Taking the headline from Time Business article, the PC industry is certainly in a different place now. The PC, aka Microsoft based laptops and desktops, have always been the corporate standard for productivity machines. On the Enterprise level, corporate users demand Microsoft products (ie. Powerpoint) suites, VPN to access internal servers behind the firewall, Remote Desktop for Windows servers, and in some cases, multiple monitors for multitasking needs.
However, there’s been grumbling about the tablets taking over Enterprise issued PCs and Laptops – mainly due to juggernaut Apple’s iPad. In response, there are now many more tablet offerings from RIM, Toshiba, ACER, or ASUS. But such ventures do not always end up well. HP pulled the Touchpad after 6 weeks of production!1 That’s just the start – who knows who else will quit the quest to quell the iPad.
There’s a glimmer of hope to revitalize the PC business: the Ultra-thin laptops are coming. Recently, Toshiba has just announced a good looking one called the Z830 coming this November. Lenovo has an offering. Even ACER is in the mix.
Just in time too. There’s a need the lightest portable laptop that will not break one’s back. It helps that it looks as cool as the Macbook Air.
One problem though: price. It’s understandable why Apple charges way too much for the Macbooks – they’ve historically done this since the Apple II days2. But the PC should not cost as much. To be more competitive, there’s an expectation the PC Ultrathin laptops to be (much) cheaper than the Macbook Air, if they want to sell more of it. Kind of like the HP Touchpad fire sale.
So here’s hoping the evolution of the PC is towards something more useful, powerful, affordable, and highly portable. There’s still life in the PC world.