The PC is the Titanic and the Tablet is the Iceberg. Any Questions?

by John Kirk   |   July 19th, 2012

Most tech pundits are confused about the Tablet computer. They compare the abilities of the PC (traditional notebook and desktop computers) to those of the Tablet and find the Tablet wanting. They can’t understand how the Tablet can be so dog gone popular when it makes for such a terrible PC.

What they don’t understand is that the tablet isn’t trying to be a PC (unless it’s the Microsoft Surface). Tablet sales are exploding because the Tablet is competing against…nothing. The Tablet is going where the PC is weak and where the PC is absent. There’s virtually nothing standing in the tablet’s way.

Comparing the PC to the tablet is like comparing the Titanic to the iceberg that sank it. It wasn’t the one-ninth of the iceberg protruding above the waterline that sank the Titanic. It was the eight-ninths of the iceberg that lurked beneath the surface of the waters. Similarly, it isn’t the few overlapping tasks that the PC and the Tablet can both do well that matters most. It is the tasks that the Tablet excels at – and which the PC does poorly or not at all – that will ultimately reduce the PC to niche status and turn the Tablet into the preeminent computing device of our time.

ABOVE THE WATERLINE
The PC and the Tablet – like the Titanic and the tip of that fateful iceberg – do compete on rare occasions. Companies like SAP and IBM have ordered tens of thousands of Tablets and some of those Tablets have replaced traditional PCs, especially in those instance where the PC was overkill for the task it was originally assigned to do.

But let’s be real. The PC is a better PC than the tablet is, or ever will be. The number of Tablets that will directly replace PCs will never amount to great numbers. Accordingly, we should no more fear the Tablet replacing the PC than the lookouts on the Titantic should have feared the the damage that could have been caused by protruding tip of the Iceberg. They knew, and we should know, that that’s not where the real danger lies.

AT THE WATERLINE
There are millions upon millions of Tablets that are supplementing, rather than replacing, the PC. These Tablets are being used by Lawyers and Financiers, by CEOs and Presenters, by Presidents and Prime Ministers, by Queens and by Parliaments. The Tablet frees the owner from the constraints of their PCs. They can use the PC when they are at their desks and use the tablet to take their data with them wherever they may go.

These tablets will not sink the PC because they complement the PC. However, they may well extend the life of the PC, thus slowing the PC’s upgrade – and sales – cycles.

BELOW THE WATERLINE
The bulk of the iceberg that destroyed the Titanic lay beneath the surface of the waters, beneath the vision of the lookouts, beneath the ship’s waterline. Similarly, the bulk of the tasks that the Tablet excels at, lies beneath the PC’s level of awareness, beneath the PC’s contemptuous gaze, beneath the PC’s areas of expertise and far, far below it’s area of competence. The PC will not lose in a fair fight, anymore than the Titanic lost in a fair fight. Instead, the Tablet will hit the PC where the PC is weakest – below it’s metaphorical “waterline”.

  • STANDING:

Tablets excel at working while you are standing. Tasks done by matre d’s, inventory takers, tour guides, concierges, face-to-face service providers and order takers of every kind, benefit from the use of the tablet.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a stand-while-you-work device? No, it cannot.

  • ROOM TO ROOM, DOOR TO DOOR AND REMOTE LOCATIONS:

Tablets excel at working when one has to move and stop and move yet again. Car Dealerships, like Mercedes Benz, are giving tablets to their salespeople. European doctors are rapidly taking to the tablet. Service Technicians at Siemens Energy are using tablets while servicing power installations. Scientists are using tablets during field research. Nurses, Realtors, Journalists, Park Rangers, Medical Technicians…the list of users and uses is nearly endless.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a work-and-move, and work-and-move-aagin, device? No, it cannot.

  • SALES:

If you’re in Sales, you’re into Tablets. Whether you’re traveling or standing or presenting or taking an order and acquiring a signature – Tablets are a salesperson’s best friend.

Salesforce purchased 1,300 tablets and Boston Scientific purchased 4,500 tablet for their respective sales forces. And just this week, NBA Star, Deron Williams, signed a $98 million dollar contract…on a tablet.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a sales computing assistant? No, it cannot.

  • KIOSKS:

While the PC makes for a terrible Kiosk, the tablet is almost ideally suited to the task. Tablets as Kiosks are making their presence known in places as diverse as malls, taxi cabs, hospitals, the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles, and the FastPass lanes at Disney World.

In the coming years there will be millions of Kiosks converted to Tablets and millions more in new Kiosks created from Tablets.

Can the PC adequately compete with the Tablet as a Kiosk? No, it cannot.

  • POINT OF SALE:

Today there are millions upon millions of antiquated PCs being used as some form of cash register or point of sale device. Let me put this as diplomatically as I can – they suck.

They’re going to be replaced by Tablets, almost overnight. And tens of millions of new Tablets are going to be used as cash registers and point of sale devices in all sorts of new and unexpected places.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a Cash Register? No it cannot.

  • PAPER REPLACERS:

I’ve been hearing about the “paperless office” since the 1970’s. Yet every year, the PC generates ever more, not less, paper. But that was yesterday. Today the Tablet may finally be able to fulfill the promise that the PC so carelessly made – and broke – those many years ago.

Airlines such as United and Alaska are replacing their in-flight maps with Tablets. The United States Air Force is replacing their manuals with Tablets.

Construction companies are replacing their on-site blueprints with Tablets.

Governmental bodies of every shape and size are reducing paperwork through the use of Tablets. City councils and municipalities have jumped on the bandwagon. The Polish Parliament and the Dutch Senate have substituted Tablets for paper printouts of the documents read by their members. The British Parliament just replaced 650 of their computers with Tablets. And the President of the United States and the Queen and Prime Minister of England have all used Tablets in their briefings.

Twelve NFL teams, including the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens have replaced their paper playbooks with tablets. In Major League Baseball, the Cincinatti Reds have done the same. And at Ohio State, all the athletic programs are replacing their playbooks with tablets. Can there be any doubt that this trend will extend ever outward and ever downward to every professional team, every college team, every high school team and even, eventually, perhaps to amateur sports teams?

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a paper replacement? No it cannot.

  • LOANERS:

Tablets are starting to show up as “loaners” that are lent out as entertainment devices. They’re being purchased by libraries. Airplanes run by Singapore Airlines and Qantas use them as in-flight entertainment devices. Airports like New York’s LaGuardia, Minneapolis-St. Paul International and Toronto Pearson International, lend them out to waiting passengers. The Tablet is ideally suited for the task. It is light, it is portable, it is versatile, it displays content beautifully and it is sublimely easy to use.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as a Loaner? No, it cannot.

  • EDUCATION:

PCs in schools are mostly relegated to teachers and computer labs. Tablets live in the classroom and they reside in the hands of the students. No one wants to learn HOW to use computers anymore. Students simply want to use computers to help them learn.

The Tablet is starting to take educational institutions by storm. It acts as an electronic blackboard, as a digital textbook and as an interactive textbook.

It’s at the K-12 level (the San Diego School district just ordered 26,000) and at the Universities (Adams Center for Teaching and Learning at Abilene Christian University, George Fox University, North Carolina State University in Raleigh). Tablets are even finding their way into the top-tier high schools in China.

Some schools have even reported a 10% improvement in the exam scores of students who use Tablets in lieu or paper books.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet in education? No, it cannot.

  • NEW USERS:

The tablet excels at creating new computer users. This might seem a bit controversial, but it shouldn’t be. Just think of anyone who says that they hate computers – they’re a candidate for a Tablet. Just think of anyone who is too young or too old or too infirm or too disabled to use a PC – someone like a 3 year old or a 93 year old or a recovering cancer patient or an autistic child or someone with learning disabilities. They’re all perfect candidates for the Tablet. The tablet will create a whole new class of computer users – people who have never used a computer before.

Can the PC adequately compete with the tablet as no-fuss, no-muss computing device? No it cannot.

  • NEW USES:

What makes the Tablet so very exciting is that we haven’t even begun to touch on it’s full potential yet. With desktops, we were desk bound. With notebooks, we were surface bound. The Tablet allows us to do new tasks in new places and in new ways.

And it’s virtually impossible to say what these tasks will be. We’re limited by our experience and the scope of our imaginations. Tablets are going to be used in ways that we haven’t even begun to think of yet.

SUMMING UP

Can the PC compete with the Tablet while standing, while moving, in sales, as Kiosks, as Point of Sale devices, as paper replacers, as loaners, in education, with wholly new users in wholly new uses? No, it cannot.

It is in these areas – the areas that are below the PC’s level of competence, below the PC’s level of contempt – that the Tablet will establish its empire. And there is simply nothing that the PC can do to stop it.

Like Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic, the Captains of Dell, HP, Google, Microsoft and many other computing companies, have failed to adequately grasp the true significance of the danger they are facing. They looked at the Tablet and thought: “What the hey, I can avoid that dinky little tablet floating there on top of the waters. It’s no bigger than an ice cube! It’s no threat to me and my business at all!” But what they forgot, is that most of the tablet’s strength lies hidden beneath the optimal level of the PC, i.e., beneath the PC’s “water line”. THAT is where the real danger to the PC lies.

LESSONS LEARNED AND LESSONS YET TO BE LEARNED

So, what should all of this be telling us?

Is the PC really the Titanic?

Sure, why not. The PC may sink beneath the waves like the Titanic did…but it will leave hundreds of very large “life boats” in it wake. Anywhere that the PC is weak and the Tablet is strong, the PC will cease to exist. And that’s a LOT of places. But the PC will continue to exist – just in a much diminished state.

It is not so much that the PC market will grow smaller (which it will) that matters. It’s much more a matter of the Tablet market growing larger. Much, much larger. Soon the ships that are the PC will be floating atop a sea of Tablets. And what was once a “Titanic” PC industry, will merely be just one component of a much larger, and much more diversified, personal computing industry.

Is the Tablet Really an Iceberg?

Sure, let’s go with that. The important thing to note is that the portion of the Tablet market that everyone is focused on – the portion directly challenging the PC – that portion is, by far, the smallest and the least dangerous portion of the Tablet market.

Tablets will not so much reduce the number of PCs we use as they will simply outgrow the total number of PCs in use. Tablets are additive. They will replace a few PCs but mostly they will replace millions upon millions of tasks that never before were done with the assistance of computers. While everyone is bemoaning the fact that PC sales are flat or diminishing, the reality is that the actual sales of personal computers are currently exploding. True, the PC market is shrinking. But mostly, the Tablet market is growing, and it is growing so fast that it will soon overtake the PC market.

Like the iceberg, it is the rest of the Tablet market – the part that has not yet been fully discovered – that will overwhelm the PC. There will be far more Tablets than PCs simply because there are far more tasks that the Tablet can do, and do well, than tasks that the PC can do, and do well.

This is a novel concept for most. We tend to think of computing only in terms of the tasks that the PC is capable of doing today. We define those tasks that computers are currently doing as the only tasks that could possibly require a computer.

But the number of tasks being done WITHOUT the assistance of a computer dwarfs those that are currently being done WITH the assistance of a computer. And while the PC has pretty much maxed out the number of tasks that it can do, the limits to the number of tasks that the Tablet can do are undefined – and nearly endless.

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?
  • Mark

    Your observation about extending to new users is interesting. We just installed an Internet service with an iPad in my 87 year old mother’s home. She is almost tech phobic, yet she is willing to give the iPad a go. She is already doing her email (with mistakes of course). Also she is saving pictures and is feeling quite pleased at how well she is adapting. This would never have happened with a PC.

  • Grwisher

    This is an email that I sent to the author before comments were allowed. It pretty much covers what I would have said in a comment:

    It’s a good thing you are not allowing comments because I probably would have spent the rest of my day complimenting you on this once in a lifetime (technology shift lifetime) article. The metaphor is dead on (no pun intended). It is powerful, insightful and compelling. The facts are indisputable and as you unfold them it makes you keep nodding your head in agreement and wish that you had the foresight to write them.

    At places you are, IMHO, poetic like in this quote:
    “The bulk of the iceberg that destroyed the Titanic lay beneath the surface of the waters, beneath the vision of the lookouts, beneath the ship’s waterline. Similarly, the bulk of the tasks that the Tablet excels at, lies beneath the PC’s level of awareness, beneath the PC’s contemptuous gaze, beneath the PC’s areas of expertise and far, far below it’s area of competence. The PC will not lose in a fair fight, anymore than the Titanic lost in a fair fight. Instead, the Tablet will hit the PC where the PC is weakest – below it’s metaphorical “waterline”.”

    When you get to the part “beneath the PC’s contemptuous gaze”, you readily visualize the hoards of PC supporters and their contempt for tablets which is driven by this monumental threat to their livelihoods. Some, like Microsoft, are now displaying panic. You easily imagine them, as their gaze of the iceberg shifts from its tip to its waterline as they hear the groaning noise caused by the iceberg grow louder and louder.

    Thanks for a wonderful article,
    Grwisher

    • benbajarin

      Sorry about the comments issue, not sure why it happened with John’s column this time but that shouldn’t happen again. We appreciate the many great comments we get.

      • richard rabins

        Ben are you by any chance related to Tim Bajarin? Btw this is a great article – John’s analysis is clear, insightful and very smart

        • benbajarin

          Yes, Tim is my father. We started this site together with Steve Wildstrom to be an outlet for our opinions on tech.

  • PeterBlood

    And by tablets you mostly mean iPads.

    • benbajarin

      Yes, but at large on our site we are talking about the category, but you are correct that right now, and probably for a long while the iPad represents the tablet category.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donald.m.kraig Donald Michael Kraig

    This is EXACTLY what I have been trying to tell people. Thank you for writing it so well. The tablet will replace PCs for some purposes just as the typewriter replaced the pen for some purposes. However, there are still places the pen can go that a typewriter (or its replacements, first the dedicated word processor and then the PC) cannot.

    Whether through logic or serendipity, I think Apple realized this. That’s why the UI of iOS is not the UI of OS X. Unfortunately, Microsoft, still following Bill Gate’s decade old philosophy of “Windows Everywhere,” wants to put Windows on tablets (and cars, and refrigerators, and toasters) instead of recognizing that the tablet is NOT another form of PC. What is needed are mobiles (phones/tablets) and PCs (laptops/desktops) that can transparently exchange data and work according to their form factors. Apple appears to be moving toward that model while Microsoft is moving away from it.

    That’s too bad. Real competition (Not copycatting. Ya hear me HTC? Samsung?) will result in advancement. As you wrote, we just at the beginning of the new age of tablets. The iPad needs some great competition. So far, there is nothing. Surface and Win 8 don’t appear to be a challenge.

  • shockme

    Although the analogy is rather strained, your point about the role of the tablet is dead on. This is why the MS Surface will only sell to people who can be convinced that Office is needed to be productive in jobs that have NEVER depended on it.

  • Walt French

    Interesting that all of the tablet’s features are identical to the enhancements that’ve been made to PCs & laptops over the past decade—e.g., high-res screens; the difference between old laptops and the MacBookAir. And that all the legacy features that predate the last decade, features that made the PC great (faster CPUs, mouse, keyboard, Office, capacious storage…), all missed the cut.

    The iPad is approximately equal to the 2012 PC with the 2002 PC removed.

    oh, a PS: that’d be on-site blueprints.

    • FalKirk

      “that’d be on-site blueprints”-Walt French

      Thanks for the heads up. Fixed.

  • No

    basically smartphone is the computer for the third world even though
    they only use SMS right now.
    The real power of tablets and smartphone will be realized after
    the patents have worn off (in 15 year or so).
    then the PC will be forgotten device.
    Just as people jumped on the Web bandwagon to get away from Microsoft’s strangle hold.
    iPad is just another step because even Corporations don’t like the legacy support maintenance costs aka WinTel Tax.

  • Jurassic

    Excellent analogy!

  • Thorntondw

    There is another group of table users: those who can’t wait to get away from Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, RT, whatever) when they leave work each day! I struggle with windows on a PC at work, why would I want to struggle with it on a PC on my own time? I am paid to wait 5-10 minutes for my PC to boot up at work (ha, ha). Three laptop PCs are gathering dust on the shelf at home while my wife, daughter and I use our iPads, iPhones and Apple TV. The sooner the Titanic sinks the better as far as I am concerned.

    • Thirdeye

      Your IT department sucks if it can’t solve that bootup problem. Either that or you don’t want it solved so you can get extra breaks at work.

  • Michael Linehan

    Got to disagree with one central idea…
    “But let’s be real. The PC is a better PC than the tablet is, or ever will be. The number of Tablets that will directly replace PCs will never amount to great numbers.”
    This, to me, is the same as saying portables will never replace desktop computers in substantial numbers. At first, they just weren’t powerful enough and didn’t have enough disc space. But that changed. And so the replacement has happened. Similarly, before that, desktops supplanted mainframes and mini-computers as how most computing was done.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to imagine tablets having MUCH greater power and data capacity than now — and soon. Come back to your desk, slot it into its stand; your 27″ monitor fires up and off you go. Most computer tasks done by most people – personally and in business – are VERY simple, and do not require a great deal of computing power. So I think tablets will, in fact, soon replace many PCs.

    • Grwisher

      From you:
      “The number of Tablets that will directly replace PCs will never amount to great numbers.”

      From the article:
      “They will replace a few PCs but mostly they will replace millions upon millions of tasks that never before were done with the assistance of computers.”

      With all due respect, I think you both are in agreement. Problem solved.

    • Thirdeye

      You’re overlooking an important difference between portable/desktop and tablet/portable. The portable form factor is the functional equivalent of the desktop form factor as far as user interaction is concerned. Situations where a physical mouse is required are extremely rare. The tablet form factor is not the functional equivalent of the portable for the user. So the ability of the tablet to replace the portable will always encounter that limitation. That limitation is mitigated by the Surface kickstand and keyboard covers, but the inherent limitations of screen size will still impede the the ability to interact with tablets the same way users interact with portables.

      Tablets as we know them today have two advantage over portables. They can be used when no horizontal surface is available and they have longer battery life. But those advantages are negated as soon as the user has a place to sit and a power source.

      Touchscreen functionality is suited for situations where user interaction is slotted into the paths determined by applications. But that inherent slotting limits the touchscreen to low-engagement use cases, i.e. accessing or inputting pre-defined information. A completely slotted interaction is unacceptable once subtlety is encountered. Anybody who has interacted with completely automated “customer service” systems to solve unique problems knows this. But those situations are encountered routinely in business and professional situations. Recognizing and responding to situations requiring a judgment call are how professionals justify their salaries. Workers slotted by their digital interface are essentially technicians, regardless of their title. Allowing flexibility and subtlety of interaction is the challenge facing the tablet space if they are to ever transcend the niche of limited use case devices for businesses and professionals. That challenge is not going to be surmounted as long as interaction is defined by the limitations of the touch screen. Device producers who think outside that box are going to be the ones who move the tablet space forward, outside of its niche of slotted interactions. Digital paper, onscreen drafting, and OCR, anyone? Not with the current fleet of tablets!

  • The ThunderBird

    Almost every “below the waterline” can be lumped back into the “at the waterline” group, as they are mostly presentational uses, for delivering rich content on-the-go. It truly is where the tablet excels, but to create these presentations of rich content, one still needs a heavy lifter of data, the PC.
    I foresee “strata” of mobility and computing power, where devices coexist in a way that no single device kills any other class, but compliments the others’ weaknesses.
    - Desktops as the immobile, but absurdly powerful “heavy lifters”, used for much of the creation of content, and computationally intensive tasks, like 3D rendering and such.
    - Laptops as the upper middlemen of medium mobility and high computing power, used for mainly office work on-the-go, taking on high-power tasks in a pinch, when a desktop is not available.
    - Tablets as the highly mobile, lower-powered presentation devices, with content creation tasks only when no other tool is available.
    -Smartphones as the ultra-mobile, low-power, highly-connected know-it-alls, useful for instantaneous communication and acquiring information.
    The ultimate evolution would be a single operating system across all these devices, that would enable them to share data and tasks among themselves, which would enable a single, uninterrupted workflow across all levels of mobility.

  • The ThunderBird

    Almost every “below the waterline” can be lumped back into the “at the waterline” group, as they are mostly presentational uses, for delivering rich content on-the-go. It truly is where the tablet excels, but to create these presentations of rich content, one still needs a heavy lifter of data, the PC.
    I foresee “strata” of mobility and computing power, where devices coexist in a way that no single device kills any other class, but compliments the others’ weaknesses.
    - Desktops as the immobile, but absurdly powerful “heavy lifters”, used for much of the creation of content, and computationally intensive tasks, like 3D rendering and such.
    - Laptops as the upper middlemen of medium mobility and high computing power, used for mainly office work on-the-go, taking on high-power tasks in a pinch, when a desktop is not available.
    - Tablets as the highly mobile, lower-powered presentation devices, with content creation tasks only when no other tool is available.
    -Smartphones as the ultra-mobile, low-power, highly-connected know-it-alls, useful for instantaneous communication and acquiring information.
    The ultimate evolution would be a single operating system across all these devices, that would enable them to share data and tasks among themselves, which would enable a single, uninterrupted workflow across all levels of mobility.

    • FalKirk

      “Almost every “below the waterline” can be lumped back into the “at the waterline” group, as they are mostly presentational uses, for delivering rich content on-the-go.”-The ThuderBird

      I respectfully diagree. The “Under The Waterline” examples (almost) all involved tablets working completely independently of PCs.

  • http://twitter.com/dmarcoot Dave Marcoot

    I would like a source for the “Millions of Kiosks” you claim are out there to be converted. Not only do I doubt that number exists in the wild, I don’t see how a Tablet (which strength is in that it is portable) replaces a fixed in a wall or booth Kiosk which strength is it is NOT portable. A kiosk is designed to be there at a fixed location to serve a function. The computer in that wall or both could be almost any type of computer. There is no reason to think that a tablet is inherently more suited to that task. Your logic is flawed.

    • benbajarin

      I see it quite differently. There is the notion that there is opportunity to replace some kiosks and turn the kiosk experience into something new. BUT there is also the opportunity to put smart screens in locations Kiosks never would. In the silicon valley where I live and work we are seeing everything from retail, restaurants, museums, boutiques, all fix iPads to locations for a certain purpose. Some time it is point of sale stuff, sometimes it is to take orders, sometimes it is to learn about an exhibit, etc.

      Kiosks are not computers nor do the run complex software or drive pleasant experiences. What the above locations and more are doing is creating custom software with visually engaging experiences all designed to help their business or customer experience in a certain way and it is working and paying off.

      it is this kind of thing tablets do, as they are not just personal computers but they can also be communal computers in this case. The fact they are fixed is not a limitation but an inexpensive way for an institution to drive new experiences for their customers.

    • FalKirk

      “I would like a source for the “Millions of Kiosks” you claim are out there to be converted.”

      Google: “Windows Kiosks”.

      “I don’t see how a Tablet (which strength is in that it is portable) replaces a fixed in a wall or booth Kiosk which strength is it is NOT portable.”

      Good point. But portability isn’t the tablet’s only strength. Touch and easy of user are also salient features. And that makes the iPad ideal for Kiosks.

      “There is no reason to think that a tablet is inherently more suited to that task.”

      There’s every reason to believe that the tablet is inherently more suited to the task because the task is touching, displaying, and ease of use. The tablet – with it’s built in touch screen, dedicated App capability and simplified user interface – excels at all of these qualities.

  • edesigned

    The Australian airline is QANTAS – u after the q…

    • edesigned

      no u

    • FalKirk

      Thank you for the head up. Fixed.

  • http://www.galleytech.com Galley

    Two hours before Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, I tweeted that tablets were the future of personal computing. I’m not telling you this to be boastful, but because it was so obvious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blods Robin Sayer

    Why can’t we all just admit that a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop and a desktop are all computers. If they are not a server, then in all senses they are also personal computers. It infuriates me that any of these products are deemed to be on any sort of collision course with anything. We just have to realise that our names for these things are a bit out of date. A computer can be a handheld, a slate, a tablet, a desktop, a tower a main frame or whatever. We all know, or should know that the size impacts the capabilities of each. Do I want to go to work on a bicycle or in a car, or by aircraft, well depends what capabilities I need. Aren’t the tech companies like Dell, Microsoft, Apple and whoever going to develop and sell into these form factors just as fast as they can. This is like a conversation about how the theatre is about to be killed off by the TV or the TV killed off by the computer, print killed off by radio. None of it’s true – It’s still a computer people – it’s not like we’ve just left the silicon age and moved onto something else. PCs just now fit in your hand, on your lap, probably on your head or up your nose at some point, while the ones that are most capable still fit on your desk or in some giant lab.

  • Speederkid12

    Is the titanic still under the sea/ocean? Just curious… o_O

  • http://www.facebook.com/davegregg David Michael Gregg

    Tablets will have to make significant advances in input methods before they will sink the PC. This is why Microsoft made the Surface. The new input methods (think BEYOND mouse, touch screen, and keyboard) aren’t ready for market yet, but Microsoft knows people want a flexible device that can do both what laptops do well and what tablets do well: thus, Surface. If you’ve been watching Microsoft’s R&D over the last several years, have you seen how many white papers on experimental peripherals there are? THAT’S what they’re thinking; that’s what tablets need to graduate into PC-replacements. The tablet must and will evolve beyond a mere touchable screen. The future lies in the evolution of peripherals. Write it down. :D

  • P.J.

    Exceptionally well written, I will be quoting this article several times in my dissertation, Thank you very much.

  • WTF2013LOL

    Phone and Tablets are the new biggest time wasting devices. The PC with monster screens are still king in business and everyone doing serious work and content creation.

  • georgedixon1

    “the tablet will never replace the PC”…….

    The cell phone will never replace the desk phone….and the automobile ‘will never’ replace the horse…..and..

    Hmmm….”will never” will never be accurate for long.

  • JJstokely

    Tablets are pure crap.