Dell chief executive not worried about the 'post-PC era'

Brad Stephenson

A popular topic of speculation for many tech journalists is “the death of the PC” and the “post-PC era” discussions that always seem to spring up around the release or announcement of a new tablet. It’s a bit of a misleading argument as its phrasing implies that the average consumer is moving away from computers when in fact the hardware is simply evolving and become something much more functional as seen by Microsoft’s Surface line of products or Lenovo’s Yoga PCs. There’s also the fact that the traditional personal computer is still being sold in significantly high volumes which makes most of the “post-PC era” more of a myth than an established period of time.
In an interview with U.K.’s The Telegraph, Dell chief executive, Michael Dell explains how inaccurate the phrase has become. “The post-PC era has been great for the PC,” he jokes. “When the post-PC era started there were about 180m PCs being sold a year and now it’s up to over 300m, so I like the post-PC era. For the last 11 quarters in a row, we’ve been gaining share in PCs. Last year we outgrew HP and Lenovo. It’s a business with an installed base of 1.8bn PCs, 600m of them are more than four years old, and as we create new beautiful, thin, powerful PCs that are better than the thing you bought five years ago, people will replace the old ones. And we are getting more and more share of that opportunity each quarter that goes by.”
He does admit that while the traditional PC isn’t going anywhere soon, companies must be aware of the new technological advances that have sprung up around it such as cloud computing, which he expects to be a major focus in the years to come.
“If you look at companies today, most of them are not very good at using the data they have to make better decisions in real time. I think this is where the next trillion dollars comes from for our customers and for our industry,” he says when discussing how the technology is evolving. “There’s something about data and collective intelligence that is incredibly powerful. Consumer companies like Google and Facebook have figured this out, and it’s just starting to come to the rest of the economy.”
Do you think traditional PCs will eventually disappear or do you see more of a gradual evolution of the technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.