Are we seeing a dramatic shift in our computing?

desktop computerThe thing is, when I was young and first learned to use a computer there was but one kind of computer, the venerable desktop machine, and when you talked about a personal computer no one doubted that what you were talking about was just that, a desk top computer.

Later on I got a

thinkpadlaptop, an IBM Thinkpad, a great workhorse, but for the work place the laptops were rare, and the PC on the desk top still reigned supreme. What’s more, all machines ran on Windows operating systems.

Today the landscape has changed and the cause of the upheaval we might put down to the Tablet computer, brought to life by Apple by way of the iPad just 3 years ago.

OS-PreferenceYou are already aware of a plethora of models and new operating systems with names like ‘Android’, ‘iOS’, ‘Windows RT’ and others, and the tablets are expanding in size and in capabilities, and the sovereignty of the desktop has passed. Portability of the laptop made it suitable for business purposes though still on the heavy side, but with the advent of the tablet a whole new market opened up.

What the iPad did to the PC hurt the manufacturers of PC, so they scrambled to produce tablets that could also be used for minor computing and grew these into tablets with keyboards, sort of hybrid laptops. Makers like HP, the World’s largest PC producer felt it keenly. Also Lenovo, the company that took over the IBM manufacture of personal computers and still a major player, has made similar comments.

HP went as far as producing their own tablet device only to find the market already dominated by the biggie of the day, Apple, and gave up on competing in that market.

Surface TabletSo the wave generated by the tablet has been felt everywhere, the popularity skyrocketed and as extra capabilities have been added to the existing advantage of the compactness and lightness of the Tablet, its usefulness, both in business and for personal use, has come to mean that we have a serious entrant for many people to consider when thinking of a first or replacement computing device.

Compactness, long battery time, easy to learn to use, the advent of hybrid or detachable keyboards, and with the latest Windows tablet now able to run all the normal Windows programmes previously needing at least a laptop machine, the earlier thought that anyone with a tablet also needing a PC for their writing and more creative and administrative work may no longer hold water.

The reason that many commentators said that the PC wasn’t dead or dying was the lack of the keyboard for the tablets even if a virtual keyboard was in fact available on a number of models. But for writing other than the odd note or message they were less than satisfactory. That too has now changed.Android

So are we looking at a tablet dominated future?  The many combinations of design and operating platforms makes it very difficult to predict, just think of the dominance of Windows, then routed by Apple and whilst iPad has had enormous success, the bestseller worldwide today is Google’s Android system.

It is all a bit confusing for many people so it is a good thing that SeniorNet Kapiti provides workshops for members wishing to learn about the various device or learn how to use their newly bought tablet. If you are interested to see an iPad or an Android tablet check out when the next workshop is scheduled, click here.

Happy computing.