Steve Jobs: The End of the PC Era

While I may begrudge Steve Jobs on many of his and Apple’s policies. I admire him greatly as a visionary.

Steve Jobs & Wozniak pretty much ushered in the era of the “personal computer” with Apple. Apple brought a lot of innovation to the PC world.

One might also argue that Steve Jobs is personally responsible for bringing the era of the PC to an end. That’s not to say personal computers are going to disappear anytime soon, if ever. Rather it is the acceptance of a fundamental shift in computing.

As the PC was a shift from the era of mainframe terminal computing; a new shift away from the PC has occurred. Computing has become even more personal and intimate.

There is no denying that the iPhone truly ushered in the mobile computing era of tablets & computer phones. We now hold in our hands yesteryear’s super-computers. Even recent technologies like email seem old school in light of face-to-face chatting, gps location of loved ones, instant Internet anywhere. The experience is so much more intimate than the old boxes sitting on our desks.

Sure there were earlier attempts. RIM’s blackberry. Palm made a good effort in the 90’s. But none reached the magnitude needed to become sustainable. In fact the iPhone wasn’t the first time Apple envisioned this future. Over a decade ago Apple introduced the Newton. But it was still the Age of PC.

If the PC was the personal computer than this is the IC era: the Intimate, Individual, Interactive, computing experience.

I do not have the statistics on sales of PCs vs smartphones & tablets. But I’d wager one has seen a down growth while the other is surging toward dominance. How soon until the average Joe & Jane give up their unwieldy boxy PCs and just take their tablets? Combined with the near limitless storage of cloud computing. Suddenly, the PC seems less needful today.

I find it fascinating that Steve Jobs’ life seems to span that of the PC. He was at it’s birth. And strangely Steve’s death seems to coincide with the end of the PC age. But what a legacy you left us Steve. Before you departed us, you kicked off a whole new era.

Thank you for being the visionary you were…

– Jason

[Composed on an iPhone]

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October 2011

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