In 1981 the first IBM personal computer was introduced to the public for mass consumption. Now almost 40 years later, the biggest technological jump for the personal computer since its rise to popularity has been largely making it more affordable, more portable, and increasing performance. While people may debate the order or merits of the computer industries’ growth as a whole, one thing that is certain is that people have been using a computer for a long time, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
During the greater part of the 20th century, major advancements were made across countless industries, and even today, it seems like some sectors are more dedicated to pushing the technological envelope than others. However, it appears that the device that provided billions of people the opportunity to better embrace technology is no longer innovating. In this article, we will discuss why almost four decades later, we still use computers.
The first reason why we still use computers is a rather simple one, and that is because there aren’t any better options. Regardless if the device is a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet the intrinsic nature of the device remains the same, as they all leverage an operating system and still rely on many of the same fundamental computing hardware components that were introduced decades ago. For a technology that has maintained its global market dominance and has become a necessity for global commerce, many people are shocked that the next iteration of the computer has not yet taken a stronghold.
The second reason is that when personal computers were introduced to the public, technology companies quickly realized that big money was in software development, more so than the computer’s actual hardware itself. And from that point on, a significant amount of innovation has gone into maximizing the profitability inside the walls of a computer, more so than completely disrupting the technology itself. Largely thanks in part to the dot-com era, start-ups flocked to become internet household names, thus, beginning the chase to the proverbial pot-of-gold at the end of the internet rainbow. The effect of this business model is still very much relevant today and has caused innovation to reach the next major technological breakthrough to remain to stagnate.
Without a doubt, the personal computer completely revolutionized the global economy. Now, every major country has dependencies on computers to provide critical functions for maintaining their infrastructure. In addition, computers are integral to our personal lives. The question is, however, when we will finally turn the page on this aging technology?