Snapshot of my Sony Vaio laptop with an Intel Core i5-2450M CPUC 2.50 GHz processor, 4.0 GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics Family. Operating system, MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit SP1. It’s a traditional workhorse laptop for heavy-duty performance. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
When I purchased a full-fleshed laptop in July of 2012, I thought I was making a good Deal. For $899.97 I acquired a traditional heavy-duty machine which would be my spare computing tool if my main HP desktop would go sour. There were subtle indications that the loyal beast would die anytime soon and I needed a Plan B to keep up my blogging activities without any interruptions. So far the old PC is still purring like a kitten which is good news, but I feel relieved with a safety net on my desktop.
At the time of the purchase, I wasn’t aware that dramatic changes were happening under the surface. The computer industry was experiencing what is known in Business Administration, as a Strategic Inflection Point. By definition, a Strategic Inflection Point is the time of transition of a company’s competitive position that requires the company to change the current path and adapt to the new situation or risk declining profits.
An inflection point can be considered a turning point after which a dramatic change, with either positive or negative results, is expected to result. Companies, industries, sectors and economies are dynamic and constantly evolving. Inflection points are more significant than the small day-to-day progress made and the effects of the change are often well-known and widespread.
Andy Grove, Intel’s co-founder, described a strategic inflection point as “an event that changes the way we think and act.” Inflection points can be a result of action taken by a company, or through actions taken by another entity, that has a direct impact on the company.
If you have followed the latest computing trends, you probably know that PC demand growth has waned over the past year as more consumers flock to ultraportable and increasingly powerful tablets and smartphones for basic computing. Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other stalwarts of the PC industry are now fighting tooth and nail to sustain growth as tablet computers eat into their PC-related business.
The inflection point is the change of computing habits by consumers. PCs are being replaced by touch screen devices such as Windows 8 convertibles, detachables, touch-screen laptops or just plain tablets. The computing scenario is changing into a PC Plus world even as we speak.
Convertibles have swivel touch screens that can not be detached from the unit. The processor and related electronics are under the keyboard, so these systems will have a better performance because the design affords more opportunity to keep the processor cool.
Detachables are essentially tablets with well-integrated keyboard docks. Detachables put the processor electronics behind the screen. This usually forces PC makers to use a low-performance, more power efficient chip like Intel’s “Clover Trail” Atom.
Touch-screen laptops are traditional clamshell laptops with a touch screen. They are beginning to emerge in the marketplace. Maybe by this time next year, the abundance of laptops on display at your local electronic shop will have touch screens.
Plain tablets are devices that are marketed as standalone units. Tablets that can run the full version of Windows 8 and Windows RT will offer a good battery life and a lightweight, slim design but won’t be very fast. That is, don’t expect them to multitask Microsoft Office, Photoshop and other demanding application without bringing the device to its knees. Compared to notebooks, tablets are still maturing in terms of computing power and functionality for business and home use.
I will expand on this subject in the near future. If you have followed my blog posts, you already know that I own a third generation (Retina Display) Apple iPad paired with a Bluetooth keyboard. Productivity is my immediate goal.
Most pundits agree that touchscreens are coming and they’re coming fast. Holiday season shoppers shunned Windows 8 desktops and notebooks in favor of tablets and smartphones, resulting in a 4.3 percent fall in PC sales in the fourth quarter, research firm Gartner said recently.
Worldwide PC shipments declined 90.3 million units in the last three months of 2012 due to a shift in consumer habits as much as a weak global economy. “Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
In July 2012, I thought I was buying the best laptop in the market with all the bells and whistles—I was wrong. The laptop was already old inside the box. The future lies in touch screen computers, tablets and smart phones, which are more than just phones. They are really powerful computers that also make phone calls. Good Day.
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