Published On: Fri, May 6th, 2016

Is The PC Dead?

The harbingers of the PC’s doom have been around ever since Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007. And yet, here we are, nearly a decade later, and the PC is still with us. Now don’t get me wrong. Things aren’t exactly fine and dandy when it comes to the PC market. Just look at the massive losses Intel has posted recently. But the PC itself is still here as a platform. So what did those predicting doom get wrong?

Computer, Pc, Apple, Business, Workplace, Home Office

They Overlooked Its Versatility

The PC might not be pretty as an iPad. And it might not be portable, like practically every other device. But boy is it versatile. Because it was the original platform, virtually every digital accessory is compatible. You can hook up whatever monitor you like, any speakers you like, any music equipment you want. And, yes, any virtual reality headset you want too.

Why is that? Well, it’s primarily because on a PC you just have the space to install multiple standards. Graphics cards come with HDMI connectors, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort and sometimes even DVI. The motherboard I/Os have USB 2 and 3. And you usually get a full suite of audio outputs. There just isn’t the space on tiny little devices we carry in our pockets.

They Didn’t Expect Running Costs Would Come Down

PCs have never been famous for frugally sipping electricity. And neither were they meant to be. Energy is cheap when you pull it from a plug. But that didn’t stop the naysayers suggesting that the downfall of the PC was that it was expensive to run. Well, at least compared to mobile.

As always, the market addressed these concerns with some innovations. We got processors designed just for business with super low power draws. We got printer ink refill cartridges that meant we didn’t have to buy new ones at inflated prices. And we saw big software investments in things like sleep mode and hibernate. All of this added up to make PCs so cheap to run that nobody was pushed away. Businesses were happy, and so was the PC market.

They Underestimated Its Usability

There’s a big problem with tables and smartphones. They’re just not great for being productive. Have you ever tried to type out a whole document on your phone? It takes forever. Usually, the word processor runs too slow. Put simply; it’s a nightmare.

PCs, on the other hand, come with large keyboards and plenty of space to move your hands. Yes, they might not look like something out of the future. But they certainly do the job.

There’s also something to be said for having a big screen. Having more real estate on the screen allows you to edit videos more easily and flip between tabs. On mobile devices, this sort of thing is still a fiddle.

They Forgot About Raw Performance

Many people, especially gamers and bitcoin miners, want performance above all else. And they just can’t get it on other platforms. So long as there is a performance advantage to using a PC, the PC will remain.