The Death of the PC


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Exploring the shift from desktop to mobile. Trends in device ownership and the contrast between consumer and corporate behaviour.

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The Death of the PC

  1. 1. Is the “traditional” PC facing extinction?
  2. 2. About meIan HuckvaleHead of User EngagementB.Eng Computing (Imperial College, London)Interests:• Digital strategy, userexperience, informationarchitecture, usability, accessibility, mobile, social media• Outside work: cooking, rowing, fencingTwitter @IanHuxEmail: ian.huckvale@readingroom.comBlog:
  3. 3. “If this site doesn’t work onmobile, we will not use it”It started with a quote from a 19 year old in a user research workshop.This is alongside the worst sales figures for PCs in 20 years, whilstmobile and tablet sales are soaring.
  4. 4. Are we witnesses to the death of the PC?Is the PC as we know it being killed? And If so – then whodunnit?What would Hercule Poirot do? Let’s investigate the facts of the case...
  5. 5. Chart credit: Benedict Evans of Enders AnalysisSmartphone sales have been soaring – but that didn’t hurt PC sales.It was the release of tablets that has caused the slide.The slide is specifically in consumer PCs not Corporate PCs
  6. 6. What dotabletsrepresent?When Apple released the iPad people joked that it was a big iPhone.It isn’t – its more like a small, lightweight, touch-screen laptop.Most of us still regard tablets as a ‘secondary device’, but for how long?
  7. 7. They may be secondary devices...but people aren’t replacing their PC anymoreChart credit: Tech-thoughts.netThere is a clear correlation between the advent of smartphones andtablets and a dramatic increase in the replacement cycle for PCs .Tablets may be secondary devices, but many people are buying onerather than updating their home PC.
  8. 8. This is my desktop PCI haven’t owned a desktop computer for over a decadeI plug my laptop into a screen and a keyboard at work.What prevents me doing the same with a tablet?
  9. 9. Processing powerSoftware availabilityLocal StorageEnterprise compatibilityConnectivitySo the PC is safe... for now... Or is it?These are some of the commonly quoted barriers to tablets becomminga true PC replacement.
  10. 10. Issue for tablets For business PCs For consumer PCsLower processingpowerUnless you’re adesigner – do youactually need it?If you play 3D gamesSoftware availability MS Office stilldominates+ corp databasesI just need areplacement forWord and ExcelNo local storage Is certainly useful What’s wrong withthe cloud?Connectivity What do youregularly connect?Buy an adaptor oruse bluetoothEnterprisecompatibilityEssential I don’t careBarriers to tablets as PC replacementsHow many of these are really barriers? For many home users, tabletsare already “good enough” as a PC replacement
  11. 11. So what happens next...?If tablets really are about to kill off consumer PCs – then here are a fewthings I think we should take into account in our projects
  12. 12. #takeaway: Screen size is only part of the pictureThink about the interface and the context of usage
  13. 13. #takeaway: We use touch interfaces differently to PCsMore inquisitive and experimental ... tap anything damn it!
  14. 14. #takeaway: I just need to focus on iPad users? ... WrongQ2 2011 Apple had 81% of the market... Q2 2013 it has 39%
  15. 15. #takeaway: Context of usage is very different to PCCouch is the most common, followed by using it in bed....
  16. 16. #takeaway: Application usage patterns are differentEmail leads; followed by social networks and then shopping
  17. 17. For PCs : “This is not the end. It is not even the beginningof the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”
  18. 18. Google research on context of usage for tablets thoughts: Impact of iOS & Android on the PC Replacement Cycle Worldwide Tablet Market Surges Ahead on Strong First Quarter Sales UX: we’re still human – my own presentation and blog series and useful links: