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Happy birthday PC . . . but is it also “Goodbye”?

Mark Dean, chief Technology Officer of IBM’s Middle East and Africa Division notes the birthday of the IBM PC, released on 12 August,thirty years ago.  As a member of the original development team he is well-placed to comment on the past and the future of the PC which, he says, is heading towards obsolescence: “My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs”.  He also comments, “PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device—though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets—but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives”.

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