Originally Posted by DocNo42
Oh, I agree
PCs aren't disappearing, but I do see their role as greatly diminished.
As for MS "crippling" he Office experience on the iPad - they had better be careful! Millions of people are discovering they dont *have* to have Office today. That loss of mindshare could be disasterous...
I was fortunate to have a foot in the maimframe world when personal computers arrived on the scene -- I worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer/Headquarters Market Support rep -- when I bought my Apple ][ in July 1978. By December of that year, two partners and myself opened the 5th computer store in Silicon Valley. I kept my IBM job until 1980 when I dedicated full time at the store.
By that time, personal computers were making inroads into business... IMO, there were several principal catalysts:
1) VisiCalc (and all the spread sheets that followed)
2) Local Area Networks with shared HDDs, printers
3) Cost/opportunity tradeoffs between maimframe and personal computer solutions
An example of the latter is where a department of a large company wanted to do a marketing analysis for a planned new product. They could either:
1) Submit a proposal to the Data Processing Department (think IT), and get top management approval, to implement a mainframe solution. There was a typical backlog of 18-24 months to get a solution approved and implemented -- and typical costs of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
2) Spend, say $5,000-$10,000, on a personal computer solution (hardware and software) that began satisfying custom needs within days of purchase.
That $5,000 is an interesting number -- it could buy VisiCalc ($79) and a couple of loaded Apple ][s or an Apple ][ and a printer...
But, especially important because almost any department manager, at that time, could sign off on a $5,000 purchase without any approval required from upper management.
For the department doing a time-sensitive market analysis, the decision was a no-brainer -- they couldn't afford the tens of thousands of $ -- let alone get top management approval to wait 2 years to do their analysis... they would have lost the opportunity.
So, as personal-computer solutions entered business through the side door, they began to offload the need for some maimframe solutions.
Over time, many decisions to buy or upgrade the maimframe computers diminished -- because the personal computer offered a better solution to some needs
-- less expensive, more customizable, more timely and responsive to changing conditions in the "business' environment".
The maimframes didn't go away overnight -- their position was gradually usurped by the personal computers -- which were then centralized under IT which evolved to a moated castle in its own right (just as DP had done with the maimframe before it).
So here we are... in an accelerated time warp! The post-pc device has more raw power and capability than the mainframe of its day -- yet lacks some of it's sophisticated solutions.
The personal computer usurped the maimframe because it was "good enough to get the job done" and more timely, cost effective... yadda, yadda, yadda...
That mantle is now being passed to the iPad!
Argue if you will... but the post-pc device is the future... until the next disruptive evolution.