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Answering machines filling up landfills? Sure. Pay phones serving as libraries? No problem. Fax machines taking up office space? Not surprising. But the extinction of PCs? Really?
According to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, the personal computer could soon be going the way of the dinosaur, the buggy whip, and Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber: retirement.
The PC, long known as a staple of corporate environments, is no longer the "machine of the year" that it was in 1983. In recent years, the de facto vanguard in computing has been Apple. Last year, the company sold more iPads (15.4 million) than Hewlitt-Packard, the nation's largest computer manufacturer, sold PCs. According to Peter Burrows and Jim Aley of Businessweek, this has a great deal to do with the ease, portability and price point of tablet computers.
"Owners of the iPad know how the device reduces the number of sit-down sessions on the PC. With the growth of cloud computing--where music and pictures are stored on servers out on the Net--the tablet could well end the PC's run as consumer tech's center of gravity."
Few of Apple's competitors read this in their tea leaves. Even fewer have taken steps to prepare. Amazon.com (producer of the Kindle) and Microsoft (creator of Windows software and the XBox) are partially insulated.
"For the rest of the PC industry," write Burrows and Aley, "the tablet age could prove catastrophic." Who knew a piece of fruit could be so disruptive? Perhaps the namesake of Apple's first tablet platform -- Isaac Newton.
Photo: Niv Singer/Flickr