King Canute Of Microsoft

These top chaps seem to live in a world of their own  while thinking they dictate how the world behavesHere’s Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, making the Canute-like statement that he must ensure that the PC remains “the device of choice.”

With tablets growing 55% to 180 million units this year, according to Strategy Analytics, while PCs are falling 9.7% to 315 million units, according to IDC, it is clear how this tide is running.

The world is making its choice, and there's nothing Ballmer can do about it.



  1. It is simple, really. With the advent of tablets and smartphone people realized that they do not need a full-blown computer (PC or even Mac) to do what most people do: consume content and write the occasional email or text (noticed how even instant messaging via computer has all but disappeared?)

    Ironically (for Ballmer & Co) the more content is pushed via the internet, the more this trend will accelerate. In the past people were using traditional computer for personal and entertainment use just because of the “spill over” effect from the professional world (content creation).

    But now that a more nimble and truly portable alternative is available I see traditional computing machines (i.e.: anything with a physical keyboard and weighting more than a pound) confined to content-creating activities.

  2. Device of choice for what? That is where Ballmer and the whole MS team look silly.

    Once upon a time there was the PC. It’s design and form factor were guided by the technology available at the time, and the fact that no-one really was sure what to do with them – they were a general purpose answer to need to a computer-based solution. People wrote expensive software for them (Office, Sage, you name it)

    Now computers (or rather micro controllers) are integrated everywhere. Every mobile phone has several. Cars have dozens.

    But people who would buy a PC because it would do stuff a family needed – mail, web access, office apps like Word/Excel/Powerpoint. chat on Facebook,send messages, do the homework… are finding they don’t need one for all that. An iPad will do all that. Failing that the laptop will work.

    I can compile and run all my company’s software on a laptop (mac – we target Linux. Windows can’t cut it alas). I don’t need a desktop any more, and I’ve finding less and less people that do. The Mac has a high quality free development environment (Xcode( – doesn’t cost hundreds or thousands like VS. It has a WORD/Excel/Powerpoint equivalent which is just as good, if not better than running in the mac, and you can save to PDF or Office format.

    Meanwhile the compilation speed on a quad core i7powermac at 2.6GHx with 1600MHz DDR3 memory and 512mB SSD beats my DELL T7400 with 36 Gb DDR2 ram, 2 Xeon E5472 3GHz 4 core processors FLAT OUT. And the retina display is nice too.

    For comms, I use an iPhone 4s. Handles email, text, simple apps,basic web browsing, other utilities that the laptop if not really needed for,

    Is the PC dead – no, but its applicability just shrunk by about 70-90% with tablets and phones.

    – Keith

  3. don’t you mean Kit-e-Kat !!!

  4. Let them eat Kit-Kat!

  5. Ha Ha, Terry, very good

  6. You’re absolutely right, Keith, I haven’t used my laptop for months. I do everything on my iPad. This is an interesting stat: after
    Q-on-Q growth of 200%+ in Q3 2012, 2000% in Q4 2012 and 50% in Q1 2013, shipments of touch-screen panels for notebook PCs fell 4.9% in Q2 2013 after
    Q2 notebook shipments fell 5.1% in Q2.

  7. I’m sure you’re right, Paul

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