I’m a little skeptical about recent claims that we’re living in a “post-PC World”. One reason is I’m sitting here typing this post from a PC – a laptop plugged in to a second screen and a keyboard – and everyone around me in the office I work in is doing the same.
We’re a digital marketing agency in the tech sector, so I think we’re pretty 'hip' and 'cutting edge' and all that. We all have multiple form factors that we use at home and around the office. Many of us check work email on our smartphones while in the office, and a few of us do some of our work on a tablet. However, I have yet to see anyone doing all their day-to-day work on a tablet or a smartphone.
It’s true: Tablets make for friendlier devices for casual around-the-house browsing (I am loving checking out Windows 8 on my home laptop-come-tablet). And smartphones are great when you’re out and about and need information fast. But I’m still trying to imagine what the “post-PC” scenario would look like in the office. Are people really going to come in to the office, hunch over their tablet and type on glass to get their work done? Or give their thumbs a major workout as they type emails on their smartphones all day?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying tablets and mobile devices don’t have a place in the office. They do have a place, just not as a replacement to a PC. Even the author of the blog “Tablets at Work” admits that “when I talk to tablet users, their main point of frustration is that their tablet hasn’t effectively replaced their laptop as a full-service content creation device. While they like the media consumption capabilities of their tablets and the ability to respond to emails on a limited basis, they still believe that they can only get “real work” done on their laptops.”
That said, traditionally PC-focused Microsoft and its partners are definitely on board the tablet wagon. Microsoft is releasing the afore mentioned touch-centric Windows 8 later this year. Lenovo is rumored to be working on a Windows 8 consumer tablet – as are Nokia, Hewlett Packard and Asus. Dell has announced plans to release an enterprise tablet on the same day Windows 8 is launching. Ideas for hybrid tablet/laptops – like Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga - are afoot as well.
But these companies certainly aren’t abandoning their PC/laptop models that have been the backbone of their successful partnerships, in many instances for two decades.
It’s clear that things are changing, but the term “Post-PC” seems premature. We’re definitely moving into a world of more diverse options, but it seems likely that PCs will be one of those options for some time to come.