Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PCs Aren't Dead Yet

Sales of personal computers are declining, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the PC is near. While tablet computers are a hot commodity, there are good reasons why PCs remain useful, according to Chris Hoffman in a post at How-To-Geek.

“In reality, there are more different types of hardware and software than ever,” he wrote. “Not everyone is forced to use a beige tower running Windows. But PCs aren’t dying just because people have more choice. Some people will always need large screens, multiple windows, mice, keyboards, and all that other good stuff. Not everything will be done on a 10-in. or smaller touchscreen.”

To prove his point, Hoffman referred to a Gartner Inc. report which showed that 82.6 million PCs were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6.9% drop from the fourth quarter of 2012 and the seventh straight quarter with a decline. However, web traffic analysis from StatsCounter showed that PC browser-usage data in January 2014 accounted for nearly 72% of visits, compared to just 22.42% for smartphones and 5.69% for tablets.

And while tablet shipments continue to rise, it was at a much slower rate. International Data Corp. found that 76.9 million tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, which represented growth of 28.2% in a market that had increased 87.1% over the same quarter in 2012.

“The statistics show that PCs are still selling in large numbers and are used much more than tablets,” Hoffman wrote. “But we don’t need statistics to see this—we all know that huge amounts of people still use and need PCs.”

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