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Author Topic: Why do I need a PC?  (Read 4404 times)

Vincent Kars

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Why do I need a PC?
« on: September 30, 2014, 03:58:03 pm »

I think there is another trend as well.
I call it “why do I need a PC?”
The answer is often no, you can do most what you need with a tablet or a smart phone.

JRiver on Android might be a market the coming decade.
But I don’t expect anybody willing to pay $50 for a app…
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connersw

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Why do I need a PC
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 04:41:42 pm »

I think there is another trend as well.
I call it “why do I need a PC?”
The answer is often no, you can do most what you need with a tablet or a smart phone.

This is a myth created by Wall Street to explain the lack of growth in the PC market.  The reality is that the PC market slowed as a result of saturation and no need for greater processing power.  Granted, there is plenty that you can do on a phone or tablet now instead of on a PC, and they are more likely the platform for consuming (ie viewing/listening to) media.  However, the PC is not going anywhere, particularly as a "work" station.

That being said, I find the app portion of JRiver drastically under developed considering it is the prime platform for consuming media.
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Walt Whitman

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Re: Why do I need a PC
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 10:55:04 pm »

That being said, I find the app portion of JRiver drastically under developed, considering it is the prime platform for consuming media.

B - I - N - G - O !!!!

Couldn't have said it any better.
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MrHaugen

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Re: Why do I need a PC
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 11:20:25 pm »

This is a myth created by Wall Street to explain the lack of growth in the PC market.  The reality is that the PC market slowed as a result of saturation and no need for greater processing power.  Granted, there is plenty that you can do on a phone or tablet now instead of on a PC, and they are more likely the platform for consuming (ie viewing/listening to) media.  However, the PC is not going anywhere, particularly as a "work" station.

That bing said, I find the app portion of JRiver drastically under developed considering it is the prime platform for consuming media.

I totally agree. However, we must also remember that JRiver acquired a great resource here just a while ago.  With the addition of JRemote and Robert Ryan on the team, I'm sure there will be interesting things to come.
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kstuart

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 08:20:41 pm »

In terms of overall consumer use, the "tablet" phenomenon was a short-lived Media Hype.

As mentioned above, laptop purchases stalled due to saturation of the market, but if you go to Starbucks, you will most people are using laptops (in fact, I cannot remember ever seeing a tablet in any public space.)

What was previously considered "tablet uses" are now done on Phones, which is why phones are now bigger.

Consumer use will eventually return to a laptop and phone paradigm, and tablets will once again be relegated to UPS use.

But it is certainly true that most people are moving from iPod to Phone for media use (and hardly any ever used a PC for media).

glynor

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 09:29:16 pm »

In terms of overall consumer use, the "tablet" phenomenon was a short-lived Media Hype.

Tablets reached 42% market penetration in the US among 18+ adults in January.

The replacement cycle is longer on them than it is for smartphones, especially in the US where the smartphone market is distorted by carrier subsides, but that surprised only the dumb and easily excited.  So, growth isn't following the same trajectory as it did for post-iPhone smartphones, but...

Apple alone sold 16.35 million tablets in Q1 of this year (not a holiday quarter in the west and traditionally weak for electronics sales).  Yes, that was lower than they'd sold in Q1 2013, but 16 million is still a very large number for any computing product in Q1.  In Q4 2013, worldwide tablet sales were up 65.9% year-over-year (to 79.5 million) and reached 48.3% of all computer shipments for the quarter.  Apple had, by far, the largest piece of the pie, with 30.9 million sold in 3 months.

So... Yeah.  The tablet era has obviously ended and everyone is going back to mid-tower PCs in cow-print boxes.
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mwillems

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 06:38:06 am »

I think I'm the only adult person in my immediate social circle who doesn't own a tablet (now that my aging mother is getting one). 

If the price were right, I probably wouldn't mind getting a x86 tablet, but Linux support for touchscreen is still iffy and that's what I'd be using it for.  I think the limited function mobile-os tablet may eventually go the way of the netbook as full-featured PCs get smaller and smaller, but that doesn't mean the form-factor is going away, just that people will eventually be primarily buying full-bore PCs that happen to be tablets. 
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csimon

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Re: Why do I need a PC
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 07:55:12 am »

I totally agree. However, we must also remember that JRiver acquired a great resource here just a while ago.  With the addition of JRemote and Robert Ryan on the team, I'm sure there will be interesting things to come.

With updates to MC you generally have the choice of whether to pay to move up to the next version if you want the bug fixes and extra features, however a precedence has been set with JRemote that handheld apps can be abandoned at any point and you won't necessarily be able to get a new version and you'll be left with a buggy version. iOS and Android seem to be too rapidly left behind in order to invest hardware in them, so I'd prefer focus on a Windows app and enhanced Theater View (there are decent and cheap Windows all-in-ones and tablets) where at least you can have confidence that if you buy new hardware it is not going to be abandoned by JRiver any time soon.
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Vincent Kars

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 01:16:29 pm »

So... Yeah.  The tablet era has obviously ended and everyone is going back to mid-tower PCs in cow-print boxes.
;D
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Arindelle

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Re: Why do I need a PC
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 01:54:01 pm »

With updates to MC you generally have the choice of whether to pay to move up to the next version if you want the bug fixes and extra features, however a precedence has been set with JRemote that handheld apps can be abandoned at any point and you won't necessarily be able to get a new version and you'll be left with a buggy version. iOS and Android seem to be too rapidly left behind in order to invest hardware in them, so I'd prefer focus on a Windows app and enhanced Theater View (there are decent and cheap Windows all-in-ones and tablets) where at least you can have confidence that if you buy new hardware it is not going to be abandoned by JRiver any time soon.



sorry couldn't resist
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csimon

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 02:51:07 pm »

And the contempt for customers is quite obvious, very unprofessional.
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JimH

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 02:52:55 pm »

And the contempt for customers is quite obvious, very unprofessional.
Why do you say that?
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BartMan01

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 03:12:39 pm »

There are plenty of people out there that only need a computer for email, web, facebook, pintrest, etc.  For these people, the 'tablet as a PC' is a great solution and for most everyone else a cheap laptop is more than enough.  The 'problem' for the PC market in general is that for the average person today, Windows 8.1 and all the applications the average person needs runs acceptably well on very old hardware + we are still (despite what our government tries to convince us of) in a pretty lousy economy.  Thanks to these factors, no one is running out and buying new machines until theirs breaks.  PC sales have stagnated because most everyone already has one that does everything they need, and tablet growth is slowing because most people who want one already have one.

Even my company used to have a 'when the warranty expires we replace it' policy on laptops.  Now the policy is 'you keep it until it costs more to fix than replace or until you can demonstrate a need for something different'.

Stagnant and or slowing sales are seen as 'the end of the market' when in reality they just indicate a mostly stalled market.  Until software comes out that needs better hardware than we have today, or until some breakthrough technology comes out, I don't see any change to this current 'situation' for PC makers.
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kstuart

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 05:22:13 pm »

Quote
There are plenty of people out there that only need a computer for email, web, facebook, pintrest, etc.
And increasingly, those people use only a smartphone, period.

Tablets reached 42% market penetration in the US among 18+ adults in January.
I'd be willing to bet that "tablets" includes Kindle-like reading devices.

Remember how many copies of "50 Shades of Grey" were downloaded to Kindles because no one knew what was being read, and no one knew what was being bought ?

Not to mention that January was before the " I'll  get a larger phone instead of a tablet " trend.

Here is an article that includes an explanation of why tablets are impractical (and were released anyway because the consumer economy needs new products):

http://www.marco.org/2014/09/12/apple-watch-punt

Quote
So... Yeah.  The tablet era has obviously ended and everyone is going back to mid-tower PCs in cow-print boxes.
Yes, mid-tower PCs... because hardly anyone saw this image in 1995 and wanted one


mojave

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 05:45:24 pm »

I bought my first Android phone back in April. It has almost completely replaced any use on my HTPC. Of course the HTPC is still used all day by the kids and my wife for internet, e-mail, music, movies, education, etc.

So... Yeah.  The tablet era has obviously ended and everyone is going back to mid-tower PCs in cow-print boxes.
I drove to Gateway in North Sioux Falls, SD in 1996 and bought my first "media pc" with speakers and subwoofer. My first "new" computer was from Gateway in 1991 or 1992.
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mwillems

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2014, 07:29:04 pm »

I'd be willing to bet that "tablets" includes Kindle-like reading devices.

If you look at the article he linked, e-readers are broken out separately.  That 42% number is pure tablets; if you add in e-readers, then the market reach is over 50%.
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kstuart

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2014, 04:38:02 pm »

The number is so ridiculous that I went to the Pew site.

They surveyed 1,005 adults by telephone.  42% of those said "yes" to "Do you own a tablet".

I've worked as a telephone survey taker, and I'm highly dubious about the process as a whole.

But first - even if you take the numbers at face value - note that:

If you ask me "Do you own a dining room table?" I say "yes", and then if you ask my wife she would say "yes" and so would any other family members - but this all refers to one table.  So there are not 300 million dining room tables out there.

So, one teen in the house may have been given an iPad for her birthday, and any adult asked "do you own a tablet" could say "yes".

This is quite different from 42% of adults use a tablet.   

And that is without taking into account the factor - " I need to buy my husband something for Christmas and I've run out of ideas, except that I just saw this ad for the iPad "  whereupon after Christmas, Joe now "owns" an iPad, but continues to use the laptop he is familiar with, and which has all his sports sites in his browser bookmarks.

The other factor is the whether Pew really investigates the other 300 million Americans who did not answer the survey.   The sort of person who is willing to answer the survey is also someone who tends to buy whatever is advertised on TV.

Quote
That 42% number is pure tablets; if you add in e-readers, then the market reach is over 50%.

No, there is obvious overlap.

Quote
I think I'm the only adult person in my immediate social circle who doesn't own a tablet (now that my aging mother is getting one).

The members of this forum - and their social circle - are clearly a major audience for tech innovations.  And the 30-50 age demographic - in the income tier that can afford $500 optional devices - tends to be very homogenous - and quite different from other demographics.

Back a couple of years ago, everyone in the media (who are all members of that demographic) were cooing about iPads and they had cameos in a variety of episodes of dramatic TV shows.

This year, I can't remember seeing one tablet on TV in any context.  I go to airports, Starbucks, people's homes, the supermarket, restaurants and everywhere people use smartphones for all the tasks that tablets are supposedly good for.  The new large smartphones remove any need that people have for a handheld device, and they are not going to want to hold heavier larger devices that do exactly the same thing.

Yeah, I'm sure there are a lot of bedroom dressers out there with tablets on them...

mwillems

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2014, 05:14:23 pm »

Quote
"That 42% number is pure tablets; if you add in e-readers, then the market reach is over 50%."
No, there is obvious overlap.

The survey explicitly asked about tablets and e-readers separately.  They found that "[h]alf of American adults now own either a tablet or an e-reader [emphasis mine]" 42% indicated they owned a tablet, and 32% indicated owning an e-reader; 50% of the people surveyed indicated that they owned either an e-reader or a tablet, which is the number I was referring to.  The 50% number was already accounting for the overlap.  Check out page 3 http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media//Files/Reports/2014/PIP_E-reading_011614.pdf, and page 12 for the questions.  The questions even offered specific brands to illustrate what was meant by "tablet computer" or "e-reader," so there would be no confusion.  And contrary to your suggestion, they did ask questions designed to flesh out usage (at least as it relates to reading e-books, which was the focus of the survey).

They've been conducting similar surveys periodically for years and can show clear trends which are nicely laid out in the survey findings, and which correspond to observed market trends (which reinforces the validity of the findings).  No survey is perfect, but that's what margins of error and additional sampling are designed to address.  If, as you say, you have a background in the field and you have concerns about their methodology, I'd be interested in hearing them, but it would be nice if you addressed your criticisms to their actual methodology and findings.  Likewise if you have data that suggests something different, I'd be interested to see it.

CEA's numbers are similar, for what it's worth, but they obviously have a dog in the fight: http://www.ce.org/News/News-Releases/Press-Releases/2013-Press-Releases/Tablet-Ownership-Rate-Reaches-New-High-of-44-Perce.aspx
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glynor

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2014, 07:01:01 pm »

I think the limited function mobile-os tablet may eventually go the way of the netbook as full-featured PCs get smaller and smaller, but that doesn't mean the form-factor is going away, just that people will eventually be primarily buying full-bore PCs that happen to be tablets.  

I think it is far more likely that tablet form-factor devices will evolve to be more and more powerful and full featured.

Overall... I think the future is likely to be much more blended than the past (where Microsoft dominated all).  Those days are over, and the markets are now global.  Some people will prefer a giant, almost-tablet phone like the iPhone 6+ and the various Samsung Galaxy Note devices.  Some people will prefer "ultrabooks in a tablet form factor" like the Surface Pro.  And still others (me, for example) prefer a smaller, easier to use phone, and a separate (less frequently updated) tablet for when I'm lounging about, traveling, or doing other tasks where it makes sense.

I use my iPad 3 almost every single day.  It is, by far, my favorite web browsing and reading device.  And my daughter absolutely loves it (it will certainly become hers when I upgrade).  But, I also prefer to have a larger laptop with more screen real estate (I have a 15" Macbook Pro which is basically perfect except it is an older non-retina one).  That's convenient for lots of purposes, but it isn't great when traveling or doing something quickly on the web while walking or on the couch.

But, to each their own.  But I do not see us returning to the domination of traditional laptop form factors anytime soon.  Many people will still have them, of course, but they'll be for specific purposes, and otherwise more and more often left behind.
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Listener

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2014, 10:39:18 pm »

Add in the smartphone and the trend is already clear.

A smartphone and/or tablet will be the common devices for personal use rather than a PC. 
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JimH

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 10:19:32 am »

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mwillems

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2014, 11:53:00 am »


I think it is far more likely that tablet form-factor devices will evolve to be more and more powerful and full featured.

I think we're agreeing, that's more or less what I meant; I didn't mean to suggest that the tablet form-factor (meaning a thin, light device with a touchscreen) was going anywhere.  Rather I meant that tablets as limited-functionality stripped-down OS devices will probably eventually go away as full-featured processors get smaller, cheaper, and more efficient.   

Netbooks got squeezed out because there was no market for a crippled laptop anymore with tablets pushing up from below and laptops getting cheaper from the top.  But the laptop form-factor isn't gone.  I expect the same thing to happen with android and ios tablets in a few years; the tablet form-factor will stick around, but there will be many more surface-pro-style market entrants: x86 computers running full-fledged operating systems on tablet form-factors.
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6233638

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 12:48:48 pm »

I'm less convinced that tablets are going to replace the PC now. For most people that I know, their smartphone has replaced the tablet, with larger and faster devices becoming available/accepted.
4.5-5.5" seems to be the spot where the devices are still portable, yet large enough they are comfortable for reading content, watching video on, or playing a game, for more than a few minutes.
 
Especially when Apple puts the exact same hardware into their phones as their tablets now, and the phones are arguably more advanced, there seems to be few compelling reasons to own a tablet other than screen size.
With things like AirPlay/Chromecast sending video directly to the TV, people are finding that there's little need for a tablet-sized display.
 
The tablet increasingly seems like a "fad" device like the Wii which got a lot of attention and now seems to be dying out.
 
 
What I'm also seeing on the other side of things is people that bought a tablet using laptops again since the battery life is now becoming comparable, and comforts like having a proper keyboard and desktop applications are seen as being more worthwhile if they're going to use anything larger than a phone.
 
This mirrors my own experience where I think I'm done with the iPad now after trying them on-and-off for years, and being disappointed with the experience.
 
If anything, I'll be replacing the Air with a Surface Pro or a MacBook. I'm done with the compromises of mobile operating systems on anything larger than a phone.
 

The only people I see buying desktop PCs are gamers or programmers. And those people generally build their own system from parts rather than buying something pre-built. I can see a lot of PC companies becoming laptop/workstation companies, dropping the desktop market altogether.
The other option there is Apple where a few people seem to prefer the larger screen of an iMac to a laptop, but since it's an all-in-one unit, it has the same convenience rather than being a separate tower, display, and having cables everywhere.
 
 
As for why people need a PC? They don't.
These days the question is not "Why should I use my PC?" it's "why should I get a PC for this?"
 
The only reason I see people using a PC for media these days is because their mobile devices either lack the storage, or they don't have the bandwidth or data plan required for streaming.
Most have now moved over to services like Spotify and Netflix, discarding their physical media, so they no longer need a computer to store/manage their ripped music, or worry about buying a phone with a large amount of storage. They just buy a good data plan instead.
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Sparks67

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Re: Why do I need a PC?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2014, 10:18:22 pm »

The tablet increasingly seems like a "fad" device like the Wii which got a lot of attention and now seems to be dying out.

No!  The tablet market is expanding, but Amazon G2 instance allows you use a tablet like a pc.  Here is a cool application with Autodesk, but you still need your pc for the license.  Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max software.  This is why Apple plans to build a bigger Ipad Pro. 
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131105006833/en/Autodesk-3D-Design-Browser-Industry#.VDXw0BYaKGk
Steve Perlman developed the technology, but his former company had Onlive Desktop.   Which you could have windows on a tablet, but there is a Pro version.  So you could load another software and have it stream to you.  http://desktop.onlive.com/plans Plus the gigabit speed on wifi was rather cool.   

Have you seen Intel Real Sense? This is coming this Christmas.    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYqx4QRaalvhIiQBvIp9F7Q  The flying whale was cool demo.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn2Szq5PrfQ  Intel has huge investment in the future on tablets, so more is to come.   

Nvidia has huge plans with Amazon on games, but the plan is to port the 64 bit games to the tablet.   The videos were shown in CES2014. 

Broadcom is one of the companies that develop technologies for Apple.  You might want to check out the press releases from Broadcom, but I think there is one on audio...  http://www.broadcom.com/press/

I love the tablet, because I use it all the time.  I have bought my 80 year old father a pc, and he rarely used it.  So, I gave him my original Ipad and he loved it.   I bought him a new Ipad Air last year, and he uses it all the time. 

One new application that I bought recently was Roomie Remote.   The guides are cool for XBMC, Plex, Sonos, etc.   There is a few posts on JRiver, but I haven't seen any guide on it.   Just great way to control your equipment.   



Pc market will always be there, but I rather see a reinvention of the PC.   
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