Lenovo chief: We're in the PC-plus, not post-PC era

The PC is still relevant, Lenovo's chief executive says, but customers want computers that have more than just the basic functionality.

Lenovo's Yoga convertible. CBS Interactive

Although some say that the rapid adoption of tablets has ushered in a so-called "post-PC era," Lenovo chief executive Yuanqing Yang begs to differ.

"We don't live in a post-PC world," Yang told Reuters in an interview published yesterday. "We are entering the PC-plus era."

Yang went on to tell Reuters that PCs today can't simply be boxes that come with the same basic design and only allow for computing. Instead, he believes that computers must add extra features. He pointed to Lenovo's Yoga convertible PC line, which allows users to convert their computer into a tablet. Lenovo's Twist, its Ultrabook convertible, is another example of the supposed "plus" that goes along with its PCs.

Although Yang has a vested interest in seeing PCs stay relevant -- his company is one of the largest computer vendors in the world -- tablets are starting to steal PC thunder.

Research firm NPD DisplaySearch revealed this week that for the first time ever, tablet shipments will outpace notebooks in 2013. The research firm expects 240 million tablets to ship worldwide this year , compared to 207 million notebooks. NPD based its prediction on sluggish demand for PCs worldwide, including in emerging markets. Those emerging markets, meanwhile, will be buying up tablets at a rapid clip, NPD says.

Given that, there are some who disagree with Lenovo and say that the industry is, in fact, in a post-PC world. Former Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie said last year that it's about time everyone in the industry realizes that the world has changed.

"Why are we arguing? Of course we're in a post-PC world," he said.

Not surprisingly, PC makers are most likely to disagree with Ozzie. In September, HP -- Lenovo's chief competitor -- said that the idea that the PC has been stepped over for tablets is nonsense .

"Look, it's just wrong. Just think of the decision when your child is going off to college," Todd Bradley, HP's printing and personal systems group executive vice president, said. "What's a requirement? A PC. Or you run a business and need your employees to be productive. You need a PC. The size of the global PC business is huge, and I think some people are trying to be dramatic."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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