Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

What is a PC?

  1. #1

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    What is a PC?

    Well, what is in name? The PC, Personal Computer. The term is used so much, especially as of late, to describe a dying technology. It's been used by apple to be a target of their ipad. But what is it?

    Is it a desktop machine? It is a laptop? It is it a desktop running Windows? It is Windows itself? Is it desktop running Linux or ubuntu? Is it an ipad? Is it a tablet? Is it iOS or android?

    What is a PC to you guys?

    To me, I think a PC is either a laptop, tablet, or a desktop running the Windows operating system. Why? Personal Computer means it's a computer that you can personalize. It can have an AMD, ARM, or Intel processor with either an NVIDIA or AMD or ATI graphics card with whatever RAM you want. It can use a mouse or keyboard or a touchscreen or even a Kinect sensor. And on top of that, it runs a Windows operating system to use whatever hardware you want.

    I ask this because every time I read something saying, "The PC is dead" or "Apple declares war on the PC", I find it puzzling because my definition of a PC isn't what many other people think.

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  2. #2

    Posts : 503
    WINDOWS 8.1 x64

    well a Personal Computer to me is a "stand-alone" machine to use by one person at a time.

    It usually contains your data (whatever data) while somebody elses PC contains different software/hardware and data.

    A company computer has a computer room, mostly closed to not authorized personnel, one uses or a dummy screen connected to that machine where everything is kept on or also via a PC, so connected to the mainframe or that can work stand-alone. Work done on the PC prevents (=big companies) overload of the hardware as processors, memory, data throughput.

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  3. #3

    Posts : 2,159
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    The term PC is now slightly narrowed. In the past all that stand-alone computer machine labeled as it is. But now, my brain just got the picture of a desktop one if say or hear those two-letter word. Laptops and tablets are having their own picture in my head.

    I don't know if this thought is inappropriate. But, that is what I got in mind about PC. (now)

    Mas Catoer
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  4. #4

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,476
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    I'm with Mas Catoer, PC to me conger's up an image of a desktop computer. If I'm talking about a laptop or tablet I call them that and usually don't refer to them as PC's. Now if someone asked me to look at their "computer" I'd be inclined to ask is it a laptop or a desktop. Showing my age yet.
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  5. #5

    Posts : 4,515
    Vista and Win7
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  6. #6

    Posts : 502
    Vanilla 8 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I'm with Mas Catoer, PC to me conger's up an image of a desktop computer.

    Just as computers have evolved, so too has the definition of what constitutes a 'Personal Computer'.

    Traditionally a 'Personal Computer' was defined as Desktop Machine like your IBMS, Atari, Sinclair, Radio Shack, Casio, Commodore, Epson, Apple, Intel etc. Basically proprietary machines that didn't share common, unified components.

    As time went buy and companies failed/merged/standards become more unified and proprietary machines became less common leaving companies like Apple for example, part of a growing minority.

    Fast forward to the intel/AMD dominance era (coupled with growing MS DOS and Windows market) and further unified standards that allowed people to have an ever increasing choice of parts as to how their PC's are put together. Apple's proprietary system becoming even further of a minority. With this minority came an ever decreasing presence and viability in the Personal Computer market place. They were going bust.

    Despite Apple now primarily using the same components as the 'PC' counterparts, in an effort to remain 'different' - PR spin came to fruition. Saving the company were non PC devices like the iPod which saved Apples arse. Their PC division sales were still hurting.

    Time for some more PR.

    They focused on aesthetics and their own modified Unix based OS, all delivered with more 'savvy' spin. (Ignoring the fact that at it's core, Apple Macs are still Personal Computers).

    The "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC campaign" further differentiated to the public that despite being the same, Macs were OSX (not Personal computers) and PC's were all 'uncool' Windows Personal Computers.

    A growing subset of personal computers were Laptops. Laptops, once limited can now do pretty much everything thing a desktop can do and why waste all that space when a smaller device will do.

    Then came the 'iPad tablet revolution' touting the 'future' of how computing is to be done. Keen to entrench their position as leaders in a niche created market, Apple now declares war on PC's and the with the advent of handheld devices that can ostensibly replace those pesky and bulky archaic desktops and laptops, now tout the death of PC's as well.

    Essentially it's a lot of market spin based on truisms. Having a big desktop machine is becoming redundant for a lot of tasks. Why use a desktop when a laptop will do the same job? Why use a laptop when a tablet will do? Why use a tablet when a phone will do?

    As more capabilities are being squeezed into ever increasingly smaller devices, the role of the "Personal Computer" is dying to a large degree. Companies like Apple are simply using marketing slogans to stay viable and potentially alter the market to it's favor.
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  7. #7

    Posts : 2,159
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    If I'm not mistaken, in the very past time I often heard the McIntosh machines were named as Power PC. Was it?
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  8. #8

    Am I int the right place?
    Posts : 340
    Windows 7 x64 Home Premium / Commodore OS Vision / Windows 8 Release preview

    But in these days it's more chepaer to get a Windows or a linux machine, than just a mac. When Mac and another computer started to look so different (of course there are the same parts inside) but the os and lookout. People satrted to just Call Macs as Macs and the rest are named as pc's (from computers, of course there are tablets and mobile phones too)
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  9. #9

    Posts : 2,159
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    I see it here. Macs stay as a luxury, only few people have it, some of them don't even know how to work with it. It's funny that Macs owner come to me for tutorial of something I don't really have? It caused me rushing to read some of its manual.
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  10. #10

    well a Personal Computer to me is a "stand-alone" machine to use by one person at a time.
    That's a simple answer that I liked. But what to say about "PCs" with more than one monitor and keyboard. There's a version of Windows for this purpose, but I cant remember the name.

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