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Frank Shaw  (Source:
Microsoft said mobile devices are used just like PCs

A Microsoft executive said that we're not in a post-PC era: iPads and other mobile devices are PCs. 
Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, recently visited the 11th edition of the All Things Digital conference (D11) and said that PCs are still alive and well.
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.”

Microsoft recently 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.

Source: TechNet

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RE: convo
By Shadowself on 5/31/2013 12:41:47 PM , Rating: 1
See my post below.

The argument is not whether the tablet is a computer or not. The issue is that tablets are are different CLASS of computer than a classic PC is.

Back in the late 70s, I had a mini computer (VAX 780) that was dedicated to JUST ME and my research. My terminal/monitor was the only one connected to it. Does that make that VAX a PC? It required an environmentally controlled room; it had special power requirements; to say that it was "user friendly" would be a gross overstatement; and virtually anything I wanted it to do with regard to my research I had to program myself. However, it was absolutely a computer. It absolutely was dedicated to one person. It was my "personal computer".

Did that make it a "PC". Absolutely not.

RE: convo
By karimtemple on 5/31/2013 4:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
1) All your thought experiment seems to demonstrate is that, one: the "personal" in personal computer doesn't refer to the fact that the computer is assigned to one person, and two: whatever it does refer to is something your VAX 780 and a desktop don't have in common. This actually doesn't mean that the commonality in question is not shared between a tablet and a desktop.

2) What we're talking about here are form factors. A PC is a PC because the form factor is suitable for every person having one. A VAX 780 is not suitable for every person having one, and it's therefore not a PC. A desktop is. A laptop is. A tablet is. They're PCs.

Interestingly, software actually plays a factor in the "class" of computer too. Hardware is kind of simple because it's more like a container -- You have hard limits on how much it can hold and what type of contents it's suitable for holding. But within those bounds, the software being contained within could be anything of any size or complexity. A Sega Dreamcast isn't thought of as being a PC, but if its software was general-purpose, it would've been a PC. The limited scope of the software makes it a "console."

People decry semantic arguments, but I quite enjoy them. I only dislike them when they're irrelevant to the OP (as with any argument).

RE: convo
By ElFenix on 6/2/2013 11:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
to further illustrate that software is a defining characteristic, the Atari 400 and 800 personal computers were basically Atari 2600s with upgraded graphics capabilities and keyboards built in (the 400 with a legendarily bad keyboard).

RE: convo
By Argon18 on 6/4/2013 1:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
You've contradicted yourself here. A phone and a tablet are not PC's, for the same reason a Sega video game system isn't (per your own example). It's the closed software ecosystem that draws this delineation, as well as the closed hardware.

Lets talk about the software first. A Sega video game system is limited to only the software titles that Sega has authorized. Sega defines the entire software ecosystem for that device. An iPad is no different, in that Apple runs the "App Store", the sole source of software for it, and Apple decides which software titles are or are not approved. A PC has no such limitation. I can run whatever OS I want on a PC. Linux, Windows, OS/2, DOS, FreeBSD, you name it. After selecting the OS, I can then select whatever software I want, or even write my own.

As for the hardware, the situation is the same. With a PC, I can expand its features and capabilities through industry standard expansion busses and interfaces. I can buy hardware from dozens of manufacturers to add new capabilities not envisioned by the PC manufacturer. A phone, an iPad, or a Sega video game console are completely different - they are closed proprietary hardware. I cannot expand them. I cannot add new capabilities. I cannot turn to multiple vendors to source replacement parts. It's a closed embedded appliance.

Phone/tablet/game console is a completely different hardware and software paradigm from a PC.

RE: convo
By karimtemple on 6/5/2013 9:18:11 AM , Rating: 2
Phones and tablets are general-purpose. You can't get office document, GPS maps, art doodling, and terminal emulator software on a Sega; not from Sega. You can do anything like that on a phone or tablet.

Approving software or having an App Store doesn't change the fact that the platform is both expected to be general-purpose and in fact is general-purpose.

I've seen iPad being used with scanners in warehouses and iPhones being used with hospital pharmacy systems. You can't do that with a Saturn.

I can run whatever OS I want on a PC. Linux, Windows, OS/2, DOS, FreeBSD, you name it. After selecting the OS, I can then select whatever software I want, or even write my own.
I believe the phrase you're looking for is "Wintel." All PCs started out as closed environments.

The original IBM PC was so successful comparatively that a couple of groups reverse-engineered the BIOS and companies started making "IBM-compatibles." The idea of an open, compatible platform didn't really start until then. IBM-compatible shifted to Intel/Windows-compatible -- Wintel.

It became the paradigm, but even today it doesn't actually define the personal computer. It's just one of the personal computer conventions.

This stuff is actually really straightforward. I don't get why people have to complicate everything all the time. It's plain to see that a tablet is a PC. When I first saw someone arguing about this, I thought they were being ironic.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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