SAN JOSE, Calif. – On the eve of the release of Windows 8, a veteran PC executive claims the new operating system marks the beginning of the end for PCs and the OEMs who make them.
Still, Joshua Shapiro said he has a technique to enable mass customization of software loads on PCs he says could help revive the platform.
Windows 8 includes essentially two environments—the traditional Windows operating system that runs apps complied for the x86 and a new run-time environment formerly called Metro that interprets byte codes for either x86 or ARM processors.
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Shapiro claims over time Microsoft will deemphasize traditional desktops and their compiled x86 apps in favor of iPad-like tablets like Microsoft Surface and their interpreted apps. The move parallels how Windows initially included then later discarded DOS.
“Everyone invested in [traditional PCs] is screwed,” said Shapiro, who spent 14 years at IBM before becoming a consultant and entrepreneur. “With Metro and Windows 8, Microsoft is essentially walking away from the PC and leaving it to die,” he said.
Companies who make PCs will see their already thin margins wither away over the next few years from a lack of investment in PC software, he argued. “You can already see the train wreck in HP and Dell—rather than defending the PC, they are running away from it,” he said.
“It’s my contention you need to stimulate PC software development, but the only group doing that today is the computer gamers—they have the only software that comes close to stressing a PC,” said Shapiro. “Nobody wants to develop for the PC anymore because there is no money in it, and VCs won’t support PC software startups because they only support apps now,” he said.
Shapiro believes his company, Imbue, could help revive the PC software industry. Imbue has a patented method for quickly loading software on PCs that he claimed enables OEMs to offer custom software images to consumers.
Now notebooks use same software as desktops, so they should be PCs too, I suppose? Notebooks and tablets will cannibalize each other for a while, with the appearance of touchscreen ultrabooks and android tablets.
PCs will be the center of office for many years
Ipad is just a toy playing games and listening music,the most things that I did on the smartphone is listening musics, watching TV shows and playing games.
It cost me so much money to buy.Battery management of smartphone or tablet is critical thing.
Battery lasts for about 8 hours for doing noting or just about 4 hours or less for watching vedios and playing games.
As I see it, my families future consumer-owned box with storage is a NAS box attached to a wirless router, with the capability to stream media, not a PC. Maybe we'll own one laptop with a relatively small SSD complimented by a few tablets. This is in contrast to the three PCs that we own currently.
Well, he seems to be ignoring a large segment of the market. I don;t think we'll see the end of the consumer-owned box with storage. On the contrary, I think we'll see a stable number out there. I do see a vast reduction of market penetration for Microsoft. That's a long time overdue. They can't continue to foist their buggy stuff on this market. People are tired of it.
We will see more market acceptance for various flavors of Linux. Certainly many industrial customers have gone that way, and that slide is just beginning. Embedded? Microsoft is late to that party as well. This is a company that does not deserve to have the market share that they do right now. The market is only correcting.
PCs may look a little different in years to come, but the basic plan will endure. That's because the concept of a PC is a great idea. Maybe we don't want software as a service after all. :)
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.