The Washington Post blogger Hayley Tsukayama observes:
It's very fashionable to declare the death of things, if only because it can make you look very smart down the line.
But those claiming the personal computer going the way of the dinosaurs got to puff their chests out this week as two major tech deals added credence to the assertion that the age of the PC is waning. With Google adding hardware (and patents) with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility and Hewlett Packard Co.'s decision to explore spinning off its PC business, it's clear that tech companies are focusing their futures on tablets, smartphones and software.
The New York Times has also taken up this theme. But might not the logical order be reversed? Could the technological futurists' predictions of a "post-PC era" years ago have inspired not just the development of more powerful mobile devices (which is good) but also a slowdown of innovation in conventional desktop computing (which is not so good)?
I've been thinking of getting a new PC and have been disappointed by how slowly even high-end models have advanced since my last purchase of a high-end Dell Optiplex five years ago. It took only a bit more than four years for the industry to move from USB 1.0 (1996) to USB 2.0 (2000), a 40x increase in data rate. Their successor, USB 3.0, is available on some Dell Optiplex models, but only as an add-on card. Many laptops have USB 3.0 connectivity, but generally only as a single port. Apple, to its great credit, has implemented the even faster Intel Thunderbolt. I haven't found a consumer-market external hard drive at any price, but Apple is promising delivery of the $49 cable (the price of some 500 GB USB 2.0 drives) "within 2-3 weeks."