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Microsoft: "Post-PC" is the wrong idea

Mel Martin

The Verge has a piece contrasting the Microsoft and Apple diverging views on what Apple calls the 'post-PC world'.

The Microsoft view is there is no post-PC world, just what the company calls the 'PC+' world. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner discussed this at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference.

"Apple makes great hardware," Turner said. "The reality is in the OS we see things differently."

Turner discussed OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and some mixed press reaction to the future of OS X. "We believe that Apple has it wrong," Turner said. "They've talked about it being the post-PC era, they talk about the tablet and PC being different, the reality in our world is that we think that's completely incorrect."

It contrasts with the view espoused by the late Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Cook has not endorsed the "one device fits all" approach and thinks there are advantages to a laptop, a desktop PC and a tablet and smartphone, but trying to make a single device do everything is not the way to go. In May, Cook said, "Products are about trade-offs. And you have to make tough decisions, you have to choose. The fact is, the more you look at a tablet as a PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product." It followed Cook's famous metaphor about merging a toaster and a refrigerator.

Even former Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie warned that computing devices would get simpler, and more like appliances.

Of course the differences aren't so simple or as easily delineated. Microsoft wants to continue to sell an OS for desktops, laptops, tablets and phones too, but they certainly seem to believe that the newly announced Surface tablet can be a complete solution for many users.

The only way to see whose argument wins is to watch the evolution of products and sales from both Microsoft and its partners and Apple. Is the PC era over? Or are new form factors just another iteration of the PC? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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