The PC: The Ultimate Darwinian Device

By Navin Shenoy

navin-shenoy_1The technology industry by definition drives change – it’s what we do. Our lives evolve with each new invention, product or technology that comes to market. At Intel, we thrive on change and do our part to accelerate it. One device that has seen tremendous change is the personal computer. It is one of the reasons that Andy Grove called the PC “the ultimate Darwinian device” – reflecting its propensity to adapt, evolve and change.

A few weeks ago, Brian Krzanich shared the actions Intel is taking to accelerate our transformation to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart and connected computing devices. We also shared what it means for Intel to win in a connected world and how the PC is foundational to our strategy. Beyond the scale the PC gives us, it also generates much of the IP, factory scale and cash that we apply to other areas of our business. For example, Intel® RealSense™ was originally developed and imagined for the PC. Today it is fueling growth in drones and robots that benefit from 3D “sight.” Another example is high-performance and low-power computing, which is fueling growth in the Internet of Things from retail point of sale systems to your smart home – PC technology in another form.

Today’s PCs are better than ever. If you haven’t held a new 2 in 1, played on a new gaming system or tried a new desktop All in One, you are missing out. Many people reading this likely own any one of the 600 million PCs over 5 years old. You would not believe how tremendously the PC has evolved since then. Today, there are PCs with touch screens, integrated projectors, pens, and biometric authentication. There are PCs that wirelessly dock and display, and PCs that power mind-blowing virtual reality experiences. Compared to 5 years ago, PCs are about half as thin and half the weight, two and a half times faster and have three times longer battery life than those older systems sitting on your desk. As a result, some PC segments like 2 in 1s, mini PCs and gaming are growing at double-digit rates. This growth is even attracting new entrants to the market. For example, industry leaders like Samsung Mobile and Huawei are for the first time offering their customers beautiful new 2 in 1 PCs.

The evolution continues

Later this year, our next generation Intel® Core™ processor, code-named “Kaby Lake,” will power some of the most innovative and beautiful 2 in 1 designs yet. Our new Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition is a high-end desktop processor that arrives soon (very, very soon) too. It will power new gaming and content-creator platforms. And as we gear up for Season 11 of Intel Extreme Masters, gamers will be breaking records with incredible systems as well. This week at Computex, I’ll show you some of these cool new computers in action.

We live in a multi-device world and people today have a number of choices. I’m confident the PC will remain one of their top choices. There are just too many things we do every day that are easier and better on a PC, like writing a term paper, creating movies, editing documents or photos, or playing a virtual reality game.

What’s next?

The PC industry must evolve and adapt to meet today’s lifestyle and work style, just as it has for its entire “Darwinian” history. Conventional wisdom about the PC seems to be that everything there is to do has already been done – all the cool new things will be done elsewhere. But I know that isn’t true.

As an industry, we must and will move beyond the device we know today to completely new kinds of “PCs.” Imagine a PC that is truly immersive, assistive, with an incredibly natural interface tailored for your individual needs. As one of the most important and useful tools humans have ever invented, it’s time for another metamorphosis. It’s time to design and develop the future of the PC, again. Intel is leading the way, and we invite you to come along with us.

Navin Shenoy is corporate vice president and general manager for the Client Computing Group at Intel Corporation.

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