Post-PC is a term that keeps coming up again and again. As Apple announced powerful iPad sales figures and ex-Softie Ray Ozzie saying we’re in post-PC, the discussion is back. I’ve written about this before, I don’t see we’re in a post-PC era, that’s Apple’s RDF in action; we are in a post-desktop era. Mobile devices like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and in-betweens like the Galaxy Note are replacing the desktop.
Several years ago, when the cool, rich kids were on PIII, I was on a PII. I looked at these cool kids and wondered as to why do these guys who all they do is listen to music, watch movies, and occasionally game get to waste all that processor power while I don’t get to do cooler things like try new software, try out the latest games and other stuff. A decade later, as it turns out, people still use the desktop for just that. Only thing, there’s a lot more online activities. The browser is the new wallpaper. Communication and entertainment are the primary PC functions, even today. Search engines for homework research, perhaps. The television in the living room has had no ground breaking innovation ever since the color television.
Microsoft, Google and Apple are trying hard to get into your living room. And Microsoft is cleary way ahead of everyone. While Apple continues to eat into the PC market, Microsoft is quietly planting an Xbox in every household that owns an iPad. Apple TV and Google TV are nowhere close. I keep hearing the argument that the Xbox is a gaming device and only gaming enthusiasts own it. But if you believe that, you’re oblivious to the fact that the Xbox stopped being just a gaming console long back. The Xbox is today the perfect entertainment addition to the TV in the living room. One can game, search the Internet, watch DVDs, stream movies, watch YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, play songs, and use next-generation interaction technology—Kinect. Apple TV wants to do all this too. Perhaps AirPlay with the iPad will make the Apple TV+iPad combo a gaming device.
Essentially, what most people did with a desktop is now being taken to the TV and everyone is buying a mobile computer. The desktop is dying; PC isn’t. I reiterate, post-PC is Apple’s RDF, post-desktop is where we’re heading into.
Update: Found a tweet I posted a while back:
MSFT just took control of living room entertainment. “PC in every home” -> “Xbox in every living room” techme.me/CO01
— Manan Kakkar (@manan) December 5, 2011