They both summarise their thoughts well and at first I agreed with both of them to some extent. However, in my opinion, neither of them go far enough.
Michael thinks we are already Post-PC as he explains on his blog. he backs this up by saying on his blog
… many people are carrying around with them a smartphone that is as fast, in terms of processor speed, as a laptop in 2003. In other words – the device in our pocket can do a similar job to a laptop from seven years ago.
So – why are we ‘Post-PC’? The rub here – is that entire businesses, can now be run away from a fixed location – or away from a laptop…
The mass population though, as group of users are now stepping away from the ‘box’, and bringing ‘The Grid’ with them…
Simon counters this by saying that the Wikipedia definition for a PC needs updating, his blog reads
… A lot of people are wedded to the idea that the PC is a grey box ‘o bits on your desk with a keyboard and a mouse. It’s not. It’s a human enablement device something that lets you do something in a general purpose way, an affordable price and in the right size (read that as form factor). That form factor is going to change because technology changes as will the price, as will what people want to do with it. So the premise for my believing that we are not in the post PC era is that what we are in the post grey box era and people saw an object and believed it to be a definition…
While I agree with what Simon says about the PC is now the phone in your pocket or the slate in your briefcase that doesn’t really help us figure out when will we be in a post-PC world.
To me, “post-PC” is something we are seeing the beginning of but it’s not due to the latest slate/tablet or whatever smartphone is around. Those devices are, as Simon states, still Personal Computers.
Post-PC is not about the device, it is about the user.
I, as a person, will become “post-PC” when I don’t need to worry about one particular device. The Internet was the beginning of the journey and the “cloud” is taking it to the next level (along with the connected services and devices). Post-PC is when people come before the device
The Microsoft Future Vision 2019 video (see below) is a good example of what I see “Post-PC” as, with children communicating through glass etc. This is not because the beige box isn’t on the table, or they aren’t using a smartphone to Skype one another, but because of the way they are communicating with each other without barriers.
Technology is a big barrier. “Change” is another big barrier. Fortunately, children are now born in to technology. The children of today will see our mice and keyboards as dated as we may view a BBC Micro. As we progress through time the barriers will fall by the way-side and maybe then we can claim to be post-PC.