Is It the Post PC Era, or is the Tablet a PC?

The semantics game is alive and well in the computer industry, with some trying to convince us that the PC is dead. On the flip side there are those, like Bill Gates, who believe that the current tablets and smart phones are PCs. Our definition of what a PC [personal computer] is or is not may differ from what others believe a PC is. In fact, definitions of exactly what a PC is even differ among dictionaries.

Over at Free Dictionary, the definition is: “a computer built around a microprocessor for use by an individual, as in an office or at home or school.” In a second definition it also states: “personal computers have their own operating systems, software, and peripherals, and can generally be linked to networks.”

Over at Wikipedia the description of a personal computer may be any computer, including a desktop, laptop, tablet, or handheld device such as smart phones, used for personal computing. This description seems to support what Mr. Gates believes is a PC.

I have always considered a PC to be a computer that uses the Windows operating system. Computers such as those from Apple or those running Linux or other operating systems are not, in my opinion, PCs. Others may have a different opinion and lump all computers, no matter what the OS, under the label “personal computers.” This, I believe, is where the definition has become vague and in which some tend to lump any device, whether a computer or not, as a PC. It seems this is what Bill Gates believes, so in his opinion tablets and smart phones are all PCs.

If ones agrees with the definition Mr. Gates provides, one could conclude that we are not in a post PC era, since tablets and smart phones are an extension of the traditional desktop PC. However, the difference between an Apple iPad or a Google Android smart phone differs so dramatically in what these devices do, it is hard not to separate these devices from the traditional PC.

What do you think a PC is?

Comments as always are welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ron! I think that without 3 & 4 G networks and wi-fi we’d all still be sitting in front of our PC’s wishing for a DSL high speed connection and none of these Androids or Tablets would be in such big demand. Without access to the internet would all these devices still be considered PC’s ? A phone is phone, until you can connect to the web with it and download an app to turn on your porch lights at home while you’re at the airport …. now it has become a PC … priceless. Unless of course you live in Groveland Ca. where half the population STILL can’t get DSL let alone be able to get a smart phone to actually WORK unless your standing next to a cell tower …. guess I’m gonna have to move somewhere else to be able to use all the cool gadgets. By the way, how come you don’t send me ‘updates’ anymore? I miss them and you … tell everyone hello for me =)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ron! I think that without 3 & 4 G networks and wi-fi we’d all still be sitting in front of our PC’s wishing for a DSL high speed connection and none of these Androids or Tablets would be in such big demand. Without access to the internet would all these devices still be considered PC’s ? A phone is phone, until you can connect to the web with it and download an app to turn on your porch lights at home while you’re at the airport …. now it has become a PC … priceless. Unless of course you live in Groveland Ca. where half the population STILL can’t get DSL let alone be able to get a smart phone to actually WORK unless your standing next to a cell tower …. guess I’m gonna have to move somewhere else to be able to use all the cool gadgets. By the way, how come you don’t send me ‘updates’ anymore? I miss them and you … tell everyone hello for me =)

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  • http://detested.wordpress.com/ Archaeme

    In my definition, I think Macs are PCs and well PDAs, Smartphones, and tablets too.

  • http://detested.wordpress.com/ Archaeme

    In my definition, I think Macs are PCs and well PDAs, Smartphones, and tablets too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcurtin10 Daniel Curtin

    Yes definitely. Since I bought my Ipad and later the Ipad 2, I barely use my PCs any more. I definitely think it is as replacement functionally for a PC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcurtin10 Daniel Curtin

    Yes definitely. Since I bought my Ipad and later the Ipad 2, I barely use my PCs any more. I definitely think it is as replacement functionally for a PC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcurtin10 Daniel Curtin

    Yes definitely. Since I bought my Ipad and later the Ipad 2, I barely use my PCs any more. I definitely think it is as replacement functionally for a PC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcurtin10 Daniel Curtin

    Yes definitely. Since I bought my Ipad and later the Ipad 2, I barely use my PCs any more. I definitely think it is as replacement functionally for a PC.

  • http://twitter.com/DarkLordFett Jason Gwin

    For once, I agree with Mr. Gates. Any computing device you use, even a calculator, is a PC. I don’t care what OS is uses, it’s still a PC. All I ever differentiate is, is it a Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

  • http://twitter.com/DarkLordFett Jason Gwin

    For once, I agree with Mr. Gates. Any computing device you use, even a calculator, is a PC. I don’t care what OS is uses, it’s still a PC. All I ever differentiate is, is it a Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

  • http://twitter.com/DarkLordFett Jason Gwin

    For once, I agree with Mr. Gates. Any computing device you use, even a calculator, is a PC. I don’t care what OS is uses, it’s still a PC. All I ever differentiate is, is it a Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

  • http://twitter.com/DarkLordFett Jason Gwin

    For once, I agree with Mr. Gates. Any computing device you use, even a calculator, is a PC. I don’t care what OS is uses, it’s still a PC. All I ever differentiate is, is it a Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryMonmouth Harry Monmouth

    When I have to explain the capabilities or flaws with my phone to people who are using old style dumb phones it makes it a lot easier if I tell them that the device is essentially a computer that can be fitted into a pocket.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryMonmouth Harry Monmouth

    When I have to explain the capabilities or flaws with my phone to people who are using old style dumb phones it makes it a lot easier if I tell them that the device is essentially a computer that can be fitted into a pocket.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryMonmouth Harry Monmouth

    When I have to explain the capabilities or flaws with my phone to people who are using old style dumb phones it makes it a lot easier if I tell them that the device is essentially a computer that can be fitted into a pocket.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryMonmouth Harry Monmouth

    When I have to explain the capabilities or flaws with my phone to people who are using old style dumb phones it makes it a lot easier if I tell them that the device is essentially a computer that can be fitted into a pocket.