processing power that laptops do, let alone desktops, and getting actual work done is much more efficient and convenient on laptops and desktops, and will be for some time to come. This will likely ensure that the PC market won't die for a while yet, regardless of all of the publicity and announcements otherwise.

Take care,

Joseph Chengery
Wheat: Is It Harming Your Waistline And Your Health (1st publication on Amazon)

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thanks for stopping by, my dear Joseph!!! Whoa, that was certainly a very comprehensive assessment, and I hope you are right about it taking longer for cloud computing to be fully embraced by the general public than I am afraid it will. In any event, I hope personal computers will remain available to those like me who cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for one.

Nonnie said...

maybe it's because I live on a limited income, but I cannot afford smartphones nor do I want to deal with anything so small to do my usual stuff on a computer. my one hope is that vinyls are making a comeback. so let's not put PCs in the tomb yet.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thanks for stopping by, my dear Nonnie!!! It sounds like we are in the same financial situation, and what I fear the most is that it will not be long before it will cost several thousand dollars to replace what cost less than a thousand before.