With all the press smartphones and tablet computers are getting, most consumers would be forgiven for assuming that regular computers will very soon disappear from the landscape-another dinosaur relegated to the scrapheap of history. There’s only one problem with that line of thinking-regular computers aren’t going anywhere, they’re still far too valuable.
The main reason real computers are still around is because they’re still absolutely necessary in the workplace. They’re relatively inexpensive, nearly infinitely up-gradable, and have screens that are big enough for “real” work (as opposed to listening to music, browsing the web or sending text messages). At work, for most people, it’s still all about creating, editing and sending documents to other people to read. Tablets are fine for reading a short story, or watching a video, but the screen is just too small for editing or review. Plus, at work, people still want to save a document on their hard drive, not some cloud server.
The second most fundamental reason that desktop or laptop computers are still relevant is because people that use them at work, tend to want to use them at home-again, for getting real work done. Tablet software is just not good enough for serious tasks such as editing documents or spreadsheets.
There’s more-while it may not seem like it, a lot of people are using computers for very serious and sometimes sophisticated applications-like video or sound editing or crunching database data. Also, some people use real computers for programming, or for building simulations for research efforts or for analyzing data input from a peripheral device-sequencing a genome, for example, of a flower found in a rain forest as part of an effort to find new medicines.
Something else that’s keeping regular computers running is their track record. A desktop PC, for example, will run for years with nary a glitch-and if there is a glitch, fixing it is generally no more complicated than swapping out an internal card, rather than throwing out the whole thing and buying something new.
Finally, let’s not forget about hardcore gamers. Sure you can play Angry Birds on your mobile device till your eyes cloud over, but for serious gamers, there’s still no replacement for the personal computer-the large number of ports, the sheer computing power, the amazingly fast video processor-not to mention the massive sound system. There’s not another product on the market that comes close.
Real computers aren’t going away-they’re just moving to a less prominent position.