For those of you still using Windows XP, bad news: Microsoft will cease it’s support of this long-lived operating system in 2014. My advice: Move to Windows 7 post haste because Windows 8 is on the horizon and promises a sea-change in how you interact with your PC.

You can see the connection between Windows 95, WIndows XP, and Windows 7 even if some of the new whiz-bangs and gim-cracks are a bit confusing to those whom XP has been the only thing to use for the past decade or more. Windows 8 changes the game – completely.

My purpose today is not to fawn over the Brave New World promised by Windows 8 but rather to comment on the remarks of technology pundits who claim that its Raison d’être is to – wait for it – Save The PC. In other words, the PC is dead/dying/endangered (choose one) and the only way to save it – at least in the Windows World – is to make the interface look and work more like a tablet.

I’ll blether on about tablet computing at some future date but my point here is that I have  been involved in computing technology for over 37 years and cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve heard the Paul Reveres of technology cry that this bit or that is dead or dying or Pining for the Fjords. In my time, I’ve heard that the following are DOA:

  • Mainframes
  • Fortran
  • Keyboards
  • Touchpads
  • The Mouse
  • The Laptop
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

You get the picture. So far, the only bits that I can say that are truly dead are:

  • Vacuum Tubes
  • Floppy Drives
  • Zip Drives

Sure, the are other bits that have made their way to the dustbin but the fact is that Mainframes, Laptops, Mice and desktop PCs are all still alive and well.

What has happened is that there are fewer of them because of  . . . DIVERSITY. Once upon a time, the only computing was done with Mainframes. Then came small business systems, PCs, Laptops and so forth. People who had a PC because that was the only thing available discovered – in a lot of cases – that a Laptop was more suited to their computing needs. When the iPad sprung forth, fully formed, from the mind of Steve Jobs, many Laptop users have discovered that a tablet is all that they really need.

All this means that these bits of technology are not going away any time soon. What it does mean is that fewer of each are being made because there is a smaller demand for each. In some cases, these bits have reach a technological plateau – they have been improved upon as much as they can be for the moment and will remain as they are for the most part until the requirements of technological evolution create the need for change. In other words, keyboards, PCs, etc. will be with us for years to come.

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