Friday, January 10, 2014

The death of the PC (according to

I am a news junkie and I regularly read the news at the beginning of the day.  I saw on the following story:

Now, let's analyze the forces here.  The vast majority of PCs that are sold in the world run Microsoft Windows.  I have played with Windows 8 and 8.1 on a virtual PC and it is a frustrating piece of software, so much so that I have absolutely refused to buy a PC of any kind with Windows 8 installed on it.  My elderly mother needed a new computer because her PC runs Windows XP.  Windows XP goes end-of-life (EOL) April 2014.  (Note:  If you run a Windows XP workstation has your main computer, you need to upgrade to something before XP goes EOL)  My family pooled our money and bought my Mom a new computer.  Since I'm the "computer guy" in the family, I get to support my mother.  Guess what?  That new PC that I bought for my Mom was a Windows 7 PC and not a Windows 8 PC.  Yep.  They are still there and still available, although they aren't as readily available as Windows 8 PCs.  It has been hard transitioning my Mom to this new computers.  I would hate to imagine what it would be like to try and teach my elderly mother Windows 8...  (shudder...)

To the article's credit, I do believe that smart phones and tablets have come into play, but I also think that the two year decline in PC sales has a stronger correlation with Windows 8 than anything.  The new Metro UI doesn't make sense on a PC that doesn't have a touch screen.  Sorry Microsoft, but I'm not going to buy a touchscreen PC or laptop.  I don't like fingerprints on my monitor.  (As a note, I have an iPad 2, an iPad mini, and three iPod touches, and a Google Nexus 7.)  I can tolerate fingerprints on the tablets I own, but not on my computer.

Also, when it comes time to doing work, such as school work, the kids work on the PC and not on the tablets owned by the household.  There are things you can only do on a tablet.  And I haven't seen a tablet that can do what my PC can do.  My PC is old and needs to be upgraded, but if and when that happens, it will not be a Windows 8 PC.

You ask about Mac and why I haven't done that.  Honestly, I would, but the cost/form factor are a major hindrance for me.  Their laptops are $1,000+ and I am not a fan of the all-in-one form factor PC (iMac). The newer MacBook Air PCs are not upgrade-able. The Mac Pro is ridiculously expensive and there isn't much room to upgrade.  The Mac mini is cute (I have one of these for work), but you are stuck and cannot upgrade.  I am a tinker and I upgrade my stuff.  Being able to do incremental upgrades or changes for me is an important feature.

So I am caught in a Windows 7 Pro world waiting for Microsoft to understand that they blew it on Windows 8 and to right the ship.  If they refuse to make a significant change in their OS, then I will have to look at alternates (such as Linux...shudder).  As an aside, Linux is just too geeky for me, but I will do it if my Windows options don't improve.