Expanding and Updating the definition of a PC

Personally I believe the current definition of what constitutes a PC (Personal Computer) may be a bit overdue and outdated. For those that might be uncomfortable with that statement; maybe the PC is possibly even misunderstood; or possibly lost in translation? So let’s parse out what I mean by all this.

Where should we draw the line? Does a line even need to be drawn? I think the best place to start with re-defining the PC starts with how a friend of mine put it: “Perhaps we need to look at this by making the ‘P’ in PC mean more; and make it more personal again”. I think that might be as good a place to start as any. If I have a device that I have some sort of personal attachment too, that I can personalize, personally belongs to me; then my next leap in logic is that if that device can do major computing processes or functions, then perhaps it should be included into the definition of being a Personal Computing Device.

If the above is true then the definition of a PC would be very broad indeed! (Perhaps too broad!?) Semantically the current definition likes to frame PC’s as something that is a “general-purpose” computer. (Whatever that means). What exactly does “general-purpose” mean these days? Social Networking? Handheld Gaming? Surfing the Internet? My personal take on this is that general purpose activities would be those primary activities and things I like to do on my devices. This is all of the above.

Speaking from a strictly device point of view what would I include in the definition of being a PC? At the moment I think any Smart/iPhone, Slate/iPad, current or next Gen Console, & SmartTV device is fair game. Some of these platforms are more ‘open’ and less proprietary than others. However; from a hardware perspective when you crack these devices open they have some iteration of a processor, motherboard, & memory. Most of these devices I just mentioned also have the ability to connect to the internet or other devices also. The fact is – is that the definition is broadening whether or not we like it. I’m sure we’ll see future x, y, z, PC device/s trying to rebrand themselves as being something entirely new, different, innovative, inventive, etc. Well ok, I guess, but you’re still really a PC in my books.

Lastly; and maybe even more importantly, I almost wonder if the device becomes somewhat less relevant over time? The PC device/s that win for me though would be those that are able to deliver my preconfigured, individualized, personal and saved settings and content; and play well with the widest array of other devices. My PC devices then are really nothing more than displays or devices I simply use to access everything I care about. I really view PC’s as being extremely dynamic devices that are continually and rapidly evolving so it’s going to be very interesting to track and see what the future holds in store for PCs over the next couple of decades.
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