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Michael Dell Dismisses Tablet Threat To the PC Market 352

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the newton-shall-rise-again dept.
alphadogg writes with an excerpt from a Network World article: "The PC is not likely to be challenged by the tablet or the smartphone, and many users of the Internet on these devices will turn to the PC for a better experience, Michael Dell said in Bangalore on Monday. If you were going off to college and could only have one device, you would choose the PC over a smartphone or a tablet, said Dell, whose company also sells smartphones. 'If you could have two devices, then you would probably choose the phone before the tablet,' the Dell CEO added."
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Michael Dell Dismisses Tablet Threat To the PC Market

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:40PM (#38645086)

    You would probably want to shut it down and return the money to the stock holders.

  • by icebike (68054) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:40PM (#38645090)

    Trying to do much REAL WORK(tm) on a tablet is an exercise in frustration. By the time you add a keyboard and mouse so that you can be even marginally productive you might as well get the tablet so that you can work even where/when there isn't a wireless network.

    The tablet's niche is on the couch or the train or the bus.

    • by pavon (30274) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:44PM (#38645138)

      Agreed. On the other hand, I imagine that a fair number of the tablets sold went to people who were thinking about buying a laptop/netbook as a second computer, but then opted for the tablet instead.

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        Hmm, at least in IT, a laptop is usually highly desirable so most ppl have em, but a lot of people especially recently have acquired tablets as well, the tablet is more convenient for some stuff, especially network related, where local cpu doesn't matter. It's also great for taking notes, keeping organized, etc...

        I guess it can be compared to a laptop / netbook (more the latter), but I think it's more to supplement the former. Also try comparing an ipad to an ibook to better picture it, the former is not

        • by SomePgmr (2021234)

          I have to agree. Laptop first and foremost. Tablets are great (using a kindle fire to post) but they're supplemental.

          I don't know why smartphones became part of their conversation at all.

        • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:57PM (#38646058)

          Michael Dell is usually right about that kind of thing. That's not because I'm any kind of fangirl, or because I used to work for him, just that he's historically been pretty good at predicting market trends. You said it yourself... it's a good replacement to a *second* computer, but you still need a real computer to type documents and actually create content for. Especially at a school.

          What I'd like is a modern version of the "tablet" computers that Lenovo was selling 8 years ago. The kind where you could flip the screen around and use the thing as a tablet, or you could open it up and have a working laptop? Couple that with an ultraportable 13" laptop that tips the scales around 3lbs, and they could make a ton of money on it. Wouldn't even be that hard, they'd just have to rearrange the hinge design on the laptop I have right now (a Dell Vostro V130), and replace the LCD with a touchscreen. I'd even be willing to accept one that requires a stylus instead of finger input. It would be hugely useful. I would be willing to accept the extra bulk inherent in that kind of design in exchange for the increased usability, and I'd still have something that's more portable than the heavier 15" or 16" laptops most people buy.

          • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday January 09, 2012 @10:28PM (#38646376)

            Michael Dell is usually right about that kind of thing. That's not because I'm any kind of fangirl, or because I used to work for him, just that he's historically been pretty good at predicting market trends.

            Michael Dell got ahead of this one: direct-marketing PCs works as a business model, and commoditization makes PC hardware mainly a supply chain management business. That was in 1984 and he rode this insight to victory!

            Aside from that, it's been mostly misses, he's been cursed ever since he gave his free advice to Steve Jobs in 1997. He might occasionally prognosticate but he doesn't put his money where his mouth is. Dell completely misread media players and mobile, and its market share and profit margin off PCs has been in decline for years. It has not service or cloud strategy, no content strategy, no real brick and mortar retail, something hardware manufacturers have been getting into over the past decade. It's a mess, it's like they're still in 1997 and have their sights dead-set on Packard Bell.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            Michael Dell is usually right about that kind of thing. That's not because I'm any kind of fangirl, or because I used to work for him, just that he's historically been pretty good at predicting market trends. You said it yourself... it's a good replacement to a *second* computer, but you still need a real computer to type documents and actually create content for. Especially at a school.

            This,

            Ask yourself,
            1) Who is Dell's primary audience?
            2) Who is the tablets primary audience?
            3) Which one of these has more money to spend?

            Dells primary audience is business, tablets are consumer items and rarely used in businesses. Business budgets tend to be much higher then consumer budgets, they also turn over computers much faster. Michael Dell knows his audience, as much as the Apple fanboys hate to admit it and he's been quite successful because of that. Dell is still the number 2 PC maker in

      • by chill (34294)

        Which is what I did. An ASUS Transformer w/keyboard dock. And I then found out it is a poor replacement for a laptop, and too damned expensive to use as an e-reader. I sold it on EBay 4 months after purchase and bought a cheap laptop.

        The Transformer was much cooler, but I can actually get productive work done on the laptop.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      He is right. Though they are a threat to consoles, and other handheld gaming devices.

    • by icebike (68054) *

      Might as well get the laptop I meant.

    • Sorry, why are you adding a mouse?
      • by icebike (68054) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:49PM (#38645218)

        Sorry, why are you adding a mouse?

        Because keyboard and touch screen is a combination that just doesn't work. I've tried it, and found it just easier to add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo rather than reaching across my keyboard to touch the tablet all the time. Touch screen cursor placement is finicky on the best of tablets. And any amount of typing beyond the short email is a hopeless productivity killer.

        • by brentrad (1013501)

          Sorry, why are you adding a mouse?

          Because keyboard and touch screen is a combination that just doesn't work. I've tried it, and found it just easier to add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo rather than reaching across my keyboard to touch the tablet all the time. Touch screen cursor placement is finicky on the best of tablets. And any amount of typing beyond the short email is a hopeless productivity killer.

          I completely disagree. I've turned off the touchpad on my Asus Transformer, and decided I really didn't need to get a bluetooth mouse for it. Keyboard dock + touchscreen for navigation is a killer combo in my experience. Reaching out to swipe your finger down the screen is infinitely more natural (and quick) than using the mouse to grab the scrollbar then drag to move the window. With the keyboard only being...what 6 inches deep?...you're not really reaching very far to get to the screen.

          • by Junta (36770)

            If I were playing a FPS, I'd need a mouse. If I'm doing almost anything else, trackpoint so my hands never leave my keyboard (pointer just beteer 'g' and 'h'). Not much of a middle ground to me. Touchscreen only makes sense for me when it's the only input method. I don't want my hands moving back and fourth between input devices.

      • by exomondo (1725132)
        Probably could use a trackpad, but either case is far more accurate and efficient than touch (for example you can get text cursor accuracy on touch but it's not as fast as using a mouse/trackpad). And then of course there's reaching over the keyboard everytime you want to select something.
    • by Mista2 (1093071)

      And the train or bus is where my desktop sucks, but for a measly $500 I built myself a great desktop that used my existing 23" monitor, and spent just another $799 on an iPad for mobile. Best of both worlds. If I was going to university again, this is the setup I would have loved, actually, I'd go one better, make sure the desktop also has hdmi out and go to a 40" display 8)
      TV, music, videos, streaming, office apps and a remote clie t for them all!

    • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:48PM (#38645212) Homepage Journal
      No he's not right. Since the 90s, the "Computer" business has been primarily consumer driven. Which, for the majority of the population, is no longer a desktop, and less and less a laptop.

      If Michal Dell wants to ignore the the metrics that made his company a household name in the first place, that's pretty damned stupid.
      • by DogDude (805747)
        Since the 90s, the "Computer" business has been primarily consumer driven.

        And this information comes from...?
        • by jhoegl (638955)
          It seems more a redundant comment than a questionable one.
          I mean, they didnt give away computers in the 90s.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268)

        What makes you think he was ever all that smart? Dell didn't get to where it is through innovative products; it got there through, at best, innovative and efficient manufacturing and ordering and low prices. They made it easy to configure a PC or server exactly the way you want it with a large array of options, and purchase it, with a very low price. There's no product innovation there, their products were nothing more than white-box PCs. They just made it easy for people to buy them. Plus, they starte

      • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:27PM (#38645686)

        You're assuming consumers never do real work, which is not a good assumption. Lots of people need to work from home now and then. And not just the people in techie professions, but teachers and reporters and managers and so on. None of those people will choose a tablet in place of a PC. And then there are the tens of millions of people who play video games like WoW or CoD. And there's the ever growing blogging world, whose members would likely prefer to write up their posts with a real keyboard.

        Tablets represent a real threat to the laptop market, and may outright kill the netbook. But the PC has some major advantages that will allow it to remain the top choice for most people (who may also buy a tablet to go along with it!), at least until we get a sufficiently good docking system that can allow a tablet double as a PC.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:50PM (#38645230)

      Trying to do much REAL WORK(tm) on a tablet is an exercise in frustration.

      What you say is true, but for most people, "real work" means text editing, taxes, Quicken, maybe some photo organizing. Any computer made since 2006 is more than adequate until XP goes dark in 2014. If people get on an 8-year upgrade cycle for desktops/laptops, Dell is in for a real hard decade.

    • by bonch (38532) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:52PM (#38645276)

      The problem is that a very large amount of people don't do what you would consider "real work"--they only want to check email, browse YouTube, and visit Facebook, and they only have PCs because it was the only way they could do those things previously. Michael Dell has a vested interest in telling people that PCs will rule forever, but I have to tell you, having a portable computer that you don't have to spend hours of maintenance on every week is really, really nice, especially in bed or on the couch.

      • "Michael Dell has a vested interest in telling people that PCs will rule forever"

        Well he also should have a vested interest in making sure he does not miss out on the tablet market which is Dell's number one threat.

        Take a look at this statistic [statcounter.com] from poorer, but high-tech India? Yep, that is right. By April more Indians will use a phone/tablet than a desktop to browse the net, answer emails, run skype, etc.

        Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe is where the growth markets are. These people will use phones and not

      • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:19AM (#38647240) Journal

        The problem is that a very large amount of people don't do what you would consider "real work"--they only want to check email, browse YouTube, and visit Facebook,

        That's not everything most people do. That's 95% of what most people do, and all they think of, but losing the other 5% becomes a real killer. Manipulating photos, video, having terabytes of storage, printing out coupons, printing out most anything, audio capture/editing, etc., etc. I've yet to meet someone who doesn't have one major niche purpose for their computers.

        but I have to tell you, having a portable computer that you don't have to spend hours of maintenance on every week is really, really nice,

        What the hell kind of maintenance are you doing for hours every week? If you're talking about security updates, well you're in for a big surprise when worms for iOS / Android start spreading. If you're talking about disk cleanup, well having a piddly amount of storage is a huge negative, not a positive that you can't do it anymore. Other than that, I can't think of what "maintenance" you need to do all the time.

    • I wouldn't necessarily say that people would choose a PC for their "one device", people are insanely attached to their phones and might choose to try to hack it on a phone (although I never would). But he's absolutely right that if you can choose only two devices, people will want a PC and a phone.
    • by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:05PM (#38645418) Homepage

      At work, there's a couple of VPs whose passwords expired because they haven't logged in to their windows PC, but have been using their ipad/iphone for everything.

      So, different uses for different people.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        At work, there's a couple of VPs whose passwords expired because they haven't logged in to their windows PC, but have been using their ipad/iphone for everything.

        Which I would wager isn't much of anything. They probably do most of their work on the phone. VPs and doctors have about the same aversion to keyboards I've noticed.

    • Maybe in the US you are right.

      Check out internet usage in a poorer country that thrives on internet access [statcounter.com] compared to the US? [statcounter.com]

      India cited is just an example of where by this spring more Indians will use IOS or Andriod to read the news, browse the net, and do other things than a desktop!

      The US is a mature market where people only buy new equipment when it breaks down. No growth market here. Just look at backward corporate America being run by CFOs dirt cheap on believing any investment in tech like newer tha

    • by peragrin (659227)

      right now on my desk is a nook color, a laptop, a desktop and a smartphone. each has it's places and uses. The laptop for travel computing, the desktop for games, the smartphone for staying connected and the nook color for reading, minor web surfing.

      I find it useful to have to nook opened to a website on a particular game I am playing so i have notes on hand, and can look up quick item facts. the nook also lasts 6 hours of continuous use so I don't' have to recharge it as often.

      I went on vacation for 5 d

    • PCs are both consumption and production devices.

      Tablets are limited in what they can produce, both by the touch interface and by the landscape of available software. Sure, you can make a video on a tablet (if it has a camera) but doing anything more than remedial video editing is a no-go. Still graphics production is, even if there were equivalents to GIMP/Photoshop/Illustrator/etc, an exercise in masochism. Even working on a spreadsheet is infuriating. Playing any PC or console game? Forget about it,

    • by hey! (33014) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:40PM (#38645832) Homepage Journal

      Real work? Depends on what you mean. A new tool often *redefines* what "real" work is, although we'll have to wait and see. I certainly see tablets taking over much of the information *consumption* tasks done on a desktop computer.

      This is how it has always worked. We didn't stop using mainframes when minicomputers came along; some of the tasks that used to be done in major datacenters were moved out to smaller installations and big iron actually bifurcated into two new market segments, each larger than the parent: high performance computing for weather prediction and such, and mainframes for moving vast volumes of data around ultra-reliably.

      When PCs came along people stopped doing most interactive work directly on mini-computers via dumb terminals. We renamed "minicomputers" "servers" and focused them on providing data services to personal computers. The market for servers is certainly far larger than the mini-computer market was in 1981 when IBM introduced the PC (or in 1977 when Apple introduced the Apple II).

      What happens when a new product category is created is that it becomes an area of fast growth, which sucks *attention*, but not necessarily profit from the old ones. It may in some cases spur growth, as desktops spurred the growth of the server business. The days of almost guaranteed exponential growth are long gone in the PC business, but it is possible that tablets rather than cannibalizing the PC business, will re-focus it.

      At least probably. Predicting the future is hard, especially since we're dealing with *two* emergent techologies: really capable mobile devices and cloud services over ubiquitous networks. But *historically* when a class of smaller, cheaper, more convenient computing devices is created, what *had* been the low end segment doesn't really suffer. On the other hand individual firms (like DEC or Wang) *do* suffer when they fail to adapt to changes in the markets they were successful in.

    • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:50PM (#38645938)

      Trying to do much REAL WORK(tm) on a tablet is an exercise in frustration.

      Do you mean like a doctor at a hospital looking at CTC scan or chart? Do you mean like a plant of warehouse working checking inventory? A meeting attendee reviewing meetings notes/annotating those notes? Is it not real work for someone to show their client a prospectus on a tablet and being able to make quick alterations on the device while meeting with them? What do you define as "real work"?

      I would think that it would be equally frustrating to work with a laptop without a wireless connection. Many tablets like the iPad 2 come in 3G cellular data models so that takes care of the lack of "wireless".

      • by aXis100 (690904)

        Exactly, most of those examples are edge cases, and those same people would go back to their desktop or laptop whenever they have to do anything more significant.

        Tablets have some really great uses, no argument. It's just that those great uses are really limited.

    • He's wrong, and here's why:

      "Inkling has several universities working with its iPad textbooks, including Brown's Alpert Medical School, University of California-Irvine, University of Central Florida and Hult International Business School."

      So if you go to one of those schools, and "could only have one device", if you want your textbook, that device will be an iPad.

      -- Terry

    • by Gen-GNU (36980)

      Trying to do much REAL WORK(tm) on a tablet is an exercise in frustration

      I have seen quotes similar to this by several CEOs, including from Microsoft. I really think this more than anything shows a lack of vision. We currently have laptops with docking stations that people can set up to use both a "desktop computer" they carry easily from work and home. While these are ok, they are typically limited to a specific make (and often model) of laptop. A shift to a more generic docking station is hopefully not too far off. As the processor market continues to evolve, I think we w

  • By the same token (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hardtofindanick (1105361) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:45PM (#38645158)

    If you were going off to college and could only have one device,

    Let's turn that around:
    If you were home, which device would be the first to pick?
    If you were at the beach, which device would you pick?
    If you were on a train which device would you pick?

    It is kind of obvious that PC is for work and tablet is for fun. No clear winner here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You should tell the couple thousand nurses that work for us that their iPads are only for fun
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I dunno

      Whenever I'm on a consulting gig and I do a lot of talking, note taking and need to juggle a couple of developers back at home base I find I can't live without my Xoom. My company laptop has sit firmly in its docking station for the last half year or so.
      Yep, I now mostly use my tablet for mind maps but I wouldn't want to write a spec on it. But it is neat when on the road. 3G was totally worth it.

      Had to buy a new computer, tho. Tried to only have the tablet at home for 3 months and it simply was
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      If you were going off to college and could only have one device,

      Let's turn that around:

      If you were home, which device would be the first to pick?

      If you were at the beach, which device would you pick?

      If you were on a train which device would you pick?

      It is kind of obvious that PC is for work and tablet is for fun. No clear winner here.

      For home, it depends on what I'm doing. If I'm reading a book in bed, I'd pick the tablet (or more likely, the eInk book reader), if I'm browsing a few websites on the couch, I'd pick the tablet. If I'm writing an email to my mom, I'd pick the netbook.

      if I'm on the beach, I wouldn't bring any electronic device at all. Maybe a book if I was going to spend the day on the sand, but if I'm at the beach I'm probably there for the water, not to read a book or send an email.

      On the train, I always pick the netbook

    • If I were home, I would use the desktop computer I have at home. So I wouldn't take anything. If I were at the beach, I would use a pen and a pad of paper. If I were on a train, I would read a newspaper or write on a peice of paper. I don't need to buy several thousand dollars of electronics to meet these needs. I think the cell phone contract is the model every company would like to emuiate ultimately. I pay almost $1000 a year for a phone + network access. If only they could get something like that
    • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:05AM (#38647128) Homepage Journal
      I believe there was a company named Gateway that built very nice and inexpensive dekstop computer. No one though that laptops would overtake desktops because who would buy a throw away machine the could not be upgraded and was usually slower and less responsive than an equally priced desktop.

      In 2007 laptops sales were overtaking desktop sales and by late 2008 in the US laptops outsold desktops. The reality was that most people did not want to upgrade machines, that the MS issue made buying machine cheaper than upgrading, and that $400 for 2 or three years of use was not outlandish to many. The simplicity of the machines made the popular. Somethings could not be done on the machine, but enough could. Coincidently, Gateway, who assembled desktops, sold itself at a bargain price around that time, and one unit was defunct by 2009.

      Unimaginative and backward thinking business types think consumer attitudes will never change and the way things are done now will always be the way things are done. I don't know if I would ever move to a a tablet for my primary machine, but I do know that several years ago i moved to a laptop as my primary machine, having retired my desktop. Even more interesting is i have almost retired my 17" laptop and use a MacBook Air for the vast majority of my work. All my daily computing resources fit into a case that is about the size of a sunday magazine and a few inches thick.

      I would argue that Dell needs to do something creative at this point. It is not doing badly but has seen no real growth since 2009 when it recovered. Essentially two years stagnant. In reality, the stock price, inflation adjusted, is the same as 1997, so that is 14 years of, on average, no growth. Dell, because it is dependent on the whims of MS, cannot really do anything to break out of the death cycle that in plaguing the PC industry, so it claims the cycle does not exist, in much the same way that an addict might deny the effect of the drugs. Something is coming to take over the PC. The PC is not working really well for a lot of people. It may not be tablets, but will be something.

  • What a coincidence (Score:4, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:45PM (#38645162) Homepage Journal

    Jerry Shen just Announced [cnet.com] a Tegra 3 tablet with ICS for $250.

  • Tablets are not the threat to PCs. TVs are. The stuff they're showing at CES this year is not far off being able to slot right where the family PC used to be.
    • by engun (1234934)
      What Dell seems to be missing is that a stationary PC no longer has a long term future in the mass market, other than in high-end applications. Laptops started stealing the mobility niche first., and tablets will be next. The TV doesn't count. It's all about being able to take your important personal data with you, where ever you go, and using your familiar Operating Environment to access it. Maybe I'm over-estimating the importance of this for the average user (and by average, I meant people who mostly do
  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:51PM (#38645264) Homepage Journal
    From Computing Pioneers Share Their First Tech Memories [slashdot.org] :

    MICHAEL DELL
    CEO and founder of Dell

    From the time I was seven years old, I was captivated by blandness. When asked what kind of ice cream I wanted, the answer was always "Vanilla, please."

    My favourite toy was an old sock that belonged to my grandfather. It was the most dull, lifeless white sock you had ever seen. I called it "Blandy". When I turned 13 my parents let me paint my room any colour I wanted. I picked a decidedly neutral beige paint. I didn't want any excitement in my room, just a calming dullness. My whole room was like that: beige walls, beige lampshades, beige bedding. The only contrast was when I would place Blandy on my pillow. My room was the ultimate in dull. Sitting in it was almost like floating in a sensory deprivation tank. Except you could see that glorious beige everywhere.

    What are your memories of your first computer?
    I bought my first computer when I was fifteen. It was a Radio Shack TRS-80. The silver-grey painted chassis caused too much excitement in my otherwise dull bedroom so I spray painted it beige. The cassette tape's door was a shiny bit of transparent plastic, far too eye catching. I used some 120 grit sandpaper to take off the glossiness. You couldn't read the tape labels through it after that, but I didn't care. It was a small price to pay in my quest for supreme dullness.

    What modern technology do you wish you had growing up and why?
    I've learned that technology on its own isn't what really matters. What's important is how dull it is. How you can get someone to spend their hard earned money on something then look at it and wonder "Why did I buy that?" To me, making items that has people doing just that, even before they receive their order confirmation, is the greatest thing ever.

    Companies that go for excitement and innovation are certain to die. They have no future. Why, if it were up to me, I'd sell whatever company it was and give the money back to the shareholders. Printed on dull, beige cheques.

  • I think which is best may depend on your field of study.

  • I think this guy is missing the point. The web is changing to make the experience on tablets and smartphones better. He seems to think that the internet is not going to change to adapt better to what people actually want to use, and it seems pretty clear that there are a fair number of people who would prefer to be using their phones or tablets than lugging around a laptop or taking up valuable home real estate with a desktop. If I can go to the library or a coffee shop or any other place with wireless and

  • by Tangential (266113) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:59PM (#38645362) Homepage
    From Kodak's 2002 Annual Report [kodak.com]:

    Our traditional film business is sound as digital imaging continues to evolve.

    That was 10 years ago. The typical end-user desktop/notebook world probably has a similar life left. Just as a few specialty photographers still need film, there will always be niche professionals that need high-end desktop or notebooks, but most end users won't.
    • by cvtan (752695)
      I was just starting a post saying that Michael Dell should go and work for Kodak, but I see you mostly beat me to it.
    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      Considering how unstable the industry is, I wouldn't try predicting anything personally. We could very well end up with desktops and laptops extremely rare, but so could we have desktops shift to the home cinema as HTPCs/consoles (with advances in voice commands like Kinect, which I've been very impressed by thus far, it's not as awkward as it might first seem) while laptops and tablets merge as one (think Transformer with more power and better integration, at that point what's the line between "laptop" and

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:07PM (#38645446) Journal
    Not a desktop PC.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:08PM (#38645450) Journal

    As soon as the apps I need are available and can be reasonably manipulated on a tablet, the laptop will be dead to me. Moreover, a tablet with sufficient resources could easily take the place of my PC, with *at most* a docking station.

    Michael will continue to be right for awhile, but inevitably at some point he will be wrong. Hopefully (in my opinion) soon.

    • by Burning1 (204959) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:50PM (#38645952) Homepage

      A friend of mine in college made a very good point.

      She was watching the tablet owners walk into class.... Set up their tables in their docing stations and folding holders, lay out their bluetooth keyboards, plop down their mice, and prepare to work. Comparably, the laptop owners could set their device down, open it up, and begin talking notes.

      The advantage of a tablet is lost when you have to carry around all the acessories you'd expect to see on a full size computer. The laptop will continue to improve. There's a nich for a tablet - some things it's more convenient for than a full size laptop... But also some real disadvantages. i don't see the laptop going away anytime soon.

      • by Locutus (9039)
        and that goes away when the tablet is like the Transformer Prime or Xoom. ie they have laptop like docks which have the keyboard, extra battery, and touchpad all in one. The tablet is a laptop when it wants to be. A Tegra2 or even better a Tegra3 has plenty of power to run office apps too.

        That student with the bluetooth/etc was very resourceful and was probably fine doing what he/she was doing. As more transformer styles of tablets show up everyone can give up the standard laptop or PC for college work.

        LoB
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Agreed, which is why I stipulated "and can be reasonably manipulated". I do certain things on a laptop that can't yet be done conveniently on a tablet. I suspect that there *is* a way to do it, conveniently on a touch only interface. I'm holding off on buying a tablet until it can reasonably meet my needs in this regard.

        I agree, if you're carrying bits and pieces along with your tablet everywhere you go, you picked the wrong device. But if you only dock it in the office and perhaps at home, and use it s

  • Tablet makers should shut down and give the money back to the shareholders.
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:11PM (#38645476) Journal
    he also continued, "And if you could have three devices, well, let's just say that none of them will be a Dell."
  • But I'm certain that for many people, a tablet is going to replace a laptop. A tablet is just that much more portable.

  • Good bye Dell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:18PM (#38645556) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like he's got the same problem most other giants have had at some point, just before they start gong down hill. They refuse to acknowledge the changing tide around them, and are unable ( unwilling ) to adapt.

    The first step is denial.

  • Yes, 100% of people need a computer these days. The more important fact is that 99% of them already have one. The only people who need new computers are gamers, and most of us probably follow the upgrade path for years at a time anyway. The ten percent of people who think they might enjoy having an iPad around dwarfs the number of people who need to order an actual new computer from someone like Dell. I have two iPads, but I have literally never purchased a new computer. I've received hand-me-downs, I've g
    • People like me are probably keeping Michael Dell up nights: I bought a tablet instead of upgrading my computer this year.

      I've been thinking about upgrading my over 5-year-old home-built computer for a few years now - I generally will do one computer upgrade a year. AMD Athlon X2 5000+, 2 GB RAM. Put 64 bit Windows 7 on it a few years ago - even though the conventional wisdom is that 64 bit Windows 7 needs 4 GB RAM, it ran fine on 2 GB for my needs. Last year I replaced my boot drive with an SSD, and
  • He's right that tablets don't threaten the PC market. I'm sure they'll steal a small part of the market, but the market as a whole is safe. Where he's wrong is in that he thinks they'll have no affect. I suspect that very soon we'll start seeing low powered PCs that are basically just a monitor with a keyboard and mouse. The monitor will have a built in processor and be able to stream video. It'll replace your PC, and TV although not be able to play games and sell for under $200... maybe even under $100. Sy
  • IMHO tablets and "traditional" computers are, and will remain for the foreseeable future, complementary. Tablets provide a convenient means to check email, read the web, watch video, update your Facebook page, and play some quick games. But I'm not sure they're capable of replacing traditional computers for things like spreadsheets and proper document authoring. I recognize that spreadsheets and document authoring probably only make up 5% (or heck, maybe 2% if I'm pulling numbers out of my ass) of the total
  • by hsmith (818216) on Monday January 09, 2012 @10:17PM (#38646268)
    At home, people frankly don't need PCs anymore. At work? Yes.

    My mother, nope - doesn't need a PC. All she does it surf the internet and check her email. Pages is more than enough if she needed to write a word document.

    If my grandparents needed a device? I'd get them a tablet. There is simply nothing they do that would require a PC. Email, photos? All through a tablet.

    I don't see most of the population needed a PC anymore, it is simply too much for anything they would ever do.

    Not to say there isn't a need for a PC market, but IMO that market is much smaller than most think.
  • it gets replaced with a tablet or a smartphone because they won't want or need a computer again. If they need one for work it will be provided. This is where the big loss to the PC vendors comes from. It's the growth from the college market which has been going away and Dell even brought it up.

    And look at the transforming tablets too Mr Dell. With the added keyboard, some of the office apps market goes to the tablet market too.

    LoB

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