When discussion of the “end of the PC-era” broke out recently there were lots of opinions but little data. Sure, there were niches discovered like Japan where ~10% of Internet users used smart thingies and did not own a legacy PC. There seemed to be two large camps:
- those claiming the legacy PC was the anchor to all IT with those gadgets just being accessories, and
- those claiming the legacy PC was dying and the new smart thingies were the new “personal computer”.
Evidence is accumulating:
- for several quarters, unit sales of legacy PCs have been declining or stagnant, depending on whom you ask,
- One-third of Americans own tablets: survey (June 2013)
- KPCB Report on Internet trends:
- Groupon N. America reports 45% of transactions are from “mobile” devices…
- By 2013 South Korean searchers were using “mobile” as often as legacy PCs…
- By 2013 more Chinese were accessing the Internet by smartphone than by legacy PC…
Face it. This is the way things are and it’s temporary. The trend to small cheap computers is increasing… With that there will be a decline in the ubiquity of that other OS, you know, M$’s. So far M$ has failed to gain traction in this market and it’s clear why. Mobility is about freedom and M$ is about slavery, tying users, licences, revenue to those legacy PCs. If people can do what they want, play media and browse the web without being one of M$’s slaves, they will gladly take freedom.
This is mostly about consumers. So far there are very few cracks in Wintel when it comes to business but that will change very soon. Businesses are complaining that they can’t hire enough local talent because of the educational system or quotas on visas, and soon they will have to deal with more users of IT who prefer to work with Free Software rather than what M$ forced on the world. What will they do then? Shut down? Migrate to Free Software? It’s the right way to do IT. My bet is that businesses will encourage staff to do IT any way that works and that excludes M$ in more ways every day.