Remember what the pads and smartphones are designed on, A workstation or several PCs.
The PC is not going away as it has high-end applications that need to be fulfilled on a Worlstation or High-End PC.
I have a Mac Laptop and a netbook. The netbook I use in the bedroom when I just want to look somethink up and it is excellent for that. Other than the external Camera I could use it as a WifFi Pad.
I guess you have missed the fact that almost all of pc makers are releasing new hardware and form factors to go along with windows 8. This includes tablet/hybrids, touch screens, and more advanced touch pads.
First off, good number of folks probably have no interest in trying to update an operating system--for even the mnimally tech savvy, it's hard to understand, but for many folks that exceeds their comfort level. Secondly, why buy a PC and then have to shell out more for an OS upgrade, when you can just wait a bit and get the latest OS? Thirdly, while you can upgrade your PC to Win8, you can't upgrade your PC to touchscreen, and that's a compelling enough option for many folks to wait.
On your second point, I believe you are correct, mostly. x86 is not a niche. But it sure does seem to be heading in that direction.
Why on earth would anyone put off buying a PC, just because a different version of Windows is coming out? Don't these geniuses know that you can update the OS?
Used to be that competing against Intel with another x86 architecture uP was a decent business proposition. But it seems to me that these days, there are just too many other architectures competing against x86, that perhaps that market niche is gone?
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