Surface to rule
PCs aren't dead
Audience Favored: PCs aren't dead (75%)
More portable PCs
Whether you are an iPad fan, a Surface user, or a Nexus owner -- or any other tablet for that matter -- the vast majority of what we do on a daily basis, whether at work or at home, can be done on a tablet. However, despite my argument that the Surface (and other tablets) are good enough to replace the traditional PC, the rest of the market has yet to accept this fact. This means that while many PC-only elements are slowly making their way to tablets -- such as business, productivity, or enterprise solutions -- in many cases they're not quite there yet.
PC is still king
Tablet are, without a doubt, the future of the PC. I can see a day -- not that far in the future -- when a tablet will be powerful enough to double as a PC, and we'll plug it into a dock connected to a larger screen, keyboard, and mouse when we want the benefits of a desktop system. We already have tablets that can transform into notebooks, so the next logical step is to have tablets that can transform into desktop systems.
If Microsoft remains committed to Surface beyond Windows 8 -- and right now, it's hard to tell if that commitment is there -- then the Surface platform will evolve over time and could be well positioned to shape the future of tablet computing.
Five years from now, the boundaries between the tablet and the PC will have blurred to the point where there will be little or no distinction between the two, but for now the PC is still the king.
The real winner is us
They may have fought tooth-and-nail, but these Brits are a lot closer in position than they think. Nonetheless, I declare Mr. Kingsley-Hughes the winner of this debate for making the most compelling and nuanced argument. No matter how good today's tablets can be, they're still ill-equipped to do what we do best here at ZDNet: work.
Tablets have made significant inroads in the home where computing is occasional and lightweight (except for you, telecommuters). And they're fantastic for roving executives of all stripes, whether for presentations or correspondence or monitoring. When push comes to shove, though, certain types of productivity still rule on the PC. (For example, I'd never dare to engage in interface design with a tiny tablet and my pudgy finger.) That's why we still use the PC, and that's why the term "companion device" exists in the first place.
I look forward to a time when I can do everything my work day requires on a tablet or similar -- the day when my trusty PC becomes the companion device. For a lucky few of you, that's already happened. Until cubicle emancipation truly catches on, however, the PC still rules. A desk job requires a desk tool.
But let's not forget: the real winner in this scenario is us. Between the phone, tablet and PC, we can now compute on-the-go, standing still and sitting down. All Microsoft and its peers need to worry about is being in all of the places we seek to work and play. (No pressure, guys.)