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The End of the PC Era and Apple's Plan To Survive

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the moore-money-moore-problems dept.

Businesses 549

Hugh Pickens writes "Charlie Stross has written a very interesting essay, ostensibly about the 'real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash,' but really about how Jobs is betting Apple's future on an all-or-nothing push into a new market as Moore's law tapers off and the personal computer industry craters and turns into a profitability wasteland. Stross says that Apple is trying desperately to force the growth of a new ecosystem — one that rivals the 26-year-old Macintosh environment — to maturity in five years flat — the time scale in which they expect the cloud computing revolution to flatten the existing PC industry and turn PC manufacturers into suppliers of commodity equipment assembled on a shoestring budget with negligible profit. 'Any threat to the growth of the app store software platform is going to be resisted, vigorously, at this stage,' writes Stross. 'And he really does not want cross-platform apps that might divert attention and energy away from his application ecosystem.' The long-term goal is to support the long-term migration of Apple from being a hardware company with a software arm into being a cloud computing company with a hardware subsidiary. 'This is why there's a stench of panic hanging over Silicon Valley. This is why Apple have turned into paranoid security Nazis, why HP have just ditched Microsoft from a forthcoming major platform and splurged a billion-plus on buying up a near-failure; it's why everyone is terrified of Google,' writes Stross. 'The PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyone's trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath.'"

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ATTN: SWITCHEURS (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048134)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048184)

Theres a part of me that wishes I could mod this up...

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (2, Funny)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048222)

If you call it the "Command" key instead of the original "Open Apple" key, GTFO.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0, Offtopic)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048288)

Its the Open-Apple key, but I will allow Apple-Key.

"Shift-Apple-3 to take a screen shot"

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (1)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048624)

Its the Open-Apple key, but I will allow Apple-Key.

"Shift-Apple-3 to take a screen shot"

I'm partial to Shift-Apple-Ctrl-4 (I generally like my screenshots to go to clipboard), especially since a subsequent tap of the spacebar makes it basically behave like a time-delayed Shift-Apple-Ctrl-3. Very handy.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048284)

Don't you mean "Claris"?

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048342)

If you think Clarus is a misspelling of Claris, you REALLY, REALLY need to get the FUCK off my platform. RIGHT. NOW.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048398)

GTFO

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0, Flamebait)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048362)

What's the hotkey to empty the trash? I would like to empty the trash that Steve Jobs keeps spewing. Or is there a flush hotkey.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048572)

You can keep your overpriced toys to yourself. Apple hasn't had any real innovation since Woz^H^H^H the Apple II. The only thing that keeps Apple alive is marketing.

It's not ending... (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048150)

...just changing. People seem to be exclusively using mobile devices more and more (whether it be phones, tablets, or laptops/netbooks/etc). That being said, tower PCs will ALWAYS have a place in the enthusiast and hobbyist markets. Even with my phone, laptop, and whatever else, I still love having a full-blown setup at home that I can chill out in front of.

Hard to beat a multi-screen setup with a full size keyboard and a kensington expert trackball :-)

Re:It's not ending... (2, Insightful)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048208)

Don't forget PC gaming. Even with all the consoles out there PC gaming will always persist.

Re:It's not ending... (-1, Troll)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048266)

Given how consoles have caught up with computers in terms of their visual and complexity capabilities, I (sadly) now lump PC gamers in with enthusiasts and hobbyists. ::begin self promotion::

I myself am an avid PC gamer even to this day, but there is no denying that the PC/console gap has reduced. [livingwithanerd.com] That being said, the culture is still just as healthy as ever [livingwithanerd.com] , it's just different from what it used to be. Not that changing is a bad thing. Still, we have our work cut out for us if we want PC gaming to remain a viable and entertaining past time. [livingwithanerd.com] ::end self promotion::

Re:It's not ending... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048282)

Hey, can you plug your blog a little more? I'm not sure I have enough of you blog posts to read.

Re:It's not ending... (-1, Troll)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048344)

Every article on my site that I linked to is relevant to the conversation. It was much easier to link to three 700+ word articles than to try and condense everything I had already said down to a slashdot-size post.

Don't like it? Don't click on it.

Re:It's not ending... (3, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048332)

wake me up when consoles have the same control options as a PC. While an analog stick may be miles above a D-pad, it still has a long way to go before I will swap one in to replace a 7-button mouse + keyboard with a half dozen macroes.

Re:It's not ending... (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048378)

With the PS3 you can use [playstation.com] a keyboard and mouse, and there are options [xoxide.com] for the 360.

Re:It's not ending... (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048590)

do all games support them however?

Re:It's not ending... (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048592)

As your link states, the only game on the PS3 that supports the mouse and keyboard is Unreal Tournament. Also, good luck flying a helicopter in Battlefield Bad Company 2 with a real joystick. Not supported on the PS3, but trivial on the PC.

Unfortunately console handicaps have been creeping in to PC games. Just Cause 2, which supports both the XBox controller for windows and a mouse and keyboard does not support a real joystick for flying planes and helicopters on the PC. It's a real missed opportunity, though I'm still happy to fly around using the XBox controller, especially since the flight physics are so unrealistic anyway.

Bottom line: Consoles will never catch up to the PC, and anyone who says otherwise just because one game on the PS3 supports a mouse and keyboard is fooling themselves.

Re:It's not ending... (-1, Redundant)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048366)

Mod parent funny!

Good one, Pojut! LOL!

Re:It's not ending... (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048380)

There are things that just cant be done decently in a console. Combat Flight Simulators for starters. And I mean SIMULATORS, not the crapy POSH they peddle nowdays in the PS3 or the xbox.

Re:It's not ending... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048424)

100% agree. Certain genres just plain work better on the PC, and some games also belong on PC even if they can be kinda ported to consoles (I'm looking at you, Dragon Age.)

Re:It's not ending... (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048502)

I agree.

One fix to this trend would be to rip the cellphone and psp's from children and put their butt in front of a PC. Get them a taste of what Computing really is!

- Dan.

Re:It's not ending... (0)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048414)

Given how consoles have caught up with computers in terms of their visual and complexity capabilities

That made me laugh. Consoles have caught up with PC graphics alright, PC graphics from 6 years ago. Even suggesting they could hold a candle to a modern PC is laughable.

One area that we're seeing PCs move more towards is actual 3D gaming, with special glasses and everything. The next generation consoles might be able to do that, but the current generation is SOL. Unless 3D TVs take off in a big way, I doubt the next generation will support it either. It's a shame too, because from a technical standpoint the graphics card already has all of the information it needs to create a 3D scene, it's really just a problem with the output device.

Re:It's not ending... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048474)

I didn't say there wasn't still a gap, I said the gap has been significantly reduced.

Re:It's not ending... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048630)

One area that we're seeing PCs move more towards is actual 3D gaming, with special glasses and everything. The next generation consoles might be able to do that, but the current generation is SOL.

Are they really now?

http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-brief/49470-sony-details-ps3-3d-firmware-update [tgdaily.com]

Re:It's not ending... (2, Insightful)

casings (257363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048430)

Yea when you have a console that runs the latest games at 1920x1200 with FPS over 100, then you can say consoles have caught up.

The only reason consoles have caught up to PCs is because they hinder innovation due to their limited hardware.

Re:It's not ending... (2, Insightful)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048560)

A good game is not defined by its resolution, graphics and explosions. (Same goes for movies BTW).

A good game is defined by good *gameplay*.

Re:It's not ending... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048620)

I think having a standard set of hardware to develop games around can be an advantage. It's difficult to cater to all the possible PC configurations. That being said, I prefer the versatility of my keyboard and mouse when I'm gaming. But what would happen if a console had a standard keyboard and mouse interface in addition to the gamepad?

Re:It's not ending... (1)

RobDude (1123541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048672)

If they'd just stick a mouse and keyboard into a PS3 and have games support it; all but the most hard-core PC gamers would gladly play the same games, in the same way, on a console.

Re:It's not ending... (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048340)

While I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic prophesies, I tend to agree.

The reason being, business is going to use the cloud but it's going to augment existing practices, not replace them. No sane business is going to trust all of their valuable IP with a 3rd party, there isn't a third party out there you can really trust. Not Google, Not Apple, Not Microsoft (LOL)... they've all had very serious and public security failings in their recent history.

This may be less true for consumers at home, but that's nothing new as "the cloud" for them is just a fancy new term for "the world wide web."

Re:It's not ending... (3, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048582)

No sane business is going to trust all of their valuable IP with a 3rd party, there isn't a third party out there you can really trust.

No sane [aircraft] business is going to trust their [engines] with a 3rd party, there isn't a third part out there you can really trust.

No sane [mainframe computer] business is going to trust [printers or disk drives] with a 3rd party, there isn't a third party out there you can really trust.

No sane [personal computer] company is going to trust [motherboard manufacture] with a 3rd party, there isn't a 3rd party other there you can really trust.

Get back to me in ten years and tell me, if you still have a job as an organization's "cloud information management" person, how things are going...

Re:It's not ending... (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048618)

This isn't about outsourcing some kind of widget that can be duplicated and mass produced, it's about the data that drives the business itself.

What you suggest is like Paul McCartney outsourcing a new Beatles album.

Close. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048640)

"The Cloud" is just the fancy new name for "Utility Computing", which was a fancy new name for "The Grid", which was a shorter version of "The Network Is The Computer", which was just a fancy new name for what used to be called "Mainframe Computing"

When the world does actually switch over to it, it's not still going to be called "The Cloud", and there's a few spectacular failures and legal changes that will happen before we get to the shiny new name that sticks to a successful implementation.

Re:Close. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048682)

Which isn't the world wide web as we know it, how?

Re:It's not ending... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048368)

What you're describing will end when/if we get the kind of technology described in Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. [wikipedia.org] I agree with you about the advantage of having a full-blown setup at home, but the value of that will diminish when you've got contacts (or glasses for the more squeamish amongst us i suppose) that can display as many screens as you want wherever you are.

And if cloud computing takes off (which is an even bigger "if" in my opinion) it won't matter where your "main" computer is, or perhaps not even if that computer is owned by you at all. If all your personal data is handled by your mobile devices and the heavy lifting if provided by the cloud, then desktops may get replaced by cheap, small margin, mass produced server farm CPUs which are bought by corporations which then rent out the computing power.

(Of course said corporations will then sell "unlimited use" monthly contracts but then throttle your connection if you go over 5 teraflops.)

Re:It's not ending... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048392)

"That being said, tower PCs will ALWAYS have a place in the enthusiast and hobbyist markets."

Or in professional markets, business markets, and so forth. People who need high performance systems and who are willing to sacrifice mobility will continue to buy tower PCs and workstations. Even mainframes remain in use by the very customers they were originally intended for: large institutions with large computing needs.

Now, consumers may abandon tower PCs, which is another story entirely.

Re:It's not ending... (1)

Drew_9999 (750818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048468)

I think you're leaving out the very important professional market. Yes, enthusiasts will most likely want a tower PC, but for people in certain industries, the power, screen real estate, and full size keyboard of a desktop are absolutely necessary. What some people tend to forget is that even though the setup that they have works perfectly for them, it's totally inappropriate for many others.

What is that smell? (5, Funny)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048160)

'This is why there's a stench of panic hanging over Silicon Valley. This is why Apple have turned into paranoid security Nazis, why HP have just ditched Microsoft from a forthcoming major platform and splurged a billion-plus on buying up a near-failure; it's why everyone is terrified of Google,' writes Stross. 'The PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyone's trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath.'

Ah, the smell of hyperbole in the morning....

Re:What is that smell? (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048236)

Then bring on the new and revolutionary platform for accessing "the cloud", because I don't plan on ditching my pc or notebook for some crappy smartphone or tablet anytime soon.

Re:What is that smell? (1)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048464)

Put simply, your tablet docked to a station providing a more comfortable keyboard: there's your desktop computer. Looks cooler too.

I'm not drinking the Koolaid (I don't have an iPhone or an iPad and don't plan to buy any of them in the future), but I can see where the technology is going.

Still, writing your essay on a notebook on a train while going to the Uni seems more comfortable... at least until someone invents a foldable iPad or trains start sporting docking stations embedded in the passenger seats.

Re:What is that smell? (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048516)

i read almost the exactly worded article almost 10 years ago when everyone was afraid of Microsoft.

i like my iPhone and will probably buy a few iPads, but we're reliving the 1970's with this stuff. people will get tired of their dumb devices in a few years like they hated the rent some time dumb terminals and someone will sell a mobile device in 5-10 years that will run a real OS and not the dumbed down iphone OS that's locked to apple or google. we are in a flash memory revolution and in 5-10 years we will be back to more mobile power than we know what to do with. like we hit with PC's around 2000

people are looking for a good mobile computing experience today and Windows 7 isn't it. Slate looked OK but too slow.

Apple = freedom haters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048528)

I guess I was wrong about America...

No kidding (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048538)

I see no end in site for PCs. I see only changes. The biggest change is that hardware has gotten good to the point that you no longer need the best for many things. I mean time was, computer were slow even for simple stuff. I remember in high school I'd send a document to print and go off to the kitchen to snack while I waited the 10+ minutes it took. The system was just slow. Booting took forever, launching an app could take 30 seconds, etc. Media playback was limited to tiny, postage stamp sized video. Even if you had good hardware, it wasn't good enough.

That's not the case these days. For basic stuff a low end system works fine. Also because lithography technology has progressed so much, basic can be quite small. Hence a small, cheap thing like a netbook is feasible to make and sell, and quite popular for various things. Still a computer though, and it hasn't killed off other computer markets.

We just don't have a "one size fits all" market, or perhaps more accurately we are now able to make technology good enough to make different kinds of systems for different uses.

The iPad is not the future. The iPhone is not the future. A combination of devices, including ones not yet created, are the future. We do not appear to be heading towards a "death" of normal computers.

26 year old legacy (4, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048168)

Ah, yes. 1984, when Apple cunningly replaced beige boxes with ... beige boxes. Life would never be the same after!

Re:26 year old legacy (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048254)

But they were not just beige boxes. They were beige boxes with a mouse!

Re:26 year old legacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048394)

a ONE button mouse that is. And I still have that setup in the study for the little one to play with. The iPad has a bigger screen than my Classic. Never thought of that until now.

Now get off my lawn!

Re:26 year old legacy (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048668)

Cmon, I had a C64 with a mouse. (It was really nice for point-and-click LucasArts games and there was a music notation software that could use it as well; I don't remember an Office suit, but at the age of 6 it wasn't my main intrest).

cmdrtaco's plan to survive: (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048170)

suck dick; for money, pleasure, and as a food source.

Re:cmdrtaco's plan to survive: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048248)

Well he does need coke. I've heard that sucking dick is the best way to score some.

Re:cmdrtaco's plan to survive: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048328)

That's why I drink Pepsi.

you (3, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048422)

seem to be awfully well informed and experienced on this subject ...

WTF??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048174)

WHAT is this man smoking...? ... and WHERE can I find some?

smoking (4, Funny)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048318)

must be that new fangled iJuana

Frist proust (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048176)

/obligatory

Wow... (2, Insightful)

Scyth3 (988321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048186)

That's some over-the-top fear mongering.

So, in short -desktop computer users are FUCKED. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048196)

now we're going back to the thin-client model in a spectacularly fucked-up way? What a sack of shit!

Time to give up my nerd hobbies and look for something else to get interested in. As a non-IT user now there's no more point in GNU, Linux. Everything's going to be a fucked-up locked-down black box bunch of HORSE SHIT.

yay.

Fuckers.

Re:So, in short -desktop computer users are FUCKED (2, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048270)

Not quite.
Many people still don't feel like having a "cloud" service in the Internet hold the only copy of my documents. They can and will hold the files hostage if I stop paying, if they go belly up or if the government says so. Unlike money, documents don't loose value in a mattress.

Re:So, in short -desktop computer users are FUCKED (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048396)

The key here is 'only' copy. Services like Dropbox - where you keep the file locally AND in the 'cloud' are immensely useful But the elephant in the room is synchronization. Syncing such files (and calendars and address books) is still a technology that doesn't work well more often than not. If Apple is really serious about putting their heads in the cloud then they damned well out to work on their software for same.

If MobileMe is what they think the future looks like, I'd start shorting Apple stock.

Re:So, in short -desktop computer users are FUCKED (0, Flamebait)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048498)

Lose, fucktard. Not loose, lose. Even a goddamn monkey can be trained to get this right!

Re:So, in short -desktop computer users are FUCKED (2, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048358)

Yup. And I think this article is not at all wrong except maybe in the timeframe. Sooner or later networks will be reliable and very, very wide. The timeframe for the sustitution of local computing for remote "clouded" computing is directly proportional to the value of "sooner or later". The more networks take to get decent, the more time the PC has.

Now there is an interesting gridlock: network providers are idiot money whores that still want to get dough out of an investment that has already returned them many times over. They do not want to move to ipv6 and PC software makers like MS have no incentive to do so because, yes, this will cheapen networks and make them more reliable thus making them obsolete.

It is Interesting that yes, GNU, Linux and FOSS platforms in general will kill microsoft by being the dominant OS infrastructure of the new cloud which will be subsequently used to lock us in for the "service" of content providers and of just about anything else (applications and games)....

Now, in the future, if this happens my young padawan, an Open Net movement with the GNU ideal on its mind will make its own cloud and we (yes, you and me) will compete with the other fuckers on services combined with foss platforms, unlocked phones and "freePads" or LiberPads. You see, if what I forsee is coming, and ipv6 is implemented despite the gridlock, net neutrality more or less comes by default and killing it looses any justification from the net providers who should anyways compete in price per MBPS and that only.

And on and on....

Death of the PC? I don't think so... (5, Insightful)

DarkSabreLord (1067044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048212)

I don't think the PC is going to meet its demise anytime in the foreseeable future. Microsoft dominates the business sector right now because it caters to businesses in a way Apple doesn't. Apple may take over the home user market, but until they convince businesses to adopt their ideologies PCs won't be dying anytime soon

Re:Death of the PC? I don't think so... (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048338)

It's not really PCs that they're predicting will die per se I think. It's the ability of companies like Dell and HP (and Apple, for that matter) and the like to make tons of cash selling PCs. People who use the PCs will have it great, though, since everything will be ever-so-cheap!

Re:Death of the PC? I don't think so... (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048458)

Dell and HP lose money selling PC's. they make money on the services and warranties and crapware people end up buying. just like best buy doesn't make any money on the stuff they sell.

Re:Death of the PC? I don't think so... (1)

Bruiser80 (1179083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048564)

Those companies already mark-up business-class PCs. What will keep them from continuing to do so in the future?

Compare a business-class graphics card to a gaming card. I have no idea what the differences are (more pipelines, less memory, I have no clue, but I need it for 3D modeling, apparently). 4-year-old cards still go for +$300. Try to pull that off in gamer-land :-)

Basically what I'm trying to say is that businesses have always been willing to pay a premium for a more reliable box, and I don't see that changing in the future. My company did the whole server-run CAD programs a long time ago - my boss refers to his tower of old client boxes his "$40,000 plant stand"

Re:Death of the PC? I don't think so... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048350)

You understand that PC does not stand for microsoft right?

PC = Personal Computer

That would be the hardware, not the software it runs.

Apple is a hardware company, and as more people realize the hardware they 'sell' is at a 300% market, and its the exact same hardware that HP sells for 50% market.. well... yeah apple needs a new markup market.

Re:Death of the PC? I don't think so... (2, Insightful)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048462)

The PC will stick around for some time, but the profitability of retailing them could disappear. If technology is taking the route described in the article, companies will be making computers just so the customer has access to the content.

I imagine it being similar to Sony and MS selling their game consoles at a loss, just so they can get the customer to buy the content that runs on those platforms.

How To Put Apple Out Of Business (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048218)

Offer a phone with a USB port.

I hope this helps the bankruptcy of Apple.

Cheers.

Re:How To Put Apple Out Of Business (3, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048456)

There have been plenty of phones for a while now that have a USB port. The most popular form factor is micro-USB, but it's still USB. It's up to the manufacturers to put compelling software on the phones and for the wireless companies (I'm looking at you, Verizon) to not ruin the experience.

IT Tech POV (2, Insightful)

DWRECK18 (1796294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048220)

I have to say that just but reading the article and the way things seem to be going in the IT field just on support I can see where he is coming from. I myself have put to use google docs as a way of storing my files so that I can access them anywhere. Cloud Computing is definately penetrating the IT industry in its entirety. Apple's stance on this and their fear of everything is understood, as is everyones fear of the change. Many companies will change with the times, but can we honestly say that PC's are going to go away and the revolution is over? There are still many flaws in making things available over the cloud and a lot of companies would rather have the ability to maintain their own information as opposed to putting it on the cloud and losing control over the hardware and software that maintains it. Most will not trust the security of the cloud over the ability to run NIDS and other such devices to secure their own networks and files. So a valid fear yes, unsubtantiated no, but is it truly going to take over and make pc's secondary any time soon, doubtful.

Game Console Platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048238)

The description sounds like the business model for consoles

AgrahamLincoln (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048240)

I believe this is all completely wrong, the PC is not going to die. If we look at the base definition of a PC its a Personal Computer. If we use the term Computer to mean a Programmable Device, then this will never die. The iPhone is programmable, its technically a personal computer. A high-end calculator is a personal computer. I am almost positive personal computers will never die until the end of man.

will we finally get beyond http, then? (5, Insightful)

hotrodman (472382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048242)

    Half of my users have trouble getting vpn protocols to work reliably over their isp links. ALL of my users complain loudly when things aren't fast and snappy. I would NEVER put any of these people 'on the cloud', considering one lost packet is enough to get them riled up. It's bad enough that they will complain about new emails not coming in....it would be worse if they can't get to ANY of them when their connection is down.

    You can get a lot of power into very small notebooks now.....why go backwards back to a dumb terminal that is dependent upon overloaded Starbucks wifi in order to get ANY program to work?

    Desktops may be dying out....but we're not switching the entire world to the cloud anytime soon.

  - Eric

Re:will we finally get beyond http, then? (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048574)

For your situation, I'd recommend CSIP (Chainsaw to Idiot People). Seriously, if they're that damned picky, and you haven't snapped yet, kudos to you.

Em's law: Shit happens, and it happens on a regular basis. Prepare for it.

Re:will we finally get beyond http, then? (2, Insightful)

hotrodman (472382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048654)

    I believe I have very picky users. But then again, a lot of people paid a lot of money to buy a lot of equipment so a lot of people can do sales calls and do the road-warrior thingy and work from remote offices. It's how our company makes its money. So I expect to be able to buy equipment that gets me as close to the ideal as possible. Cloud computing makes no sense in our environment, and probably wouldn't for a very, very long time. I have seen these articles a lot over the years.... and it's just same ole, same ole.
    Yes, I am an old, grumpy Unix admin. It is totally normal to keep a shotgun beyond your desk, right?

  - Eric

Moore's law (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048244)

Moore's law is tapering off? I've heard about the impending end of Moore's law for at least the past 10 years, but they keep on going. What evidence is there that Moore's law is tapering off? Wikipedia cites Intel in 2008 as predicting Moore's law to continue until 2029. Not an unbiased source, but I think we'd see the end coming if it was to come in the next 10 years.

Re:Moore's law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048354)

It is tapering off. Any smaller and quantum mechanics come in to play, which is something we're not quite done studying yet much less implementing. Chips as we know them are very near their physical limits.

But TFA is a sack of shit anyway. Throw some heat pipes on the die and slap another die ontop of it. Repeat as needed*. You can call them eSandwiches.

* If only it were that easy...

Re:Moore's law (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048514)

It is tapering off. Any smaller and quantum mechanics come in to play

      So obviously this whole concept of parallel computing and multi-core processors has just whizzed right past you, huh? Especially when Intel and AMD are planning for 128 and 256 core CPU's for HOME use, and current supercomputers use tens of thousands (or more) of CPU's, thus busting the "we can't get smaller" myth. Yeah ok maybe you can't fit more transistors on a 5mm x 5mm chip, but you can fit a LOT of chips in a mini tower case...

Re:Moore's law (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048646)

One thing to note is that we haven't explored the third dimension much in terms of cramming more transistors together. (ie it's still being researched and not marketed for now)

Re:Moore's law (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048660)

Except more chips doesn't mean more performance.

Re:Moore's law (4, Informative)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048390)

What evidence is there that Moore's law is tapering off?

None. It's called Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt (FUD [wikipedia.org] ) and is a standard marketing strategy, albeit an unethical one.

Privacy (4, Insightful)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048262)

So far most of these new devices seem to have a huge tradeoff.. Privacy. There are very few apps on my iPod touch that allow me to keep my stuff within the confines of my home; especially if I am on the road and not on my own netwok. Until these privacy concerns are addressed I would hope PCs survive, otherwise the tech industry has done a monumental disservice to everyone. This all sums up my main dislike for Apple.

Who is this idiot? (2, Insightful)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048300)

This guy sounds like a desperate market speculator that has no clue how the market works. The "personal computer" market is just have as rough a time as other markets, but it does not mean that we should just throw our arms in the air and give up. While I have not purchased new PC hardware in four or five years(for economic reasons), it does not mean that I do not want new hardware. Whoever this fucktard is, he needs to keep the stupid opinions to himself.

Yeah, perhaps Apple and HP are looking to switch their platforms, but it does not mean that this will seal the end of the PC market. Only an idiot would buy into this horseshit.

Re:Who is this idiot? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048578)

I don't know why they modded you down. What you said is quite practical and on point.

Remember, remember... (2, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048304)

...the Y2K bug.

I tend to take any prediction anyone in the computer industry makes with a rather large grain of salt since then.
Particularly the ones relating to "the end of the world as we know it" and similar predictions of global occurrences.

Seeing "END OF THE WORLD!!!11eleven!" not happen before your eyes does that to you.

I remember it (4, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048662)

I remember how much time and money was spent updating software and hardware to deal with it. I remember that despite that there were still glitches.

My Strategy for surviving is (5, Funny)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048336)

PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyone's trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath

a sawed off shotgun, lots of ammo, and a Ford Falcon XB Interceptor

Seriously? (2, Funny)

Malenx (1453851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048360)

If this guy was any more pro apple / elitist, he'd be Steve Job's sex slave.

Cloud ? Apple ? Trust ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048376)

i will trust my sensitive online applications, my sensitive information, with apple ? control freaks who send 'representatives' to people's doors after LOSING their latest prototype phone because an engineer got DRUNK in a bar ?

oh yea.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-april-28-2010-ken-blackwell [thedailyshow.com]

there's another daily show skit in an irrelevant subject actually. i would like to link that too but its too long watch for the punchline in the end - i will summarize it : "go fsck yourself"

good dept! (2, Interesting)

opencity (582224) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048382)

" moore-money-moore-problems"
is a very good gag.
My personal "recent" favorite is "weapons-of-map-reduction" about big table IIRC, but I laugh out loud periodically. Good work /. editors!
I think someone (else besides me) should put together a list of the best depts and hack some voting software together.

Wrong, but right. (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048418)

Beyond the hyperbole and the buzzword dropping, he's right.

People are on the move more, and are more connected, than ever. People picking up and moving across the country numerous times is commonplace. Going halfway around the world for whatever reason even moreso. People want their information at their fingertips. The coming cloud, Android, the iPad insanity, Palm, and all. Mobile is the future. Myself, my current desktop is probably the last one I will ever own, save for use as a server. I picked up a 5 year old Toshiba Satellite and it does just about everything I could ask for (youtube is choppy but when you have 512 MB nowadays it will be). I like the compact form, and the portability. My server will handle the music, movies, and the rest.

What I disagree with is the assessment of Apple. Apple is, and has been for a LONG time, paranoid and closed. This is their culture. It is simply how they view the market, where the market is going and how they will profit from it.

The PC era is ending? Again? (5, Insightful)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048492)

Sorry, but I've been around too long to buy it. I remember seeing Larry Ellison predict the end of the PC era just as it got going. Literally, I was in the audience, as he described how the NC (Network Computer [wikipedia.org] for those that don't remember) would replace the PC. Conveniently, it was all driven by Oracle. No need for Apple, or Microsoft, or any of their nonsense anymore! And that was in 1998 I think... Remember 1998 folks? You were still using those clunky Netware networks - might have even been on Token Ring still, and you were excited by that new Windows 98 that was coming out that was FINALLY going to fix the problems with Windows 95... me, I was excited about that new fangled phone operating system... Palm OS.

Sorry... Saying that PC's are going to bite it because of the "cloud" is like saying that we have bullet trains now, so you no longer need your car.

(There's your car analogy for those looking for one)

The end of the TV era (5, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048494)

LOL. End of PC era. Can I have what they're smoking? In a Smithsonian exhibit, I saw a graph of TV ownership in the US. It was a saturation curve, flattening out in the 1970s, IIRC. By then, most people had TVs, and it was just gap filling. I saw the PC ownership curve saturating in the late 90s. By PC, I mean Personal Computer, including Macs.

The point? Companies like Zenith and Sony made money long after the "TV revolution" was over. Better models, ergonomic features, add-ons, incremental refinements, solid state vs. tube, etc.

It's shortsighted to think that we aren't going to continue to have refinements in the PC other than Moore's law related speedups. No, companies like Intel won't be driving huge speculative bubbles anymore; but they won't be going bankrupt either. Just like TV makers, the differentiator will be how well they run their business. It'll be things like customer service, cashflow, etc. It'll be boring business stuff, sorry; but not the end of the world.

Oh, and f*** the cloud. You can have my hard drive when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. Actually, make that my affordable solid state drive. See? Plenty of refinements left in the pipeline.

Apple's grudge with Flash (5, Informative)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048532)

I thought Apple's grudge against Flash was all about free Flash applications competing with it's own commercial apps from the App Store. Want your lame "fart button"? Just browse to www.fartbutton.com and have a field day for *free*; it's faster than a micro-transaction and less painful, especially when you have to justify to your spouse all those micro-purchases making a macro-dent on your income.

No Flash, no cool little applications on your Phone for free... your only source for a quick fix is the App Store.

See this every generation (5, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048544)

For the past 25 years we've seen these types of predictions. What's being said is nothing new. Just a new surface on an old polygon.

The industry has a long way to go before it is going to die. There's nothing Apple nor anyone else can do that will change things. The industry, in a way, is at fault for any problems being perceived. The constant niggling of customers by tiny incremental change leads customers to believe that there's nothing happening and thus their unwillingness to pay the price for the technology. Make big changes, some radical, such as from the command line to the GUI and we'll see another 50 years of growth in PC.

This is more feldercarb by some industry exhaust spewing waste into the ecosystem. They are just blowhards seeking to get you to think that this Apple product is the direction we'll be going. We do not run our computers for gaming, as gaming is secondary. We expect significantly more from our computers than a gaming console provides. We do not do serious productivity work on an iPad or gaming console.

And Moore's law has nothing to do with this. Everytime someone says Moore's law has come to an end we have another go at it.

I think what I'm reading are the younger generation that didn't see the world as it was back then, before computing was involved in every aspect of our lives. These people have a problem with their imagination and hence their mind is out of focus when it comes to innovation and technology. I'm certain this isn't quite like the music business where a friend said that the only reason music sucks today is because all the good music has already been made. It's really a lack of vision that drives one to conclude that these cobbled devices are technology's future. They are a just a crutch to innovation.

The iPad is a consumer-oriented device (1)

ishmalius (153450) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048580)

Its entire purpose is to fit into the producer/consumer model, and provide yet another carbon-based audience member to Big Media. Why else would Rupert Murdoch love it? The PC will remain as a more populist, creative device.

FU Marketing (1)

Mybrid (410232) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048638)

You know, even if one buys into the premise, one does have to wonder about the efficacy of saying things like "If you want pornography, buy a Google phone" or some such. Seriously. How does saying FU to the flash community, forget Adobe, in anyway going to endear people to your position? This is beyond, the Field of Dreams "build it and they will come" failed approach so many try. This is religious dogma. As Matt Damon spouts in the movie Dogma, "Do this or I'll spank you." Yeah, right. For a company that focuses on the customer usability where others don't, it is just totally bizarre to use scorched earth marketing. "Use our product and you'll experience Heaven, don't and we will send you to Hell."

Sorry Jobs. Your attitude smacks of Microsoft and IBM and you are being classified accordingly.

Attention Charlie Stross (2, Insightful)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048642)

the PC industry already IS a profitability wasteland. PC manufacturers have been suppliers of commodity equipment assembled on a shoestring budget with negligible profit for over 5 years now. That's why IBM liquidated their PC division to Lenovo. It's also why Dell's market capitalization continues to dwindle despite their efforts to diversify. And why Acer gobbled up Gateway and eMachines. Companies either have to continually grow their volume to maintain the same profits, or get into something different with more margin. Apple has been doing that for a while now, as has IBM. HP's PC division doesn't make them much money at all (relative to volume), but with all their other lines (printers, servers, etc) it's worth their effort because they can be the sole supplier for some huge corporations, thus making their profits on the specialty equipment.

They're forgetting something... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048656)

...all that bandwidth means you can run your own cloud right off of a tiny desktop at home. You'll have constant connectivity to your own personal server, backed up any way you want it, running any software you want, without any of that tasty vendor lockin. They'll try to do some software as a service crap, but Ubuntu 27.04 will have a bunch of tasty open source replacements for your streaming music/data/movies/etc/etc/etc.

"The Cloud" (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048688)

I don't necessarily believe any of this talk about the so-called death of the PC; I do not want my data or computing done in "the cloud" any more than I want my personal information splattered all over the internet, which is to say not at all. I'll just keep building myself nice, high-powered desktop systems, like I've been doing for the last 20 years or so. The rest of you can do whatever you like.
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