This is a guest post by Nelson Ta.
So where’s my jetpack? I’ve been waiting for years for technology to advance enough for each of us to have hover cars, butler robots, and yes… a jetpack. Growing up as a nerdy kid watching every science fiction show available and reading Ray Bradbury and George Orwell fed to my high hopes that I would one day be sitting atop an armament of electronics while waiting for my flight to Mars.
Though 1950’s imagination may have overshot on some of their expectations, they weren’t too far off from where we are today. We don’t have robots, but we have things far superior — the personal computer. Yes, your Facebook and Netflix machine sitting on your computer is an amazing technological accomplishment.
Although it may seem absurd now, the personal computer wasn’t always thought of as a necessity. In 1977, Ken Olsen, founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, said, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” Before we fully judge this quote, let’s take in mind that the type of computers Olsen is talking about far differ from our idea of a personal computer.
Still, only a few years after Olsen said those words, Steve Jobs and Apple’s brainchild, Macintosh, which was the first commercially successful personal computer. The words have been carefully chosen. Prior to the 1984 release of the Macintosh, there were plenty of computers that wanted to change the industry, but none did it like Apple.
This is why it was fascinating, or expectedly forthcoming, (depending on how you view it) that Apple CEO Tim Cook announced back in April that we are now living in a post-PC world. In a mere 30 years, the Personal Computer has risen and apparently fell. Should I just toss out my desktop then?
The Post-PC world… It sounds quite apocalyptic and in fear of my computer rising up from the grave, flashing old Windows OS like Windows 95 or worst….Windows Me. The horror.
What Cook meant was that the market is starting to shift towards more post-PC products. According to an article written by Hugh Thompson, “76 percent of Apple’s revenue in 2011 came from the sale of 176 million ‘post-PC’ devices, including Apple TVs, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.”
Although much of our attention have shifted towards using tablets and our mobile devices, it seems a bit premature to declare the death of the Personal Computer. I can only assume that many of you are still using your computer to read this article —hopefully. Point is, don’t send the band on field if there is still time on the clock. Go ask Stanford.
A recent Gartner report predicts that PC sales will increase 4.4 percent this year—moving from “368 million units sold in 2012 to 400 million in 2013.” With statistics like that, it seems that Mr. Cook is skipping a few chapters of the book.
However, the notion is not complete misguided. Although we aren’t quite in a post-PC world, we are definitely towards it. Long after my computer is snoozing on my desk, I lay awake playing random addictive games, reading articles, watching shows on Netflix, and the list goes on.
In an article written by Maribel Lopez published in Forbes, the existence of the post-PC world is attributed to 4 key factors.
#1. Computing is no longer a destination:
We have infused technology with every part of our lives. Our phones, tablets, and even televisions that have online capabilities allows us to have the power of a computer without ever being near one.
#2. Cloud Enable meaningful mobility:
With Cloud technology, information is readily available wherever you go. There is no need for a large hard drive or excuses regarding leaving your homework on another computer.
#3. The Post-PC era destroys and rebuilds software:
The constant changes and upgrades in mobile technology is simultaneously building and causing a strain on software companies. It seems that Operating Systems are changing every other day. With the constant shifts, Lopez feels that new software companies will continually come out of the woodwork and extend the range of mobile capability.
#4. Mobile and the Internet of Things enable contextual-intelligence:
This final point she makes discusses the way phones are enabling location technology and how it will eventually help manage our lives.
Lopez ends her article with a very thoughtful approach by saying, “The Post-PC world is about more than a shift in the device landscape. It’s a shift in computing as we know it.”
Regardless of whether it is mutually agreed we are in the “post-PC world,” the rise in mobile devices and tablets are inevitable. People are lazy and we love convenience.
I readily embrace the world of tomorrow. However, I will still always love my personal computer. It is a vital part of my life that will remain a viable option. Let’s just hope things don’t drastically change and some kid will write an article in 40 years quoting some obscure writer because he didn’t believe in the future. That’s horrible.
All I really care about is my missing jetpack. What gives?
About the author:
Nelson Ta is the Content Editor and lead blogger for Omnibeat. As a social media enthusiast with an extensive background in writing, he strives to help businesses and people understand the latest trends in social media, technology, and marketing.
Follow him on Twitter.