Some argue that the PC is deader than the phone booth. Driven by mobile demand, the traditional PC and its makers are fighting for survival. The latest threat comes from Google, which recently unveiled a sleek touch-screen laptop . Its futuristic Chromebook Pixel -- with blazing fast 4G Internet and a massive 1 terabyte data storage locker in the cloud -- simultaneously combines touch, mobile connectivity, remote data and free Microsoft Office-like services.
People want mobility, so Microsoft-powered PC products are competing against enormously popular smartphones and tablets for consumer dollars. Once leading the way, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft now face a new world order led by Apple, Google, Samsung and even Amazon .
"It's a pretty new world, and that's something that Microsoft seems to be struggling with," says venture capitalist Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz.
Google's next-generation Chromebook Pixel computer comes after Michael Dell last month agreed to take his stumbling namesake PC brand private. And last month, Hewlett-Packard reported consumer revenue in its personal systems group fell 13% from a year ago. Just how bad can it get for the consumer PC industry?
The past 10 years have seen U.S. consumer desktop sales shaved nearly in half, according to researcher Gartner . In that same period, laptop PCs have more than quadrupled in the U.S. But the past two years have been unkind to both desktops and laptops. Now, worldwide tablet sales are forecast to outpace both desktops and laptops in coming years, according to researcher Canalys.
Consumers aren't replacing those old home PCs with the same. And the traditional PC business is grasping for reinvention, slow to emerge from Microsoft, Intel or household PC brands.
Take Microsoft foe Google. Its Android mobile operating system grabbed 70% of global sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with Microsoft's 3%, Gartner says. Google is also advancing with its Chrome operating system and online services that compete with the software maker's Windows and Office. More than 5 million businesses use Google Apps today, Google says. (continued...)
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Posted: 2013-03-08 @ 7:51pm PT
Unless most people who use computing devices do not have to create anything, write anything longer than a text message, design anything, use a spreadsheet, do accounting, etc. there will always be a place for the PC. Tablets and smartphones will not replace the large screen and powerful processor, just augment them.