2017: When PCs go the way of the dinosaur?

2017: When PCs go the way of the dinosaur?

Today, In-Stat predicted that the global tablet market will reach 250 million shipments by 2017. It’s a seemingly big number, but its real significance is bigger: How much will tablets displace PC sales?

Right now the global install base of PCs is about 1 billion units. Shipments have been above 300 million PCs per year, but they’re way down in mature markets, still strong in some emerging markets and losing sales to tablets, according to both Gartner and IDC. Is there market sustainable enough for 300 million PCs and 250 million tablets? I’m the wrong person to answer, having already proclaimed — to the chagrin of many Betanews commenters — that the “PC era is over.”

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August 23, 2011

The PC era is over


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

Yesterday, I chuckled reading the many posts about IDC fourth-quarter smartphone shipment data. As many writers observed, manufacturers shipped more smartphones than PCs — 100.9 million versus 92.1 million, respectively. This turnabout was inevitable, and it is more than hugely symbolic. The cloud-connected mobile device era has dawned.

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February 9, 2011

10 for 2010: Apple stories that mattered


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

My last set of year-end retrospectives surprises me, and some Betanews readers may feel the same. Many commenters accuse me of shilling for Apple, of being a fanboy, which I always dismiss. But in looking over my own Apple posts over the last year, I see just how biting are the topics or analyses and wonder what are these fanboy claimers reading. As a group, the posts are insightful — even though some Macheads’ blog rebuttals will assert otherwise. From some one in the Mac camp will come the PC fanboy accusation, which also is untrue.

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January 1, 2011

2011: Time for tech enthusiasts to act more charitably


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By Dave Nickason

I wish technology enthusiasts could focus more on the good that can be done for people and communities and less on whether their phone matches their shoes or who uses what product. Fanboyism is out of control and detracts from things that are more important.

Microsoft doesn’t suck, and neither does Apple, Google or any other company with high revenue and long-term success. If someone writes an even slightly pro-Apple article, the Microsoft fanboys go crazy, and vice versa. These companies are all successful, and their products sell well. Shouldn’t we all focus on something else?

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December 27, 2010

Please be our Ghost of Christmas Past or Future


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

It’s two days to Christmas, and I’m mulling Christmas Past and Christmas Future (You are familiar with the Charles Dickens’ classic tale, yes?) I request your participation. Like most other journalists or bloggers, I will post year-end retrospectives and year-ahead prognostications next week. I ask you to contribute. Choose your ghost and your Scrooge. What do you think were the most important events affecting the technology industry in 2010 — and why? They don’t have to be industry shaking, but merely important to you. What would you like to see next year from the tech companies that matter most to you?

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December 25, 2010

Is MacBook Air a netbook killer?


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

The answer to the question may be a question: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it a goose?

By analysts’ criteria, the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is no netbook. Strange then that many Betanews readers regard Air to be a netbook — and an overpriced one at that. But even if Air is classified as something else, it could easily suck away netbook sales, as analysts contend iPad has done. MacBook Air being a netbook or not is really independent of its impact on netbook sales. That said, in researching this story, I found that many readers (and real consumers) don’t separate the two concepts. I wonder if they really need to.

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October 27, 2010

5 things Microsoft should do to save Windows Phone


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

Friday’s apocalyptic post “Windows Phone 7 is doomed” generated among comments assertions that I’m an idiot and demands that I be fired (Sorry, I’m a lowly freelancer). Nevertheless, I do read comments and seriously regard the ones written to extend the discussion (rather than just belittle the author or other commenters). Commenter rwalrond asked: “How about you write an article about how Microsoft can leverage its existing platforms to make WM7 a contender.” Actually, Microsoft’s trying to leverage its enterprise apps is part of the problem — the Office and Windows hawks driving off the consumer and cloud service doves. But the spirit of rwalrond’s comment is offering solutions, and that I will do here in response.

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July 5, 2010

Let’s keep the iPad in proper perspective

Let's keep the iPad in proper perspective

By Carmi Levy, Betanews

Can you vehemently disagree with a colleague and still respect him? Despite the often passionate claims of our readers and commenters, who may have forgotten the era of Siskel & Ebert, I believe you can.

I’m as much a fan of a vigorous debate as anyone else. In my previous column last Thursday, Enough with the Apple bashing!, I apparently stepped on the baby toe of fellow Betanews contributor, Joe Wilcox. As scathing as his response — entitled Of course media bias favors Apple — was, I assure you I’ve got pretty thick skin.

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March 29, 2010

New wave of outages impacts the plagued Google phone


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By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

Since early Friday morning, as hundreds of commenters on T-Mobile’s and Google’s support forums are reporting, 3G data connectivity service has been completely unavailable — for some, since approximately 4:30 am Eastern Time this morning, but for a great many more users beginning at 10:00 am. Some users in recent minutes are reporting service restored, although indications from both forums are that service can come back and go away again.

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January 30, 2010

Microsoft, don’t give up on Steve Ballmer just yet


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By Joe Wilcox, Betanews

Ten years ago last week — Jan. 14, 2000 — Steve Ballmer took over the chief executive’s position as Bill Gates stepped back to be Microsoft chairman and chief software architect. Ballmer has officially entered his second decade as Microsoft’s CEO. There are fairly constant complaints about Microsoft’s performance under his leadership.

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January 23, 2010