IBM Designer: PCs Headed 'Way of the Typewriter'

Devices giving way to 'new ideas about computing': Mark Dean
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2011 9:12 AM CDT
IBM Designer Mark Dean: PCs Headed 'Way of the Typewriter'
A model of a 1981 desktop IBM personal computer.   (Getty Images)

PCs are losing their place at the forefront of personal computing, says a designer of the first IBM PC. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of that computer, the 5150, Mark Dean writes in a blog post that PCs are “going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs." They’ve helped create a world that’s ripe for new technologies, but their day has passed. And for all our excitement over smartphones and tablets, PCs aren't actually being "replaced at the center of computing" by another gadget, "but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress."

“These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.” But don't expect PCs to vanish entirely: “While PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing.” (More PCs stories.)

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