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I’m sure you’ve all come across the same articles I have from time to time since the release of Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, Windows 8. Most of them generally support each other in the statement that they believe that Windows 8 is “killing the PC”.  Perhaps in part they’re right, but I also believe there's another relative component when it comes to decreased PC usage, and I believe that part of the equation rests in our very hands - our smartphones.

As both an owner of a Windows 8 desktop PC and a smartphone, I can honestly say that both have attributed to the fact that I never have a dire need to visit my PC anymore other than work-related reasons. I have found (and previously mentioned) that Windows 8 was more suited for devices like tablets, not desktops. The idea of Windows 8 was to sort of connect the same interface that their tablet and smartphone software already used; however, I have found that in the end it just doesn't work out to be as convenient. There is a desktop version of Windows 8, which is what I find myself using all when I do use my computer, but I am finding that after engaging with the interface of a smartphone that connecting with a desktop or PC is anything but convenient.

Convenience has become very important in today's society. We're always on the move, and it always seems as if there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Not everybody has the means to sit down at a computer at home, or carry around a clunker of a laptop, and spend time connecting with friends, family, or the news. Smartphones have been able to provide us a quick and convenient way to check and use all of these things conveniently, and it's only getting easier as time goes by.

For most major social networking platforms, news websites, and even media programs (Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube) that initially started with computer users in mind, there's most likely a corresponding application on one of the four major platforms. What would take me 30 minutes of computer time might take me 15-20 minutes in smartphone time. We also have the added convenience of getting comfortable in just about any piece of furniture we choose to sit or lay down on. While you can argue that laptops also provide a sense of convenience when it comes to comfort while computing, I have to bring up the fact that I have never once known anybody who has comfortably been able to hold their laptop over their head for a prolonged period of time while lying down. If there is anybody out there that has successfully done so, they probably didn't get much done. But I digress. The point here is that convenience is key, and smartphones are where we're going to find it.

Even when it comes to gaming we're starting to get to that point where graphics look and work way better on a mobile phone than they do on many computers. A general, ever day desktop computer can cost anywhere from $300-$400, and most of the time those aren't built to run games with heavy graphics well. Unless you're savvy in building your own gaming computer, a good gaming PC can cost upwards of $800 or more depending on just how good you want games to perform. I will never forget the first time I downloaded a "graphic heavy" game (for my phone) and didn't expect it to run very well, but to my surprise it ran very smoothly. I still have not come across a game that my phone can't handle, and I imagine gaming will only get better as time more powerful phones come out.

As of right now, the most that PCs can offer over smartphones are PC specific applications like Photoshop, Office ( which is also available on the Windows Phone platform, of course, but I believe it's still more convenient working from a computer), etc. However, I find that these elements might also soon be outdated. Along with games and social networking, there's also a big market for photo editing applications. While they’re still not nearly as extensive as Photoshop is, it seems like it will only be so long before that changes. Rumor also has it that Microsoft Office is also not far from being ported to Android and iOS, perhaps even sometime within the next year. Tack on a Bluetooth keyboard to the device of your choice and you'll likely have a fully functional Microsoft Office right on your phone.

With all of these elements that was once only part of the computing world now shifting gears to cater to mobile devices as well, I have to question whether it's really Windows 8 that's the PC killer, or if it's perhaps the growing popularity of smartphones that is the main culprit? Although I'm admittedly not a huge Windows 8 fan, if I really had a dire need for a good computer I would have gladly traded up for a Mac or a higher end Windows 7 computer, but it came down to the fact that it would be wasted energy. I don't use any computer enough anymore to justify getting a "good" computer. In many instances, my smartphone works much better.

Readers, what do you think? Do you believe that the smartphone market will soon take over the need to have a desktop or laptop? Do you find that you're using your smartphone more than a computer on a consistent basis? Let me know your thoughts!

Images via Lifehacker, PCWorld


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45 Reactions to this post

"Do you think that smartphones play a big factor in the "downfall" of traditional PCs?"


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Werner Halans
Werner Halans i hate windows 8.It is for children who playing with blocks
Vikas Nanda
Vikas Nanda The smartphone and tablet offer more than enough functionality for the average user with far smaller learning curves. Traditional computer manufacturers are suffering because the average user makes up the vast majority.
Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell Apple
Brian Walden
Brian Walden haha! true.
Saurabh Bisht
Saurabh Bisht PC = Note2.. :D
Thomas Boehnlein
Thomas Boehnlein The big killer is machines just last way longer than they used to. We're just adding more cores in a mostly single threaded world. Great for servers. Not so much for consumers. If Intel can live up to the hype with Haswell and you have notebooks with insane battery life, you could see an uptick. Otherwise, what people have now is as good as it was two years ago for the far majority of cases. I used to upgrade my desktop CPU every two years. I think I'm on year 4 and it's still not breaking a sweat.
John Ariola
John Ariola Smartphone are definitely cannibalizing sales from PCs the immediate accessibility means by the time you get home lots of what you would do as far as social networking or personal entertainment are done. But PCs still have a place as far as work productivity. I bet the smartphone has replaced the smoke break for workday productivity loss. LASTLY PORN LOOKS BETTER ON A PC
Craig Paterson
Craig Paterson Yes. Pretty obvious is it not?
Curtis Owens
Curtis Owens windows 8 was a blow to the desktop/laptop for sure. But they are still usable.
Donnie Ross Oneill
Donnie Ross Oneill Think before you act
Donnie Ross Oneill
Donnie Ross Oneill Smartphones are being used more then anything you dumbass people! You can't stick a fuckin tablet in your pocket lmao or a pc! But a smartphone is a perfect size
Matt Pankey
Matt Pankey What's with all the foul language and bigotry?
Eric Magana
Eric Magana Wtf battlefield on a phone eff that
Nikola Karovic
Nikola Karovic Android and arm processors play it.
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Windows 8 is beautifully done CUT THE CRAP phonedog!
Adam Folger
Adam Folger PC sales have declined because of how easy it has become to custom build your own machine and the fact that its so easy and inexpensive to upgrade existing machines.
John C. Cole
John C. Cole Nothing has replaced my desktop PC for the things I use the PC for. Smartphones are cool and convenient, and certainly threaten the point-and-shoot camera space (and home video), but my smartphone does not threaten my PC in any way.
Paul Alexandru
Paul Alexandru Downfall? Look at all these faggots using PCs with 800mhz ram and CPU clock speed using intel celerons, and thinking that smartphones are starting to replace them!! AHA AHAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Get a real PC!! Smartphones aren't even close to my 'basic' pc which has an i7 clocked at 3,4 gHZ Ivy bridge processor with 12GB ram, you make me piss myself pf laughter!!! Literally Lmao
Shelley Ferguson
Shelley Ferguson They could play a small role in the downfall, but windows 8 is crap! They just made windows 7 harder to use basically.
Paul De Lozier
Paul De Lozier Of course. I rarely use my pc anymore.
Dalton McVey
Dalton McVey Honestly, Smartphones, tablets, even some laptops, are add-ons, not replacements for a desktop. The desktop will always offer more screen real-estate, more power, and a more ergonomic keyboard/mouse than portable devices. Do I love my S4? Yes. Would I prefer it when I have a perfectly good desktop at home? Absolutely not. Gaming on mobile? Not even close, Studio-style apps on mobile? Again, not possible. Even multi-tasking, easier with multiple screens, each of which are about 10x the size or bigger of a smartphone's screen - even by today's standards. As for Windows 8, I've replaced my Task manager with Windows 7's, because the new one failed to do it's main job - open quickly when the rest of the system is locking up. The start menu, I use the same way I used Window 7's. Press the Windows key, type the first 3-4 letters of what I'm looking for and press enter. I've probably looked at my start menu 0.5% of my entire time using windows 8. The metro apps are more inefficient than simply opening a webpage or web app. If not that, they typically lacked features that have been available in the Win32 equivalent for a decade. Things like print options, properties, save, etc. missing from App X are the annoyances that make me stop using the Win8 apps every time I decide to try it again.
Dayan Inclán
Dayan Inclán Yes. Smart phones keep getting better and better and remain affordable. PCs keep getting ridiculously expensive and are only marginally better.
Jason Allen Lucas
Jason Allen Lucas What down fall? Pfft please...
Daniel Schmitt
Daniel Schmitt Pcs yes laptops no
Linda Beheller Mazziotti
Linda Beheller Mazziotti Yes
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon Thank you for a question that does not foster hate among android and apple users. I think tables more than smartphone contribute to this phenomena.
Ronnae Dominique
Ronnae Dominique Definitely smartphones. Over the last like 3-4 years I've used my phone more and my laptop less. You can browse the net, download music, watch tv/movies, play games, create documents, print-all from your phone now. Granted I still have a laptop, but it's one I've had for like 8 years, bought a netbook when I was still in college, like 5 years ago. Microsoft made a big mistake trying to unify their OS across all devices, not even Apple does that. Getting rid of the Start Menu? Are you kidding me, haha? I'll stick with Windows 7
Ed Plnia
Ed Plnia Yes! I used to have 5 PC in my house "a network" I used to spend a lot of time using my PC and now I just use it if I have to do something that I can't do it on my phone.. And I still have the same amount of PC... Don't see the point of using any PC when you can almost do everything with your phone
Aaron Martell
Aaron Martell Windows 8 isn't killing anything. People are just too stupid to grasp the new OS and are unwilling to learn it. Plus you have all these Apple and Google fucktards that have their heads up those companies asses so far they can't think for themselves.
Mark E
Mark E My note 2 literally is a computer I have a dock and bluetooth mouse and keyboard connected to it as well as hdmi out and I can run MS office like apps on the phone to make documents and watch any type of video extension files and have emulators and runs smooth enough for a computer, so yea I would say so. But I'm not gonna lie I still like having the occasional computer with a keyboard and mouse and to game and build my own pc for hardcore gaming.
Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts Of course!
Dietrich Brown
Dietrich Brown Yes i only use my pc when i need to print something
Mike Du Bose
Mike Du Bose Windows 8
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey Smartphones, Tablets, and even Notebooks... are all being used more than PCs at this point, as so many of them are just as capable in terms of hardware. In that regard, they are heavily contributing to the dismal sales of PCs. The craptacular Windows 8 doesn't help much. However, PCs will never completely go away, due to reasons such as gaming or computer graphics requirements. I can't do 99% of the photo editing I do in Photoshop CS6 Extended, on a cell phone or tablet.
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley He means PCs are being replaced for media functions and basic word processing and such. I'll never code on a tablet, produce graphics on it, or any major thing. Tablets satisfy the basic needs of the consumer so for the most part they will inevitably "erase" the PC from the mainstream eye
Tony Valadez
Tony Valadez Tablets have played a bigger role in the substitution of PCs.
Richelle Alsoknownas Rachel Marley
Richelle Alsoknownas Rachel Marley Can't give up my PC, though, I do enjoy my Android tablet and Note II.
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Not really but my ipad definitely does.
Angelo Simeonidis
Angelo Simeonidis You guys must be joking right? Im not fucking rendering on a fucking tablet it will never replace a pc besides windows has done each and every os bad its like their market strategy if you think about it
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores Yes, smart phones and tablets are being used more.
Ezekiel Carsella
Ezekiel Carsella windows 8
Matthew Swanson
Matthew Swanson No.... I don't think phones will ever completely replace PCs by any means.
Jared Dalluhn
Jared Dalluhn More so tablets.
Stacey Shelton Ferguson
Stacey Shelton Ferguson those along with tablets!!!
Alexander Dewitt
Alexander Dewitt I say Tablets with removable keyboards




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