Technologizer: Hey, They’re All Just PCs


By Harry McCracken

For one of the most successful, profitable, all-around-important inventions of all time, the PC has never gotten much respect. People have been announcing that its time is over almost since its time began. The newest round of debate was sparked by the thirtieth anniversary of the IBM PC earlier this month, particularly after IBM’s Mark Dean, who helped design the first IBM PC, wrote a blog post that referred to the post-PC era and compared the PC to vinyl and vacuum tubes. And it really caught fire last week when HP announced that it probably wants to get out of the PC business.

Now, it’s certainly news when the world’s largest PC company decides that it’s no longer happy being a PC company at all–even if it’s only coming to the same conclusion that a fair number of Wall Street analysts reached years ago. It helped to prompt Microsoft VP of Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw to blog contending that we live in a “PC plus” era rather than a “post-PC” one, and arguing that smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are “companions” to the PC.

Shaw points to some examples of articles throwing around the phrase “post-PC,” but doesn’t mention the guy and the company who have done the most to popularize it lately…

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[This post is excerpted with Harry McCracken’s permission from his Technologizer blog.]

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