Surface Studio, MacBooks lure with new features but, oh, the price


#SurfaceStudio #MacBookProSurface Studio, MacBooks lure with new features but, oh, the price : I keep seeing reports that we’ve reached some kind of watershed in the growth of personal computers. Specifically, the argument that mobile devices are now handling more and more of our daily tasks means that we have less need to pick up a new PC, whether of the Windows or Mac variety.

That alone is pointed to as the reason for the industry’s slowdown. We’ll see how much of a slowdown we’re dealing with as we get through the Christmas season, but last year we saw the biggest sales drop in the PC industry in history.

That was something of a surprise to me because we had just seen the introduction of Windows 10, and the old way of thinking was that a new Windows would spur people to buy new hardware to run it. Given the ubiquity of powerful, large smartphones, is the PC an endangered species?

I’d have to say the answer is no, and not just because we saw a small bump upward in PC sales in the second quarter (at least in the U.S.). For one thing, I suspect we’ll see more encouraging sales figures for the industry as new Apple and Microsoft offerings come into the mix, and Windows 10 continues to be adopted in both the home and commercial sector.

But something did produce a slowdown in PC sales, and I think the answer lies in the power of the machines we’re already using. For one thing, Windows 10 did not break existing users’ equipment, making it possible for Windows users to keep older machines in service.

We’re keeping our computers longer than we used to in the frenetic days when new machines made significantly better software available to us. I’m a case in point. I work with multiple computers, but my primary workhorse is now into its seventh year.

I’ve made a few tweaks, replacing a balky video card at the urging of an exasperated son, and having no choice about replacing a failed hard disk, which was fortunately fully backed up when it died.

Every now and then I think about a new machine, but the key question for any user is to ask how many things your present setup doesn’t allow you to do. I don’t stress machines much, using them mostly for writing and Web research. I certainly am not involved in video editing or audio production, and I’m rarely stressing memory even with plenty of tabs open in Firefox.