Microsoft Communications Chief Frank X. Shaw on the trend he noticed at the D conference (that nearly everyone in the audience was using an iPad):
I actually think the PC is alive and well and thriving, it just comes in tons of different form factors. Many of those form factors are more mobile, and look different from the traditional desktop PC, but the same core idea drives it – personal in nature, used for work and for play, runs applications, connected to a network… etc. No matter what label you put on them, they are personal computing devices. Today, Sheryl Sandberg made a similar point when she noted that she had a computer in her pocket with more power than the computer that brought Apollo to the moon. And of course it was a phone. :)
As I wrote in September of 2011:
I don’t agree with the strategy for Windows 8 (at least what I’ve heard and seen so far). I think bifurcation will only confuse users and push more towards the iPad. But we’ll see. Metro looks good, there’s no denying that. I just wish Microsoft had the balls to go all-in on Metro.
Instead, we’re getting a lot of nonsense about how the PC isn’t dead, it’s just “evolving”. I’m now certain that Microsoft’s message when they do unveil Windows 8 will be how “everything is a PC”. Desktops, laptops, cellphones. It’s not about the hardware. Hogwash.
Yep. And to back up Shaw’s cause today, we have Paul Thurrott writing that "It’s Official: The iPad is a PC”.
For what it’s worth, I actually agree with many of the broader points both of them have about personal computing in general — and have for a long time — I’m just not sure why anyone defending Microsoft wants to push this notion.
I mean, I get that they’re betting big on Windows working on these new form factors. But this argument ends up highlighting the fact that the age of Windows dominating the personal computing space is over.
Continuing my thoughts from a September 2011, I noted why this semantics argument was a dumb one for Microsoft to engage:
Microsoft’s problem is that the public isn’t stupid. They see the computing world changing before them, and they want in.
People aren’t going to buy Windows 8 tablets because they’re just like the PCs they know and love. In fact, if anything, people won’t buy them for that very reason. Microsoft thinks people love their PCs. They don’t. They’ve been chained to them for years. They want to be set free. The iPad allows for that. Tying Windows to their don’t-call-it-post-pc strategy is dangerous for Microsoft. Disdain is starting to outweigh comfort.
Okay, fine, the iPad is a PC — it’s a PC that people actually want.
Or, as Thurrott concludes:
But man, are the next market share numbers going to be a blood bath.