The death of the computing industry stalwart, the PC, has been predicted for some time as smart phones screens became bigger and sales of tablets exploded.

I can’t count the number of CEOs who have told me that they do all their business on their handset.
Falling PC and laptop sales help fuel the notion that enterprises will soon stop buying anything with a keyboard.

At this week’s Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto, speakers often regaled the audience with stories of millennials who not only live with their smart phones, they don’t know how to dial with a keypad.(That was the point of IBM’s John Gordon, who touted the Watson natural language supercomputer his division is offering. Millennials don’t want to search for information when they have problems with devices, he argued, so telcos should use Watson to aid support staff to search through databases.)

But last week Intel released a financial advisory that its second quarter revenue may be better than expected because of stronger than anticipated demand for business PCs.

What’s going on?

Luddite that I am, I’ve never believed that PCs will disappear in my lifetime (Ok, I’m 64). As someone who’s job it is to churn out text, I can’t imagine working without a keyboard and a powerful computer. Voice commands for searching? Nah.

Industry analyst Jack Gold writes here that a number of things have happened recently to boost PC purchases by enterprises, including hiring in the U.S. and the need to update ageing computers.
“I foresee that the general uptick in mobile PCs geared toward enterprise users will continue for at least the next two to three quarters — and likely beyond that,” he said. “The uptick won’t be as dramatic as we’ve seen in the past, but it will be steady and substantial.”

He also believes tablet-laptop combos (so-called two-in-ones) will increase in popularity for business users. IT managers should take note.

But whatever the format, his point is that the versatility and performance of the PC can’t be beat. I’ll buy that.

  • KW

    I manage Mobility for a large organization… I have a ThinkPad 8 with Logitech MX800 kb/m combo, iPad Air with Zag backlite kb, Nokia WP with the 8.1 developer preview…

    The list of new and supposedly better OS’, devices, and accessories goes on & on… I’ve tried everything from USB Display Port docks to MiraCast sticks with tablets and bluetooth Plantronics conferencing pucks with Lync 2013. .. Blaw blaw blaw

    At the end of the day… There is nothing more productive than some peace & quiet and giving me a Moores Law circa 1992 priced, quality put together workstation (with a current BIOS) with an intuitive OS without a bunch of stupefied crap causing carpal tunnel, that I can slowly tailor with my configuration of applications!

    Simply put… I will still pay for a great PC to get some actual work done (and waste 45mins in my bosses office, waiting for the corporate hack to show up, commenting on this article with my Android)!

    • Prefer2see

      You said it all in your 3rd paragraph. I like a big screen so I can actually SEE what is up there, a comfy chair and big windows so I can divert my gaze and think & help my eyes. Also a headset for the phone. That’s productivity. Oh, and I prefer real paper books! Rarely use my Playbook to read but I like it too, may even get a “Passport” but am not in a hurry. People forget that usually our eyesight gets poorer as we get older. I will never buy anything that does not have actual keys either. I am older & smarter now. Newer & smaller & faster is not always better.

  • thisSme

    Thank you for this informative post. I finally knew that even though PC’s right now are a aging but still it has the versatility and performance of the laptops can’t be beat.
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