Just to play devils advocate here, can you envision engineering appliances? Maybe optimized hardware and interfaces specifically for engineering? It doesn't have to be an adaptation of a casual computing device like a tablet. we also don't necessarily need the swiss army knife of a PC that we are currently using.
I think that is a difficult thing to conceptualize. If we look at computers now compared to what they were 20 years ago, you could argue that they aren't even the same thing. The way we use them and the technology inside is so different. In 20 years, will it be equally as different?
I agree with Rick. Tablet and smartphone cause a disruption to PC market. Yet, they are actually 2 different devices for different purposes. For software development, PCB design, word processing, a bigger screen and a keyboard will always help. The current UI of a tablet just doesn't do the job. However, there has been a movement of drawing picture, editing photos on a tablet. Tablet seems to be able to do a better job. So, imo, the existing PC market is split into 2 different markets and the products serve different purposes.
Server market is a total different story. x86 has been dominating the market for a while. Intel has the biggest share. As ARM becomes more powerful, it is eating Intel's pie. I haven't seen a chart of market share; yet, I am pretty sure ARM wil gain some small chunks of market sometimes in the next 2 years. Will it gain a substantial market to threaten the position of Intel? Intel certainly concerns. The recent direction that Intel is taken seems giving us a clue what is in the management's mind.
I am with Rick on that one. PC is here to stay! I can't envision doing my engineering work on the tablet. My fingers are too fat and my eye are not sharp enough ;-)...There must be millions of engineers and PC users like me! Not everyone is just Tweeting and posting updated on FB ;-)...Kris
It seems to me that the traditional PC need not be a target- it is slowly (or maybe not so slowly) just going away. As data creation moves away from the traditional word processing, spreadsheet world to cell phone video and social media posts the 'traditional' PC is just going away. Data and media 'display' devices will be the bulk of the user platforms in the future.