Post PC does not mean “no PC”

There are a lot of people in Anaheim this week getting excited about what post-PC means and about Steve Ballmer’s proclaimation that nothing else on the planet will ship 350 million units this year. Even Aidan Finn – who is a very smart guy – has got his head in a spin about it:

Post-PC era my fat ass! 350+ million Windows PCs to be sold this year. How does that compare to Apple? #bldwin
@joe_elway
Aidan Finn

Heck, Zack Whittaker and Jason Perlow are taking part in a “great debate” on ZDNet to discuss post-PC (a cynical ploy to generate page views, some might say).

But Post-PC doesn’t mean “no PC”; and Apple/Steve Jobs didn’t coin the phrase – Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems used it back in 2004, I believe – and he is reported as saying we’d been in it since 2000. The post-PC world is dominated by smartphones and other mobile devices. Device technology is moving out of the enterprise desktop/laptop and towards the mobile consumer. This is even more real in the developing world, which is missing a generation of networking and computing technologies.

The PC, as invented by IBM and popularised by Microsoft, Compaq and others is not dead. But we are entering a post-PC era, regardless of what Microsoft would have us believe. Commoditisation has taken a hold and both IBM and HP (the modern-day Compaq) have headed for the exit. PCs are not going away any time soon but they are becoming just one part of the overall device mix and, with a bit of luck (and a lot of marketing), Windows 8 and Windows Phone might just secure Microsoft’s place in the post-PC world…

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