I wrote about this in the weekly newsletter but I think this deserves its own article because it’s important to know.
It has been projected that in the next quarter, tablets will overtake PCs in sales. Yes, next quarter, meaning real soon. This is a really, really big deal because up until now, PCs had outsold tablets. But that will soon end.
I’ve been waiting for the time when one of the big OEMs drops the manufacturing of desktop computers. My guess is that Apple will be the first to do it by dropping the iMac. After that happens, other OEMs will quickly follow suit. And after that happens, Microsoft Windows for the desktop may in fact be shuttered back to simply being a corporate-only purchase and the consumer version will be dropped.
Now before anyone says anything, no, the PC will not disappear from the office because it is needed there. What I’m specifically referring to is the consumer market, as in the market that’s buying tablets and smartphones left and right like no tomorrow. Yeah, them. They ultimately dictate what sells. And they want tablets and not PCs.
So where does this leave the PC for the consumer?
Well, there’s been some interesting developments concerning that.
Valve software, makers of the Steam gaming client, planned ahead real early and the Steam for Linux gaming client exists. They believe that Linux will be the future gaming platform for PC gamers.
Are they right?
Yes, they are.
There is a strong enough PC gaming community that makes Linux a viable, profitable platform for gaming, hence why Steam for Linux even exists. If it stood no chance of making money, Valve would have never bothered with it. But they did. And as such there have been more Linux gamers cropping up.
For you non-gamers out there, of which there are quite a few, I can say with absolutely no hesitation that Linux-based operating systems will “save” the PC for one simple reason:
At some point, probably sooner than you think, there will be no other choice for a modern desktop OS.
Apple and Microsoft are so tablet-happy these days that it’s ridiculous, and they both know that’s where the money is, so their eyes are firmly planted on that.
Linux on the other hand is community-driven, as in the bulk of it is made up of very talented hobbyists who program for the love of programming. They love their PCs and would squeal with glee if Microsoft and Apple dropped their consumer desktop OSes, because at that point Linux would totally dominate and own the entire PC market.
Some would consider this a win-win situation. Apple, Microsoft and Google have their consumer market with mobile, and the desktop PC guys and gals “take back” their environment with OSes programmed by them, for them.
Others would consider this a total nightmare simply because they’re so used to Windows and really don’t want to go to Linux. At all.
To those folks who fear the penguin, I say this:
When you build your next PC, make it a Linux build. If you like PCs (which you obviously do), build your next box as a 100% Linux environment. I suggest using Linux Lite. Loads of support (including the Steam for Linux client), great hardware compatibility and made with ease-of-use in mind.
Don’t even bother with Windows. Don’t go there. You hate spending money on any OS anyway, right? Right. So don’t. Use Linux instead.
This is not one of those things where Microsoft will have a lull for a year or so and then bounce back, because what we’re talking about here is a fundamental shift in what people are buying for hardware. Windows is software. So even if Microsoft does bounce back, Microsoft’s concentration will be primarily on mobile and not PCs. You can count on that.
And you certainly don’t give a crap about mobile apps except on your smartphone, right? Right. Mobile apps belong on mobile and not on the desktop. You need an OS environment where new desktop apps/programs are continually being developed and delivered. Linux has them and developers are releasing new stuff all the time.
The writing is on the wall, so to speak. Tablets will overtake. It’s happening and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it – except prepare. Stay ahead of the curve and build your Linux box.
Linux will save your PC. Go get it. It’s free.
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