Beginning of the End of the Personal Computer?

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

WOW! Only 30 seconds!!

It’s hard to believe I’m writing this article as I never thought I would see the day when the PC would become the senior citizen of our hardware community. Some PCs are enjoying their golden years such as the hip granddad known as the Apple Macintosh (he prefers being called “Mac”). He has such cute grandkids, too: iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Other PCs aren’t enjoying their twilight years as much. Old Hewlett-Packard (“HP” thank you very much) isn’t doing so well considering two of his grandkids, the rambunctious TouchPad and his little sister, the Pre smartphone, just got killed. Things are so sad with HP that he is considering suicide.

Well, suicide might be a little dramatic, but HP has been considering spinning off its PC division in light of declining profits.

What does this mean to you?

As the owner and/or operator of a website, the implications of this are pretty obvious and we’ve been hearing it for years: the web is going mobile. Face it, PCs are still too complicated and every website you visit you have to fumble around and figure out how to use it with some being easier to use than others. Ah, but mobile phones are so small and I can’t get my wonderful sexy brand through that tiny screen, you say. That’s why tablet computers are taking off. In fact, since HP announced the cancellation of the TouchPad (and lowered the price by $400) it is now a best seller on Amazon. Perhaps this is why HP is now considering a resurrection of the product. Interesting? Yes. Confusing? Totally.

While tablet computers are cool, lightweight, and fun to use, the smartphone will reign supreme due to its portability and ubiquity. However, that small screen is making me go blind, hence the rise of the tablet computer. Tablets tend to stay on the bedside table and have taken over the function of magazines and  newspapers in the family room. PCs, on the other hand, are where the “serious” work gets done that is currently impossible to do on any other device (Photoshop on a smartphone, anyone?). The biggest problem that needs to be solved is making a device that handles the duties of all three devices. Some say it will never happen but I hope it does because every now and then I realize I just left the house with my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro in tow. Now, that’s just plain silly.

My advice for you is to make sure that all your interactive branding projects have a mobile strategy built in from the get go. Retrofitting is such a cumbersome, expensive, and ugly process but it can be done. We can help. Either way, mobile optimized websites and cross-apps that work on smartphones and tablets are the future, so you better improvise, adapt, and overcome. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget grandpa PC as he’ll probably live to be over one hundred years old and he is pretty nostalgic for his websites.

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