When did the “Post PC Era” begin? That’s a clown question, bro.

When did the “Post PC Era” begin? That’s a clown question, bro.

July 23

Post PC Era?  This very popular term has me scratching my head.

First, let’s look at the term “Personal Computer”, defined in Wikipedia as: “a general-purpose computer, whose size, capabilities, and original sale price makes it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator.”

So, I’m one that believes we aren’t post anything.  The PC Era isn’t past, it’s exploding!

I consider my iPhone a general-purpose computer that’s size, capabilities, and original sale price make it useful for me, and it’s certainly operated by me with no intervening computer operator.  My iPad, my kids’ Windows-based Acer netbooks, their Android-based Samsung Galaxy tablets, my wife’s Windows Surface Pro and her Android-based HTC phone are all “PCs”.

Let’s not get caught up in “form factor” when defining personal computer– it’s not really relevant to that discussion any longer.

Remember, “Post PC Era” was a marketing term coined by Apple to pigeonhole the Windows-based, Intel-based desktop/laptop/netbook category as outdated, with the goal of spurring along the adoption of Apple’s tablet PCs.  As a marketing guy, I’ll have to warn you to not let us marketing types apply a general term to a specific category in an effort to marginalize that category.  Apple had self-serving interests in doing so.  They were struggling in the desktop/laptop space so they wanted to change the conversation and promote a different form factor.  But when you step back and look at it, the term Post PC Era is utter nonsense.

Well, I’ll take that back. Because, where desktop/laptop/netbook form factors are synonymous with “PC”, the Post PC Era term made perfect sense and is kind of catchy from a marketing perspective. In reality, it’s just a ridiculous way to think about personal computers specifically, and personal computing in general.  I never believed the “Wintel” offerings defined what a personal computer was.  I ran SUSE Linux on an AMD-powered laptop for years and, of course, I considered that my PC.

So now, I’m all about discussing form factors of PCs, and recently having got my hands on some convertible ultrabooks as well as a Microsoft Surface Pro, I’m loving that form factor.  I was getting tired of having “three screens” – phone, tablet, laptop – so being able to have two screens, phone and a tablet/laptop combo, has been really quite nice.


Lenovo Helix Convertible Ultrabook runs Windows 8 and all Windows App Store apps, and the keyboard adds battery life.


Microsoft Surface Pro – runs Windows 8 and all Windows App Store apps.  I paired it with the touch type keyboard cover and it’s now my wife’s PC.

I’ll be using my iPad to watch movies in bed, but other than that, I’m good with my “two screen” personal computing life, as well as a different third screen … my television – which I’m using more and more as a content consumption device.  Let’s face it, the television is just another PC form factor – especially with all the applications available on a Smart TV and even more so when paired with a gaming console.

I guess I’m entering my “Post 10 inch Tablet Era”.  That’s a clown term Bro.


Check out our own Laura Shafer’s take on the Microsoft Surface tablet.