IBM Agrees With Apple: PCs Are History

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Photo by fhwrdh - http://flic.kr/p/tj4AF
Photo by fhwrdh - http://flic.kr/p/tj4AF

The engineer who helped created the first IBM PC 30 years ago Friday, marked the upcoming anniversary by announcing his “primary computer is a tablet.” Mark Dean, now IBM’s Chief Technology Officer for the Middle East and Africa, writes PCs are going the way of the vacuum tube and typewriter.

“When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline,” Dean blogs. “But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs,” he noted Thursday on the IBM-supported site.

Dean now uses the ThinkPad 700T slate computer. In 2005, IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo. “It’s now clear that our company was in the vanguard of the post-PC era,” he said.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this summer, while announcing the company’s iCloud service, ‘demoted’ PCs to just another device. Soon afterwards, research giant Gartner announced PC sales were slowing as an increasing number of consumers and businesses took up tablets.

The first leg of the Post-PC era was the death of most desktops, in favor of the laptop. Now, non-Apple laptops and cheap netbooks are being jettisoned for iPads. The third phase of the post-PC era will end with users concentrating their computer needs in two devices: smartphones, such as the iPhone and tablets, dominated by the iPad, with a supplemental PC for heavy duty work.