The days of giant PCs are over: no more rumbling, plastic behemoths wedged between piles of floppy disks and a continuous feed printer emitting the sounds of a minor rocket. The march of technology kept its steady pace, and now most homes have new sleek PCs and a decorative plant where the trash compactor-sized CPU used to be. But 2015 marks the fifth year of declining PC sales. And, with the release of Windows 10, PC shipments are expected to continue to decline, as most people are waiting to upgrade their PC until the Windows 10 license runs out in 2017. But even when the renewal window ends, the IDC doesn't see a solid recovery in PC sales until...well, ever.
The new Windows 10 on a laptop.
The reason behind the steady decline is due mostly to the widespread adoption of mobile culture among consumers. The concept of sitting at a home computer is downright peculiar to millenials, most of whom are more familiar with tapping than typing, and if it can't be done on a phone, then the next best thing is a MacBook. PCs have become synonymous with bloatware, bugs, and viruses: why struggle with a computer that is inevitably going to become infected? And why buy a computer when most tasks can be performed on a smartphone?
Businesses are moving away from desktops into either laptops or tablets, and that spells bad news for companies like Intel, which slashed its revenue projection by $1 billion after citing weak PC sales. Other companies are going to shift focus from traditional PC hardware to smaller, smarter processors; in this climate, adaptation is survival.
But that's not to say the PC is gone just yet. Gamers still rely on them for graphics-heavy playing experiences, and many industries use them for performing powerful tasks that a tablet or laptop couldn't handle. The real test will be when 2-in-1s, laptops, and smartphones become as powerful as PCs--and that's just around the corner.