You have your smartphone, your laptop, your Kindle, your tablet and way back in the closet, you might be hiding a big ‘ol tower for your old PC. Don’t toss it, yet, though. The PC is making a comeback, and you might just find it will come in handy.
First of all, as all these other devices gain prominence, did you know the PC sales are actually going up? Apparently, sales for PCs are up 21 percent in the first quarter over last year at the same time. What was more of a surprise is that Hewlett Packard retook the lead from Apple in sales in the PC segment.
Yeah, HP is beating Apple in something. Who knew?
But is the PC really still alive or is it the technology equivalent of the Walking Dead?
Actually, the answer is neither. It’s transforming. You see, the folks who conceptualize new devices are beginning to understand that it’s not the devices themselves that are driving consumers. It’s ACCESS to what they have on those devices that is moving consumers to buy. So, if data, apps, files and pictures are the main attraction, then any device that can store, handle and move those elements can be useful.
And that’s where the PC comes in. While tablets and laptops are reasonably powerful, PCs can kick their butts when it comes to high end graphics cards for gaming or photo apps, powerful sound cards for audio apps and the ability to store, store, store. In that sense, PCs are becoming the mule of the data network.
For example, Netlfix is a popular service that allows people to stream movies on demand. If you have a PS3 or an XBox, you can pull those movies to your TV, but what if you’re not a console gamer? A smart TV and a PC can network together so you can show all those movies on the large TV in the living room, as opposed to being stuck with the 15 inch screen of the PC. Moreover, if you store files on your PC, all your other devices can be networked with the PC, so you can leave the memory of your smaller devices free but still have access to pictures, maps, emails and documents.
Now, there is an argument that the cloud can perform all those same functions, but the one thing the cloud cannot do is run photoshop, or high-end graphics programs. You can’t edit video on the cloud, and if you have more than a couple videos in your library, you’ll use up your free cloud space pretty fast. Google Drive will give you 50 free gigs, but after that, you’ll have to pay.
A reasonably powerful PC will accomplish the same load as the cloud, while also enabling you to run a variety of high end applications that would max out just about any of your portable devices.
So, don’t throw out that PC. Instead, repurpose it and allow it be transformed into the hub of a vibrant network of personal data. It might not look as cool as the devices you can hold in your hand, but it will make those handhelds work a lot better.