The PC is dead, long live the PC

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There’s nothing like being melodramatic at the beginning of the week. Today Gartner Inc. released the latest worldwide PC shipment numbers and it looks like things are declining. Gartner is attributing much of this decline to a shift to Tablet devices.

As a software vendor who offers encryption solutions for PCs, you’d think this is a scary proposition. Frankly, it’s not. Data like this, while somewhat concerning in the broader context of the PC market really doesn’t have as significant an impact as one might think. The fact is this data is focused on total PC shipments worldwide – this includes consumer and commercial shipments.

Without having seen the commercial (business) shipment numbers, it’s my expectation that these declining numbers reflect more of what’s happening in the consumer market. That market where PCs are purchased at places like Best Buy and other retailers. I wholeheartedly agree that tablets are replacing the 2nd PC in the home. Most PCs in the home are used for content consumption, not creation. The key value proposition for tablets? Content consumption. If you have a PC in the house that has the latest office suite etc. installed and you can get away with having only one in the house and can go buy a $500 (or less) tablet for other users in the house, wouldn’t you?

If you look at the business segment of the market, there will always be a need for PCs. Users are constantly creating information. Ever try to open an excel spreadsheet with pivot tables on your iOS or Android-based tablet? Good luck.

And as long as there’s a need for PCs in business, there will be a need to secure data accessed and created on those devices, which means there will always be a need for data encryption solutions to ensure that it remains confidential. As other devices move into the enterprise space – like tablets – the impetus is on software vendors like us to ensure they can fit within the security ecosystem and be managed and secured like any other device in the enterprise.

So while the numbers for shipments may seem like bad news, the reality is that it’s not really as dire as one might think – especially from a business perspective. Even with bring your own device (BYOD) trends, the fact is that businesses will need data security solutions, and vendors like WinMagic  will be around to ensure that we can help lock down and secure mission-critical information.

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