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Future death of the personal computer?

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David Kiley:
I live in a fairly poor city and the majority of people don't have computers and just use their phones now.
I personally can't imagine life without a PC - as much as I like my android phone.
And then it got me thinking, that if the PC becomes more and more a niche item, manufacturers will stop making things like hard drives and part replacement could become an issue.. Same with open source software - the only thing that makes it sustainable is a lot of people using computers and a lot of people who care to code for it.
I just hope the parts last long enough for me to keep using them.

Neil Waldhauer:
I used to build computers for people from cases, motherboards, plug-in cards, power supplies, etc.

These things, while still available, cost far, far more than a manufactured computer. Availability is much less, too.

I already live in a hybrid world of iPhone/iPad + OS/2. It's certainly not the iPhone/iPad that are replacing OS/2. It's iCloud and the other on-line services. The new OS/2 browser cannot come soon enough.

Well.. the majority of people is most likely unable to use the potential of a PC. It`s far to complicated, expensive, huge and nerdy.
Most people I know, use PCs for organising via Outlook, writing letters in Word, organising address data in Excel (yes, not in Access.. :>), and some more for writing e-mail.
Keep in mind, that each topic goes for one person.

The whole rest is playing games on PC hardware. Sure these definitely keep PC hardware cheap, as these DO invest money in hardware components. - So.. even though the PC was always about gaming too..  ;), gamers are not the majority of PC users world wide.  - And also they have no relevance for the OS/2 platform.. since the newest games do not run on OS/2.

Only a few people I know personally, are using more than one aspect of a PC.
So.. most likely Android and iOS appear to be what people need to do their thing.
They appear not to need what a PC can offer.

It`s been as it always was: PCs are only for those who know how to utilise such a machine for their needs.
Microsoft (mainly Microsoft) constantly tried to sell the PC platform and it`s (new) ease of use to the vast majority of potential buyers. Getting easier with each new Windows version... they say.. sure.. the whole opposite is the case.

But over the years, these people learned that ease of use is the same as reducing bureaucracy... just a trick to make people believe... but in the end it never works out. Things ALWAYS turn out more complicated in the end.

With mobile technology becoming more and more useful and reduced to what people REALLY only ever needed, in my eyes it`s more like things going back to normal again. PCs belong to professionals, and are wayyy to uber for the masses. They simply do not need the potential that a PC can offer.

And (still not finished), new developments even bring games to the cloud. The benefit is, that you do no longer need the ultra latest cutting edge hardware to play up2date games anymore; You can play them in a browser or special software that is linked to a special gaming cloud.
With this even weak hardware can open up new horizons for those interested to simply play computer games. No need for knowledge about hardware anymore, no need for specialised gaming hardware.. and of course the PERFECT copy protection, as the game is no longer client-side.

If this works out as intended, things WILL change drastically.

Edit: fixed typo

Martin Iturbide:

My point of view on this subject (PCs vs Phones) it is kind of different. To me both are personal computers and the difference of those is the input method for the device and the how they are used.

Smart phones had been a revolution for people that believed that PCs were too complicated and smartphones allowed a lot of people of the world to communicate and have access to the Internet. But the smartphones are focused on consuming content, like reading books, webpages, videos and basic communication. But smartphones are a very limited tool to create content.

To create content the traditional PCs is still required, and more specifically the keyboard and mouse input devices are still required to create things. It is still too hard to create some kind of content with a phone using the screen keyboard and the touch screen. 

I don't personally think on the death of personal computer, maybe it is more that the people that only consume content/information no longer needs a full PC for it, they only require a smartphone (with no mouse or keyboard) to do that today. But people that requires to create content like documents, videos, images, etc, still require a better input device like a keyboard and mouse.


David Kiley:

--- Quote from: Neil Waldhauer on February 15, 2020, 03:50:10 pm ---I already live in a hybrid world of iPhone/iPad + OS/2. It's certainly not the iPhone/iPad that are replacing OS/2. It's iCloud and the other on-line services. The new OS/2 browser cannot come soon enough.

--- End quote ---
Curious what you mean by the iCloud replacing OS/2? Personally I think cloud services are largely a scam. I use google drive for storage but I feel a lot of "cloud" services are just tricking you into paying a monthly fee for something you could have owned, like an office suite.


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