CHECK YOUR DESKTOP PC for signs of life because the PC is dead, according to Ray Ozzie.
The PC has been killed by the tablet, the netbook and the smartphone, along with its unwillingness to adapt, indicated Ozzie, the visionary behind Lotus Notes and more recently a former CTO and chief software architect at Microsoft. Ozzie was speaking at a Geekwire event when he said that Google's Android and Apple's IOS have kicked the PC's market out from under it.
"People argue about 'are we in a post-PC world?'. Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world," he said, according to a Reuters report.
"That doesn't mean the PC dies, that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things."
We can't work out how we should refer to the PC, but we have it in our minds that it's the box that keeps our knees warm during the day. For Ozzie though it has become part of a larger technology blur that has fogged over all of our lives.
"It's a world of phones and pads and devices of all kinds, and our interests in general purpose computing - or desktop computing - starts to wane and people start doing the same things and more in other scenarios," he added.
Ozzie had some words of caution for his old paymaster, and added that unless Windows 8 does enough to keep consumers happy, then Microsoft could lose out.
"If Windows 8 shifts in a form that people really want to buy the product, the company will have a great future," he added. "In any industry, if people look at their own needs, and look at the products and say, 'I understand why I had it then, and I want something different', they will not have as good a future. It's too soon to tell."
Ozzie's comments came on the day that Apple launched its latest Ipad, a gesture from Apple that usually whips up a frenzy of excitement about tablets, and coincides with a Gartner report saying that the tablet proposition pioneered by the cappuccino company is nipping at the PC market.
"The use of applications such as e-mail, social networking and internet access, that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
"PCs will face more competition as we see new media tablets based on operating systems from Android and Microsoft, as well the new Ipad."
Gartner predicts sluggish sales growth for PCs, suggesting that the market could be boosted by ultrabooks and Windows 8 in the latter half of the year. µ