Microsoft: iPads Are PCs
May 31, 2013 10:35 AM
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Microsoft said mobile devices are used just like PCs
A Microsoft executive said that we're not in a post-PC era:
and other mobile devices
Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, recently visited the 11
edition of the All Things Digital conference (D11) and said that
PCs are still alive
In a blog post, Shaw wrote that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher (both technology columnists for
The Wall Street Journal
) spoke at D11 about what it means to be in a post-PC era.
As Shaw listened to them speak, he noticed that the rest of the room was using a myriad of mobile devices like iPads. But he noted that these iPads and other tablets were being used just like a laptop, with a physical keyboard attached, a network connected, documents being created and tweets being posted.
“The form factors are different, but let’s be clear, each is a PC,” wrote Shaw. “Many of those form factors are more mobile, and look different from the traditional desktop PC, but the same core idea drives it – personal in nature, used for work and for play, runs applications, connected to a network… etc. No matter what label you put on them, they are personal computing devices.”
Shaw went on to toot Microsoft’s horn a bit, saying that Microsoft has the second highest number of unique visitors to its Internet properties (according to a study by Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) and mentioning that the future of television isn’t Apple TV or Google’s TV, but the Xbox.
Shaw even addressed Windows Phone, which is trying to compete in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung.
“Admittedly, our great competitors in this market, Apple and Samsung primarily, have earned significant share,” wrote Shaw. “But while some want to suggest it’s game over in the smartphone market, Mary’s report makes it clear that it’s about the second inning in a nine-inning game, or about the 15-minute mark in a futbol match. As our recent Windows Phone ad points out, the iPhone and Android aren’t the only options for smartphone purchasers.
“And as Michael Stroh pointed out on our Windows Phone Blog, this year, the Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 won Engadget’s Smartphone of the Year prize; Windows Phone 8 swept the mobile OS category in PCMAG’s Reader’s Choice Awards; and Gizmodo concluded the Lumia 920’s camera was tops among smartphones, particularly in low light. And that phone and camera just keep getting better and better.”
mocked the iPad
in a commercial for the ASUS VivoTab Smart 64GB. The commercial pokes fun at the fact that Siri seems to be a "more talking, less doing" sort of assistant that has trouble understanding what you ask it. Meanwhile, a user breezes through several tasks on the VivoTab while Siri attempts to figure out what you want from it.
Shaw concluded that the PC hasn’t gone anywhere. Tablets and other mobile devices, for all intents and purposes, are used the same way as PCs – just more mobile.
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Just "reframing" the issue
5/31/2013 12:33:47 PM
When Steve Jobs made the statements about the world moving into the "Post PC" era, Steve Ballmer vehemently objected. Microsoft was, and still is, extremely heavily invested in the classic PC. (Just a note of clarification: Jobs did
invent the phrase or concept of a "Post PC era". His comments just brought it more to the public's attention.)
Jobs was comparing the computing world to the personal vehicle world. Originally, the vast majority of vehicles were either trucks or truck/car combinations. Then the switch happened to the vast majority being cars. Trucks were still very common, but they are no longer the predominant type of vehicle (just look into any very large parking lot to see this). They are ALL still transportation. They are all vehicles. Cars are just a different class from trucks.
The same is happening with computers.
Smartphones and tablets (and to a lesser extent modern cars and trucks and airplanes and even washing machines) can be thought of as computers. However, this does not get around the fact that the predominant CLASS of computers is changing. In the 40s through 60s it was a mainframe world. In the 70s and early 80s it was a mini computer world. In the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s it was a PC world. In the early to mid 2000s (possibly even early 2010s) it was a mobile PC (laptop, netbook, etc.) world. We are indeed moving into the Post PC era dominate by tablets and smartphones.
Are all the items from the 40s mainframes to today's smartphones computers? Absolutely. No one with two or more fully functional brain cells will argue against this fact. BUT, they are different classes of computers. To call a tablet (or smartphone) a PC is just Microsoft trying to reframe (a nice psychology term) the concept of a PC so that they can co-opt a segment. Don't like virtually everyone's view of reality? Call it something different!
Microsoft is just trying to say, "No matter what we're still relevant! Tablets are just PCs (and by inference smartphones are just PCs)! We are still the predominant provider in the PC world! Google, Apple, and all the rest are still minor players in the PC world!"
RE: Just "reframing" the issue
6/5/2013 7:20:08 PM
I don't really know how you are saying that we switched from trucks to cars. The first vehicles were cars, and at least in the US, SUVs and trucks are still very popular.
Even so, cars and trucks serve very similar purposes for the majority of users. Most people don't need to haul stuff very often, so having only a car may serve them just fine. You can't say the same about PCs vs. tablets. Are you really going to write that paper on a tablet, that long email, that blog post? Edit a home video? I'm not even trying to get into work-related uses.
Tablets are good for mobile media consumption, but that's about it.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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