You know me (or should know me): I suck at the maths. I also understand that statistics can be twisted to accommodate any view.
So, I always take these kinds of industry updates with a grain of salt.
No doubt, an average user doesn’t need the PC as much as the PC needs a user today – and if you don’t understand that, then you fail to understand where consumer technology is (and where it’s headed).
If anything, our definition of what a PC is (and what it is not) needs to evolve – just like the value prop for Microsoft Windows needs to evolve.
Indeed, Microsoft is pushing the ball forward with the pending release (and promise) of Windows 10. In using recent Insider builds, I’ve been surprised at both performance and usability in various modes – and remain hopeful that existing cruft will continue to be cleaned up with incremental updates.
But what about the PC? Can Windows 10 save it with the Save button that’s represented by a product that isn’t actively used by most users today?
Let’s change the Save icon from a floppy disk (?!) to something else and expect that people are going to be okay with the change – or, we can keep the Save icon as a floppy disk (?!) and make sure that our existing users don’t lose their calm.
That’s the riddle Microsoft is actively trying to solve.
For Microsoft Windows 10 to succeed, it has to push past the classic PC paradigm – and, in doing so, can “save” the PC for the average user. We have to be shown that Windows isn’t just for the “computer room” anymore.
The desktop and laptop will still continue to have a place in this world for professionals (which is a term, by the way, I believe also includes those who live for modding or playing video games as though their life depended on it).
Windows 10 will give Microsoft an opportunity to better bridge the gap between yesterday and tomorrow – recognizing that simplicity and interconnectivity are paramount as the industry moves forward.
You simply can’t expect the PC’s design (as we’ve used it and known it for decades) is going to be able to make the transition, however. No product from any company could surmount this monumental change in modality.
I do, however, believe that Microsoft’s effort with Windows 10 can help change the perception of what a PC is (and can be).