Celebrating the PC's 30th birthday

Opinion

Celebrating the PC's 30th birthday

The PC celebrated its 30th birthday over the weekend with some party poopers deciding that was the occasion to dismiss the technologies chances of lasting another three decades.

The voice with perhaps the most weight was one of the team that created the first IBM PC, Dr Mark Dean, who has been quoted here there and everywhere after he wrote that the PCs are heading the way of vinyl records and CRTs.

The reason for the decline is the growth in alternative devices combined with the mobility that has come with the growth of the web and the increase in participation in social media.

Other analysts and commentators have agreed with Dean and even before the candles were blown out on the 30th birthday cake you could feel the calls for the undertaker being made.

The thing that Dean and others would do well to remember, pop into a GPs surgery if you want to see this in action with CRTs, is that users move very slowly. You can stand up and shout about Blueray for all you like but my mother-in-law still enjoys VHS and is troubled by the lack of availability in the shops.

The PC might have an uncertain future but the ideas it first established  - that we could all enjoy personal computing power - are more widespread than ever before. That is surely its legacy and that is worth celebrating.

This was first published in August 2011

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