Are PCs going the way of the buggy whip?

Sure they are, but not today or tomorrow. Ten years from now we doubt that you’ll be able to find anything that looks much like today’s PCs anywhere in a business or home. Home users will lead the way. In the early days of the “computer age” only businesses could afford computers. That began to change in 1981 when IBM launched the “PC age” By the turn of the century virtually every home had a PC and today nearly 80% of homes also have at least one “smart phone.”

Today, well over 90% of home computer use is Internet based and 90% of “smart phone” use has nothing to do with “telephoning”.  Both devices are essentially internet access devices. The PC has a nice big screen and a comfortable I/O setup (mouse/ keyboard) but you can’t put it in your pocket and take it with you. The smart phone is highly portable but it has a dinky screen and pinchy little touch screen controls. If you could hook your smart phone to a keyboard, mouse and big screen monitor at home you probably could throw out your PC. It’s true that you have Windows on your PC and Android or Apple on your smart phone but that makes no difference if all your applications (word processor, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, photo editing etc) are available on the Internet. You won’t need a hard drive because the internet will store all your files. Even your home printer will operate with an Internet based driver. You won’t need a PC.

This technology is available today and early adopters are starting to use it. Operationally it’s much like using a Chromebook. The technology is not quite ready for us yet, the smart phone to desktop interface hardware needs some refinement and the on-line apps need to be expanded and improved but within three years this technology will be ready for the casual home user. Gamers, designers, animators, solids modelers, video and sound editors and other “power users” will still require local processing power but for most of us. No more PC.

Business users are another story. LAN (local area network) users like most businesses will be far slower to move to network computing. Their network servers work much faster and more efficiently than the Internet. They have a considerable investment in the applications software that runs their enterprise. Nearly 80% of business networks run on Windows 7. Windows XP runs nearly 10% and Windows 10 runs a distant third. Business users will continue to require PCs for growth and replacement. But now days, they don’t need “new” PCs.

While power users will always need the latest and greatest to do their jobs more efficiently, Home or business users have nothing to gain by switching to Windows 10 or buying “new” PCs. Upgrading or repairing older PCs or purchasing half-priced “refurbished” corporate trade-in PCs is by far a more cost effective option. “Refurbs” from The Computer Factory carry “new” (one year) warranties and are as powerful and capable as new PCs.

Here at The Computer Factory we will continue to build and customize new desktop and notebook PCs for any and all applications, but “refurb” Windows 7/10 notebook and desktops are by far our hottest selling PCs for business or home.