CONTENT IS RAPIDLY becoming the driving force in the personal computer market. However, those predicting the death of the PC aren’t seeing the potential of the device to evolve to new uses.
"The key is that the form factor is dictated by the needs of the users and that won’t change until the way we use computers changes," says Jeff Kimbell, vice-president for enterprise marketing at Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa at a recent briefing in Barcelona in Spain.
"What we’re seeing isn’t the replacement of the PC but rather the PC becoming the central hub in an ecosystem of devices – including MP3 players, cameras and cellphones. While BlackBerry is great for managing email on the move, it doesn’t facilitate the kind of work that most executives need to do."
However, as Kimbell says, the desktop computer has had its obituary written many times and Dell still sells millions each year.
What’s happened is that the definition of what a computing device is has expanded over the years: first to the notebook or laptop computer, then to the PDA or hand-held and now to the cellphone and even the iPod and other portable media players.
But it’s the growth in high-speed wireless networks that poses the greatest threat to the PC, as it would allow users to move information off their PCs and on to centralised storage devices. – Kelly travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Dell.