10 reasons why the PC is here to stay

Steve Jobs says the iPad signals the end of the PC era. Here's why he's wrong

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10. PCs are familiar
The bottom line is that PCs were designed to model things that people did already, and they still do a good job of it. PCs have keyboards, just like the typewriters that preceded them. The WYSIWYG application model has become the norm; its output resembles printed paper. GUI interfaces have evolved to resemble everyday objects. The mouse-and-cursor model may be an inadequate substitute for hands-on controls, but it performs its function reasonably well.

Moreover, most of us gain our first exposure to computing in school, where we regularly write long papers, crunch numbers, plot graphs, and print out reports -- all activities best suited to PCs. As long as users are trained to reach for PCs early in their education and their careers, they're likely to continue to do so throughout their lives.

Will post-PC devices begin to edge out PCs as time goes on? Perhaps, but not if they merely replace PCs for the same tasks we do now. For a true computing revolution to occur, post-PC devices will have to offer use cases that were never possible with traditional desktop and laptop computers.

Far more likely is that we're entering a "PC plus" era, one in which traditional PCs are supplemented by a range of smartphones, tablets, and other devices. But that's OK -- we still see trucks on the road, too.

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This article, "10 reasons why the PC is here to stay," was originally published at InfoWorld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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