Go Mobile Or Die

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Go Mobile Or Die

Postby Yogi » 02 Jan 2013, 12:34

It's not really news, but the following article puts it in better words than I can assemble. The PC is dying and will soon revert to a hobbyist-only status. We are talking only a few years down the line for this to take place. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while now, and for the most part I have to agree with Rich Menga's observations. I'll even go with his encouraging us hobbyists to embrace Linux. Microsoft, after all, has abandoned the desktop concept with it's ventures into Windows 8.

While all of Manga's comments are worth noting, what he does not mention is even more interesting. Personal computers are the backbone of business and government. I don't see those environments going mobile to the same degree as computer users in the private sector. My guess is that Microsoft will come up with a hybrid OS, but that's all speculation at this point. Linux will remain a niche market, but after Windows 7 dies an untimely death, I still don't see Linux rising above the 5% total install level. But, who knows for sure?

I don't like to copy and paste entire articles, but this one arrived in an e-mail newsletter with no link to a web page. The author does site two previous articles to which I do provide links.

    So what happens when the PC market goes back to hobbyist-only territory? [RANT]

    by Rich Menga

    I wrote an article on my personal blog, go mobile or die, because thePCmarketisdying. Don't be fooled otherwise. Yeah, I know, you guys and gals love-love-love your PCs to death and all that, but let's be real here. Do you know of any kid that received a new PC for Christmas in 2012? I didn't think so. They received a smartphone, tablet or both as their computer instead. The kids that received those mobile items as gifts are anywhere between the ages of 7 and 17. Only the college kids received a "real computer", and it was probably a laptop.

    Now before anyone brings up the gaming factor, here's the blunt truth about that: The gaming market will not save the PC. Not happening. It doesn't matter how many great games are released for the PC because the console (as in the PlayStation and Xbox) will always be the preferred push for the game-makers simply because they can push more units and make more sales; that's the way it is.

    Being that you're well aware the PC will go the way of the dodo once all those kids grow up who are used to nothing but smartphones and tablets, where does this leave you, the PC user?

    Am I saying PCs will stop being made? NO! I never said that. But I will say that the PC will return to its roots as a hobbyist-only activity.

    Things you need to know once the PC returns to being hobbyist-only

    1. The price of parts will go up

    PC parts are plentiful at the moment, but once PC parts and peripherals aren't in high demand anymore, they will become specialty items, and therefore the prices of said parts and peripherals will go up. Will they go up to a skyrocket level? No. But the price increase will be noticeable.

    2. Most, if not all, of the PC parts and components you need to buy will not be available in physical storefronts

    To a degree this is happening already. It used to be you could buy anything for a PC in your local Radio Shack. But if you've been in a Radio Shack store recently, take a look around. Could you build an entire PC from what they have in stock? Nope. Only the big-box retailers have all the components needed to build a PC these days, and they're fast replacing all their PC stuff with mobile smartphone and tablet stuff. The parts you'll need in the future will only be available online and nowhere else.

    3. You only have two choices for your OS. Old Windows or Linux, and nothing else

    Since the release of Win8, Win7 is now "old" (just barely). Microsoft is determined to go the mobile-only route, so if you want to continue to run Windows, it will have to be Win7 or WinXP. As the years go on it will be very difficult to find compatible hardware for either Windows OS. Linux on the other hand will continue to be developed and release new OSes that will be compatible with the desktop-type computer. Am I saying you should learn Linux? YES. Seriously, I'm not kidding. If you're of the opinion you prefer the PC for your computing tasks and nothing else, stay modern by going Linux. It will be totally worth your time to do so.

    4. You may be forced to buy "professional grade" hardware only

    When the PC parts and components market goes specialty-only, the great cheap new stuff you can buy now will quickly vanish. In other words, it's highly doubtful you'll be able to build a new PC box for less than $500 in just a few short years.

    Things you can do to save a buck or two with future hardware

    Just because the price of PC parts will go up doesn't mean there won't be cheaper alternatives. Here are a few of them.

    1. Go SSD or Flash-based for your primary media storage

    There's basically no reason to have a large primary host "drive" anymore. When you want the big-big storage, you connect an external drive (which are plentiful and cheap these days). For the primary host drive, use SSD or Flash-based. And of course, the best OS to use for that is a Linux-based operating system; those OSes run off SSD/Flash better than anything else out there.

    When you operating a PC this way where you use the external for the big storage, having a 128GB or 256GB SSD host drive isn't a tradeoff whatsoever.

    The money saved here is that your cash can go towards bigger external drives instead of bigger internal drives. The less you have to crack your case open, the better.

    2. When possible, avoid using anything with moving parts

    Platter-based hard drives, case fans, optical drives, etc. All those things have moving parts. And anything that has moving parts is always the first to break. While you may not be able to avoid all parts and components that have things that move, if you can eliminate as many of them as possible, this will result in a PC that lasts longer . Remember, the goal here is to build something that can used for the long haul.

    The money saved comes from the fact parts with non-moving parts usually far outlast ones that do.

    3. Linux

    The best part about Linux is that it's free. The second best part is that almost all the apps for that operating environment are also free.

    Given the fact that the vast majority of what you do on a PC is in the web browser, that is the #1 software that you need to stay current with. Linux ensures that it will, but that can't be said about Windows.

    My recommend Linux for newbies out there is Linux Mint and not Ubuntu. Why? Because it stays true to the tradition of looking and acting PC-like, which is what you want in the first place. And it also has the codecs to play all your media and view Flash content as well, which is another reason I recommend using it.

    PCs will go back to hobbyist-only territory, so prepare yourself appropriately. :-)

go mobile or die: http://menga.net/31636
thePCmarketisdying: http://hothardware.com/News/Gartner-Rep ... n-Q4-2011/
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Re: Go Mobile Or Die

Postby Kellemora » 03 Jan 2013, 14:07

Great article Yogi!

He may be right about the end consumer market, but I doubt very much if business, including those who work at computers at home, will be changing to even laptops anytime soon. At least without using PC components with those laptops.

I don't have nor want a so called Smart Phone, I even refuse to accept most text messages on my cell phone. I will never reply to one! After all, I have e-mail, which is the well established text form of communication.

I have two laptops, used a couple of times then stuck in a closet. Just bought the frau a netbook, she ignored it for a long time, until it became beneficial for her to use it, but even she bought a mouse and standard keyboard to use with it.

I do know kids are always on cell phones or laptops or something other than a PC, but they are always on the MOVE, still playing around and have not grown up yet.

Like Windows, Ubuntu has gone with mobile touch screen type formatting for their OS, and like I did, switched from Unity to Gnome for my desktop, I run Debian on a couple of computers, and do plan on going with MINT on my next box. I do not have any extra computers at the moment to play around. Need them for work!

Did you notice Windows is adding more and more Open Source stuff to their lineup and/or making their program output readable by open source, up to a point. They still insist on adding something proprietary to everything so it doesn't function properly. Like the Hybrid PDF as an example. The continually refuse to conform to standards, and even force the commission to adopt some of their output as standards, but then won't release the code so it truly is a readable standard.

ARM based OS's will probably replace Linux, even though Linux does run on most ARM based units. It has got way to big for most of the newer compact devices, so alternative Linux kernels are being produced for them.

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