As the IBM personal computer marks its 30th anniversary, one of the 12 engineers who designed the original says the reign of the PC is about to end, the U.K. paper The Register reports.
Mark Dean, IBM’s Middle East and Africa CTO, writes in a post on an IBM company blog: "They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs."
"When I helped design the PC," Dean adds, "I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing."
His observations, the story notes, echo those of Apple’s Steve Jobs, who has been widely quoted as saying, "We’re living in a post-PC world."
Dean says he now uses a tablet as his main computer, but he believes the focus in computing is shifting from devices to people’s interaction with them.
"It’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact," Dean writes.
“It is, of course, to be noted that Dean is toeing the company line,” The Register story adds. “IBM is extricating itself from making devices, and through its Smarter Planet initiative is focusing more on outcomes and usage models than mere hardware.”
Commenting on that shift in focus, Dean writes: "An essential part of our continuous transformation is a strategy of leaving commodity businesses and expanding in higher-value markets. Over the past 10 years, in addition to leaving the PC business, we also exited disk drives and printers."