Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | September 12, 2011 -- 08:27 GMT (01:27 PDT)

Summary: Zack Whittaker and Jason Perlow debate whether the post-PC era is reality or hype.

Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker

No post-PC era

or

Pro post-PC era

Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow

Best Argument: Pro post-PC era

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

Post-PC era is bunk

Zack Whittaker: This just in: The PC is not dead. I'll concede that the mouse is making its way to the scrap heap---along with the USB flash drive and DVDs. However, the QWERTY-keyboard reigns as the all-mighty technology. No tablet, iPad or smartphone can take the QWERTY away from us. Touch-keyboards are terrible for writing essays or lengthy word documents, and smartphones only work if you have dainty hands. The traditional PC is not dead---it's just evolving. We see them in offices, homes, Internet cafes, and for good reason. They remain the 'base' device we use to make things happen -- whether it's CAD drawing for engineers or PhotoShop for designers.

All this "post-PC era" talk is bunk. The iPad isn't a PC, and never will be. While Jason thinks in MIPS, beeps and chips, he's delusional about the post-PC era. If we adopted his view today, we'd be blinded by shiny objects and suffer from plunging productivity. Even worse, we'd be saddled with "post-PC junk."

Post-PC era is here already

Jason Perlow: We are living in the beginning of what Steve Jobs called the "post-PC" age. But what does "post-PC" actually mean? Tablets such as the iPad, and other light computing devices, are going to replace the PC. I'd argue that the post-PC era encompasses a broad set of technologies that will eventually kill the PC as we know it today.

What do I mean? The x86 platform---30 years old this month---is toast. Speed, storage, graphics and I/O have all improved, but we're on an architecture not much different than the original 5150 PC. The PC architecture---hatched at IBM and turned into a standard by Wintel---is almost certainly in its final decade in the consumer space. We have entered a post-PC era and that means the x86 is going extinct. Personal computing won't disappear, but the PC as we know it will. The platforms delivering the post-PC era---ARM, tablets, smartphones, cloud computing---will bear no resemblance whatsoever to the PC. I guarantee it.

Talkback

271 comments
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  • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

    post PC era is LEGIT.
    rcnystrom9
    Reply Vote I'm for Pro post-PC era
    • superflous

      @rcnystrom9
      steve jobs already said what is to say about this:
      "PCs are going to be like trucks, they are still going to be around. However only one out of 10 people will need them."
      bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain makes a lot of sense.
        pupkin_z
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • it's not a post pc era........

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain..........he may not be right all time........what do you think about windows at enterprise lable??????
        noor2122
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain

        I agree however i am not sure if 1 out of 10 is accurate but i guess we will see. One of my main issues with Apple i have several is that when/if you have an ipad device the first thing you have to do is connect it to a pc/mac to do the inital setup and going forward to update IOS etc... I do not understand Apple's logic here why not make the device so that we i remove it from the box and turn it on i can set it up without having to have a pc/mac to connect it to this does not make sense to me.
        MLHACK
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
        Well! As long as your guru has spoken from the mount, I guess we should close this debate.
        archetuthus
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain

        strange , trucks came after cars not the other way around.
        evilcart
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain is totally wrong. there is alot that tablets can not do and never will be able to do. And when you live outside a major city where 98% of Americans do. Internet because much slower and larges areas were 1mps down is the norm.
        anonymous
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
        Lol except even with gas prices today 6 out of 10 vehicles sold are truck or truck cross over platform vehicles which means in relation to this topic the pc will remain king for a lonnggg lonnggg time.
        Fletchguy
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: The Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

        @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain

        [i]"steve jobs already said what is to say about this"[/i]

        Funny, for the last, what, 10 years he's been trying differentiate the Mac from a PC? [i]There was a whole marketing campaign about it[/i]

        Now that Apple has a new bill of goods to sell you (iPad, iCloud, and content), all of the sudden Macs can be called PCs again. In his introduction of iCloud, SJ even said himself the Mac was a PC, and we're in a post-pc era.

        Even more funny is the device Apple would like to have replace the PC, the iPad, still requires to be hooked up to a PC for activation.

        So, I guess from Steve Jobs' analogy you like so much: Everyone has to own a truck, or borrow a truck before they can drive the car they bought?
        UrNotPayingAttention
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided