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Is the PC dead?

Examples of both iPAd and Android tablets.
Examples of both iPAd and Android tablets.
Don Farris.

The headlines scream out that the PC is dead. Is that true?

Without question, tablet sales are on the upswing. According to International Data Corporation (IDC) during the 2011 Christmas season 28.2 million tablets were sold. Data from the first quarter of 2012 shows only 17.4 million units were sold. While this was 1.2 million less than industry expectations, it was still impressive.

As with personal computers there are two basic types of tablets, the iPad, made by Apple and the Android tablets which are marketed by a wide variety of other companies. These other companies include Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Lenova’s Idea Tab, the Think Pad Tab and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

Other companies are preparing to enter the market as well, Google is bringing out a Asus manufactured tablet. While the market for tablets is solid, that does not mean that the PC is dead, at least not for the foreseeable future.

The market has changed and evolved and differentiated itself. Many home users are finding that tablets meet their needs extremely well. If your home use of a computer revolves primarily around surfing the web, e-mail, social media sites, tablets are for you. You can even download e-books and watch movies.

Some businesses will find that the needs of their employees adjust quite well to a tablet. However many other companies may choose to stay with the PC. For anyone that does a great deal of typing, a PC is heavily preferred over a tablet or even a laptop computer. There are also many programs that companies use that do not currently run on a tablet and the cost to port them may be significant. Additionally, personal computers are now less expensive than most tablets. Because of the way they are used, they are used, they are less prone to theft and damage.

For cost sensitive companies, which are many in a struggling economy, staying with existing software and investing when you need it in less expensive hardware makes sense.

Industry experts concur according to US News and World Report, "In my mind, the death of the PC is still greatly exaggerated," says Crawford Del Prete, chief research officer at technology market research firm IDC, noting that people still widely use PCs for work purposes. HP's quarterly earnings report, also released yesterday, in fact shows that its desktop unit sales were up 5 percent. And Gartner likewise earlier this year predicted that worldwide PC shipments would increase 4.4 percent this year from 2011, then grow again in 2013."

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