Published in AI

Less PCs means less openness

by on16 January 2017

Consequences of the "death of the PC"

While there are many who want to see the end of the PC, its replacements are killing off some of the nicer aspects of that revolution, its openness and ability to program.

Infoworld, in a much larger article, pointed out that the PC is being replaced with form factors which are not that open or friendly.

Consoles are locked down. No one gets into that marketplace without an investment of capital. App stores are slightly more open, but they’re still walled gardens with limits. If you don’t behave in an App store you can be booted.

Then there is the small matter of trying to program on the new form factors. If PCs do die,  then could people program on a tablet?

There is talk about training the next generation of programmers, but is there a possibly that the consumerisation of IT has meant that we are growing generations who can’t program? Will it also mean that the open source movement will be dead in its tracks?

The argument is good but it is based on a fake premise. Firstly that the consumerisation of IT had a part in killing off the PC. This is the Steve Jobs mantra. But the reality is that it was PCs themselves which have slowed sales. The technology reached a point where it lasted long enough to no longer need replacing.

People are still coding and learning but they are doing it on PCs which are a lot older than my generation. Once you replaced your PC once every 18 months or so, now it is more like four years. This might look like PCs are dying and being replaced by new form factors, but they really aren’t. The open source movement does have its problems, but it is certainly not going away. 

Last modified on 16 January 2017
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