Credit: IHS iSuppli

Today is the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the IBM PC, one of the landmark moments of the digital revolution. This week has brought a whole bunch of retrospectives and analysis about the evolving role of the personal computer in our lives.

IBM, which actually exited its PC business six years ago, calls this the “Post PC Era.” Microsoft, which still gets a big chunk of its revenue from Windows for PCs, prefers the phrase “PC-Plus Era.”

Whatever you call it, it’s clear that the personal computer is no longer the singular machine at the center of our lives.

Which is why this report from research firm IHS iSuppli was actually the most enlightening piece I saw on the topic this week, via the Wall Street Journal. The big takeaway: Shipments of Internet-enabled electronics devices are on track to surpass PC shipments by 2013.

That means tablets and smartphones and game consoles and TVs and pretty much everything else. In fact, it’s reaching a point where we’re no longer going to be thinking of it as the PC vs. everything else. Instead, the PC is one tool in the box, along with everything else.

Happy Birthday, IBM PC. I’ll try to remember to light a candle for my old ThinkPad tonight.

Let me make a note of it on my phone.

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  • Will Merydith

    The PC as we know it is dying and will be dead by end of the decade.  It’s kind of a silly discussion though because you can consider an Android phone or iPad as a “personal computer”.  They were large desktop boxes that shrunk to laptops and to mobile devices and will soon me wearable items communicating with the cloud.

  • FrankCatalano

    Those who claim “the PC” is dying don’t seem to understand the phrase. What part of the term “personal computer” states that it has to be a desktop device? “The PC” is just changing form and becomes even more “personal.” The PC as I know it is a ThinkPad laptop. But it’s also my Android phone and my netbook, an XBox 360 in the guest room, and any configurable, personal, multi-purpose digital device.

    Books went from papyrus to pulp to pixel. They’re still books. PCs change form factor, but they’re still personal computing devices.

  • Sourav Dey

    Can you do post production tasks, can you play hardcore games, can you create graphics and animations without a computer? The answer is no, isn’t it? A PC is not just for Internet browsing as many people think. Everything under one roof is called a PC. So the PC is alive and will remain.

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