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Is it time for a reclassification of what a 'PC' really is?

We reexamine what should and should not be called a "PC."

This week, the research firms Gartner and IDC revealed their estimates for PC shipment number for the fourth quarter of 2014. The two companies disagreed on their overall numbers. Gartner claimed that PC shipments grew by 1% year-to-year in the last quarter. However, IDC said that shipments went down 2.3% during the fourth quarter.

What got our attention, however, was how each firm defined what a 'PC' is. Both Gartner and IDC said that desktops and notebooks running on Windows and Mac are considered PCs. However, they differ when it comes to other form factors and even operating systems.

Gartner says that its definition of PCs includes all Windows-based tablets but does not include Chromebooks. On the surface, this seems odd considering that Chromebooks have the same form factor as Windows and Mac-based notebooks. They just run another operating system, Google's Chrome OS.

On the other hand, IDC says that Chromebooks are indeed PCs, but leave out all tablets, including Apple's iPad and any tablet based on Windows and Android. However, there are plenty of Windows tablets that have either an optional or included detachable keyboard, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. Furthermore, there are other Windows notebooks, such as the Lenovo Yoga series, that allow the attached keyboard to flip around 360 degrees so that it can be used as a tablet.

Lenovo Horizon

There's also the all-in-one PC, which combines the hardware and monitor in one form-factor. Many of them have touch screens and a few, such as Lenovo's Horizon series, can actually be used as an enormous stand-alone tablet, with no keyboard attached at all.

It's clear that the PC form-factor has evolved well beyond just the "desktop" and "notebook" category, but at the moment, two of the biggest PC hardware research firms can't even agree on what a PC really is.

IDC vs Gartner

Windows Central contacted IDC to find out why they included Chromebooks in their definition of PCs but leave out devices such as the Surface Pro 3 that have detachable keyboards either included with the purchase of the product or offered as a recommended first party option. Here's what a spokesperson from IDC told us via email:

"We made a decision to align the taxonomy along physical form factor (i.e. notebook PCs need to have non-detachable keyboards) rather than along an operating system-centric point of view or use-case scenarios. Hence, while we exclude 2-in-1s like the MS Surface Pro, we do include Chromebooks, which have a hard-wired keyboard, in the PC volume."

Yoga 3 Pro

IDC's reasoning is, "If it has a detachable keyboard, it's not a notebook PC." That means something like the Surface Pro 3 is not a personal computer, but something like the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, does count as a PC.

So why does Gartner ignore Chromebooks in its PC shipment numbers, but does include Windows-based tablets, some of which don't come with a keyboard? We contacted Gartner and got this response from its PC analyst Mika Kitagawa:

"We include Windows tablets, but do not include Chromebooks because we segment the market based on use case. What users can do on Windows tablets and regular laptops/desktops are slimmer. These devices offer high productivity and multiple functionalities. It can run multiple applications and have a good multitasking capability regardless of form factor. For instance, Windows tablets can be used as a "desktop" by attaching an external monitor and a keyboard.""On the other hand, Android and iOS tablets do not have functionalities that PCs can offer. It has limited multitasking capability, and its primary purpose is content consumption. Chromebooks look like a laptop, but what a user can do on Chromebook is also limited. Lack of offline capability, especially, makes Chromebook as a "lesser" functional device compared to the 'PCs.'""Thus, we think that discussing the market by form factor is not relevant. Especially since some laptops now have tablet functionalities such as detachable laptops and bendable laptops (=hybrid). These are tablet and PC all in one device (2-1s). If we segment the market by form factor, it would be hard to define such product in the market."

Who's right?

As we get ready for Microsoft to reveal more about its consumer plans for Windows 10 next week in Redmond, there's still a debate over what a PC is or isn't. This is not just a philosophical debate; it could also define how the entire PC industry is monitored in the future. There's been a ton of talk in the last few years that the rise of the iPad and other tablets means that consumers are no longer interested in PCs. However, both Gartner and IDC agree that tablet growth has now slowed down, and consumers seem to be going back to buying new PCs.

The launch of Windows 10 could cause that trend to expand even more.

We won't know the full story unless both Gartner and IDC agree to a set of PC hardware definitions, and that may not happen for a long time, if ever.

In the meantime, we want to know your thoughts. Do you agree with Gartner's or IDC's viewpoint, or is there a third level that combines elements of both? Let's us know in the comments.

317 Comments
  • A PC is a personal computer running x86 architecture (IBM). If you can use it for yourself, it's a PC.
  • *facepalm*
  • IBM technically started the term, and the first IBM PC ran Intel, with DOS. And so if it has Intel and DOS/Windows/proper OS, then it's a PC.
  • IBM PC is too narrow. I think Gartner has the better definition:  A General Purpose device with a broad set of capabilities for content creation as well as consumption. It can be argued that the iPad and it's excellent ecosystem can be considered a PC.  I can almost buy that.  Almost.  What gives me pause is that the productivity aspects of the iPad are bolted on after-the-fact.  Keyboard cases for iPad are a top accessory category.  But iOS doesn't support a full-fledged cursor, making prolonged text input and editing a bit of a chore.   In iOS there doesn't seem to be any concept of addtional pointing devices beyond touch input.  There is no concept of pen or mouse support, stopping any accessory efforts straight away or making them limp along for years with lackluster results (see the army of disapointing pen solutions for iPad).  I am not saying these things are absolutely required for improved productivity.  But these limitations seem to counter the "broad capabilities" requirement. Some Android tablets/phablets have pen support.  And I think some support external keyboards with some basic USB drivers.  I think Android OS is more PC-like then Chrome OS. Clearly, Windows Tablets satisfy the "broad capabilities" best.  At worst case, you need a USB OTG dongle and you're off to the races, pluging in all manner of accessories.  Granted, it also means you take on some added burden (like the need for antivirus). It could be argued that Android can easily transition into this definition as the hardware ecosystem continues to expand, but iPad seems to be purposefully touch-focused (which is both good and bad).
  • If it's running Windows or in rare cases Mac... Then it is a PC. Chrome book crap should not be in this conversation
  • What about Linux?
  • Linux is an OS kernel, not an OS.  You would have to specify a specific Linux based OS for you question to make sense.  Otherwise, people could be talking about completely different types of devices (Linux PC vs. Linux based router).
  • Doesn't need to be Intel.
  • Whoops, forgot AMD and the other x86 makers. And, MS proved us wrong with Windows rt, so ARM is now a respected architecture.
  • Right, only 2 points to consider here: 1) Is it personal (so largely not cloud based)? 2) Does it compute? Very simple.
  • +1520
  • So then a calculator is a PC?
  • The z80-powered ones are.
  • First thing that comes in my mind when we say PC is something very bulky,can be disassembled and complicated...for me laptops are pc.But surface....
  • Why not all 3 (minus the bulk)?
  • Surface and disassembled?? Ummm...its kinda unibody..disassembling it is somewhat beyond our scope..
  • "​... PC is something very bulky,can be disassembled and complicated ..." WOW thanks for telling me... didn't know my truck is a PC!
  • AMD, anyone?
  • RT is not a PC. It is awful.
  • If RT is not a PC then Android, iOS and Chromebook cannot be a PC.
  • None of those devices should be considered as PCs. There, argument over.
  • Wrong. If it is personal and it computes then it is a personal computer. Very simple.
  • Then smartphones are PCs. They are personal and they compute.
  • I can't think of any computer that is as personal as a Smartphone.
  • Maybe they should simply define ecosystem.  How many iOS/OSX systems sold?  How many Windows systems sold?  How many Chrome systems sold?  The configuration of the hardware does not change the functionality of the system.  Obvioulsy a 7" Win 8.1 tablet is less productive than a 15" laptop.  But it can still do pretty much the same things as a Laptop.  Same for MBA.  But we have to agree that an iPhone/iPad cannot do the same things as a MBA.  Same argument with a Chormebook/Android.  Software defines capability.  HArdware defines perfromance.  These firms should measure ecosystems not form factors.  Or measure both.  10 years ago there was only 2 primary ecosystems, WinTel and OSX.  Now there are three or 6 (WinTel, WP, iOS, OSX, Android, Chrome) depending on how you define an ecosystem.
  • I actually think you are on to something here. I think PC is just too broad a term to use as a bin. Even on a many Android phones, I could use a BT keyboard and mouse, and larger screen via HDMI (HML), and run Office products, making capability (my ability to get things done) on par with some 'PCs'. It would be interesting to see how different ecosystems (Win, OSX, iOS, Android, Chrome, WP, even Linux distros) are fairing, to understand what capabilities/features people are gravitating towards. Then it would reasonable to re-bin into form factors, desktops, traditional laptop, tablet with dedicated detachable keyboards, standalone tablets (which often could be paired with a BT setup), phones. When you have numbers that lump Chromebooks in with Surface Pro 3, or not, doesn't seem to provide any useful insight. If you see people are buying traditional laptop form factors rather than detachables, of any OS, that is interesting. If you find more people are buying iOS over Windows, regardless of form factor, that is interesting. The whole point behind all this is to get some valuable insight.
  • I'm a PC! I'm personal and I commute... Wait...
  • You're spot on!
  • Spot on.
  • I know that, but MS proved that ya don't need an x86 to run Windows (albeit the lack of features)
  • I am sure that you could do everything on the RT with Arm if Microsoft would allow you doing it (certificates for installation) and if you would have all the apps recompiled for Arm.
  • You can. RT was jailbroken and people were doing JUST THAT!
  • Laptop is not PC also. You cant change it parts.
  • Changing parts has nothing to do with being a PC. Nothing.
  • But, but ... Windows NT ran on x86, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC and Itanium.  Were systems based on those processors not PCs?  ARM is just another processor.    And Surface 2 with RT isn't so bad.
  • RT is limited, but it's not awful. And yes, it's still a PC, as it's usable for content creation AND consumption, using a wide variety of inputs and outputs.
  • RT is pretty decent.  I know a lawyer still carrying around a first generation SurfaceRT for all her work that thinks the device is more than sufficient and isn't looking to upgrade any time soon.
  • She gets paid by the hour, and more so with a very slow and limited device.
  • limited depends on what your use case is. For many people RT isn't limiting at all. I don't think you have a very good understanding of what RT is, at all.
  • I have a Surface RT, it can't do squat that a PC can do. It can't run any software and add ons that require x86 devices. It is probably capable, but not allowed by MS.
  • Sure it can.  Even out of the box. It can run all the same WinRT Apps in the modern UI that a PC can do. It can connect to and make use of most of the USB peripherals and printers a PC can. It has the full .net framework and powershell and can run the same cmdlets the PC can. It has RDP support with RemoteFX and RemoteApp for the same RDP experience a PC has. It has the same multi-display and multi-audio support a PC has. and with a simple "jailbreak" (allowing RT to run unsigned code) it can run any .NET or other desktop program that has been compiled for ARM (and that is a rather long list). It is essentially the very same Windows 8.1 that runs on x86, just running on ARM instead.
  • Right! People act like Windows never ran on other CPU architectures/platforms before. Windows NT 4.0 (in 1996) ran on Intel x86, Alpha, MIPS, and PowerPC. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT_4.0 ... The OS was built to be compiled for many platforms.
  • So, a Macbook can't run any of the applications your 'PC' can either. That make it not a PC? This is a fascinating discussion very reminiscent of the blind men and the elephant. It appears a PC is what a use believes a PC to be. Does make it hard to count though.
  • @920Walker RT is not awful. I purchased a day 1 RT and the thing is awesome for what it does. I don't need a SP3 power when I'm on the go and RT has never let me down with its capabilities...
  • @FunGuy13 Stop justifying your purchase to these people. Some people only know how to attack something that they themselves will never use, regardless of if it is capable or not. There is nothing wrong with using Surface RT. Nothing. It is a very capable machine for what it does. And, those that go into the purchase knowing its capabilities are informed and better off than those that blindly bash something that they never have any intention of using.    A few friends bought the original Surface RT. And, all they use it for is browsing, games, and Office. I'd say, they got their money's worth. I'd say, you got your money's worth, as well.
  • I would agree on getting my money's worth if it didn't crash so often. It was replaced 2X at MS store during its first year. IMO it is not a PC just like a LeapFrog children's tablet is not a PC. My Surface 3, yes, IMO is a PC.
  • I got a Surface 2 about 3 weeks before Xmas, and I barely touch my laptop anymore. I have a desktop for my primary work and the Surface does everything I need when away from the desk. Since I got it, 5 other people in the office went out and purchased them as well after seeing just how much it can do. From a business perspective - full office, full IE (desktop browser), maps to network drives, built printer support so I've hooked it up to the network printers at work, Citrix app hooks into the Citrix environment for any business applications they need, great battery life, the keyboard, and the desktop experience means they now all look at iPads as an over priced joke, and are all very pleased with their purchase. One of them uses it as their sole computer away from work, one ditched their macbook and another ditched their laptop. I'd say they are very capable devices :)
  • ​@MERCDROID ​What @FunGuy13 has done is post his opposing view on the "It is awful" comment and I think it's good he did it or people who have no clue would go away thinking that since that negative statement has not been challenged, therefore RT must really be truely awful.
  • I picked up a day 1 RT as well, got an SP3 just before Christmas and my RT is still my go to device. I think it's awesome and does 95% of what I need...so I agree.
  • x64 anyone?
  • Still x86. The actual term is x86-64
  • That's not entirely correct since there is a x64 only architecture called Itanium. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually Itanium is no longer supported, at least in Microsoft's OSes. Its architecture is IA-64 which is 64-bit from the gound up, inconpatible with IA-32 (aka x86).  x64 as the 64-bit extension to IA-32 was mostly AMD's doing, however due to their cross licensing deals the architecture won out.    
  • PC is the computer which I can upgrade or change part by part anytime not like use & throw laptops and tablets.
  • What about macbooks??? Like the air??? And I think they using proprietary hd's now... So u can't change out the hd's... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • ^^This
  • Incorrect.
  • Hi John: Thanks for the article. I read your original piece on the differing IDC and Gartner numbers on PC shipments that you posted on Tuesday Jan 13, 2015 8:23. I was a bit disappointed after reading how the IDC excludes devices with detachable keyboards from be classified as a PC. I made the followinf comment on yesterdays article, which I feel is a relevant response to the question you pose at this end of this article. (I'm wondering if the commentary to that original article inspired this piece). Here's my response: "I really believe tablets (hybrids) with detachable keyboards should be included in IDCs numbers. The 2-in-1 form factor is the direction Microsoft, with its "hybrid OS", is directing the market. Many OEMs have appropriately adopted hardware designs that fit with that vision.
    Numbers that fail to include those hybrid form factors in my opinion are retaining what is becoming an archaic view of what a PC is. The industry is moving away from the "legacy" view of a PC as strictly a device with a desktop or laptop form factor. Consumers are using PCs more and more in a mobile fashion. Windows 8(10) and apps(programs) are increasingly designed for mobile AND static interaction. This must be acknowledged as a true and legitimate paradigm shift in what is categorized as a PC. IDC will likely be forced to change it's methods as it becomes progressively clearer that a PC is ALSO a hybrid device as the increasingly mobile computing consumers purchase more and more of these devices made by more and more OEMs at accessible price points and a diverse range of forms and capabilities in the coming year. The last quarter of 2014 was promising with a range of low priced Windows tablets and hybids. And CES2015 gave a great foreshadow of what we can expect from OEMs on the Windows front with hybrid devices. I believe that Microsoft was successful with the Surface Pro 3 acting as an aspirational device for OEMs. Many OEMs have taken the torch and are running with high quality devices that will really showcase the benefits of Microsoft's OS, especially Windows 10.
    IDC, may be just a tad short sighted, or they may just be waiting for the wave to hit. Either way I am confident they will be changing the way they measure PC sales in time." (originally posted by me on John Callaham's Windows Central Article: "Gartner Reports PC Shipments Went Up in Q4 2014, but IDC Says Otherwise" - January 14, 2015 11:11:35) These are my thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity to share.  @JLTechWord
  • Good stuff.
  • People also seem to forget that when laptops first grew in popularity, there was a great deal of debate about whether "the laptop is killing the PC", and many analysts didn't include laptops in PC sales, despite the fact that they were useful for most of the same tasks as desktops. What's great about the PC is this: It's able, thanks to a highly adaptable range of hardware, software and operating systems, to incorporate advances in technology as they happen. Laptops were a primary example of this, and now tablets, particularly those that run full blown OS's like Windows, are PC's, too.
  • But laptops were never very popular, too bulky. Perhaps you mean Notebooks?
  • No. He means laptops. They are called fucking laptops you smartass. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laptop
  • This is why the PC will *never* die. Never.
  • they will prob count if their biased (just throwing it out their) once Apple does it, would their mind change?
  • IDC is not going to change its standards, the industry is changing to match IDCs definitions. IDC had separate trackers for PCs and tablets so all devices are covered anyway, nothing to be concerned about.
  • Anything running windows (and maybe Linux) is pc. End of discussion.
  • Dr SP, since you say that anything running Windows is PC, it appears that my Lumia 1020 will get upgraded to a PC in a few months when Windows 10 rolls out :D
  • Well, then we'll have to change the definition again at that time.
  • My 1020 already runs Windows (Phone 8.1). So I guess it already is a PC.
  • It's not a crappy apple device.
  • I don't know. I think both have their place. One should look at it from a form factor. Desktop/Laptop/Notbook/Tablets/Phones. The other should look at it via architecture ARM/x86/RISC/PowerPC... And perhaps one more by OS Windows/ChromeOS/OSX.  What is a PC? Well, what is a computer first. Any thing that can be used for calculation. At least that is the bare bones description. A modern computer is obviously more complex. I would argue that there are now two types of modern personal computers... dumbPC's (sort of like feature phones) and smartPC's. Regardless of form function, Andriod/iOS/WindowsRT would win the dumbPC due to their sandboxed-consumption based usecase. Whereas the smartPC label would be saved for OS's that can handle the higher bits of instruction. If you can use Windows or Mac OS X on a phone then that is a modern "smartPC." Peripherals do not matter thanks to "the cloud."   Thanks my 2 cents.  
  • doesn't need to be x86
  • You do see where your definition fails pretty obviously, right? "If you can use it for yourself, it's a PC". Well, if that's the definition, then pretty much everything right down to the lowliest smartphone is a PC. Let's try a more utilitarian approach: A PC is a computer with an operating system that supports a broad range of productivity and consumption activities, regardless of processor or form factor. A key problem the who world seems unable to grasp right now is that while they're all arguing about whether tablets are killing PC's or not, PC's are *becoming* tablets.
  • Two categories: X86 PCs (Windows, Mac, Linux) and ARM PCs (iOS, Android, RT, Chrome)
  • there are x86 androids and cromebooks
  • I define a pc as a machine which can do everything in the world of computing and sp3 is far more capable with my definition.
  • That is correct, the form factor doesn't matter.
  • There are x86 Android tablets and phones. They would have to be counted as PCs by your x86 definition. My take on this is that Gartners use case explanation sounds ridiculous. Yes you can connect a $99 HP Stream 7 to an external monitor and be productive but how many people actually do something like that. Cheap 7-8" Windows tablets are primarily being used for consumption. Furthermore they exclude Chrome OS devices, but Chromebooks are being heavily used in education for productivity and not for consumption. And on the subject of multitasking, Android devices have increasingly more multitasking capabilities. If Gartner wants to track Windows PCs YoY shipments (including tablets) then they should just exclude Mac from their data. An alternative suggestion would be to count any device sold with a keyboard as a PC including Chromebooks. Yes that would exclude Surface, but presumably there is a tablet shipments report that would include Surface instead.
  • To Be (a PC) or Not to Be (a PC) That is The Question
    https://jltechword.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/to-be-a-pc-or-not-to-be-a-pc...
  • Gartner response look like someone from MS was answering
  • Productivity productivity productivity
  • Productivity is hard to define, too! I'm a network engineer and my productivity is defined by walking through server rooms with my work laptop. It's about 2.5kg 15" device with Windows Pro because my work software does not exist for Mac OS or Linux. Also I cannot be productive on a desktop computer because it MUST be mobile for my line of work - so if PC means productivity then desktop computer cannot be a PC in my line of productivity.
  • I was being sarcastic of course, but IDC and Gartner really SHOULD embrace new forms of personal computing devices. A line must be drawn yearly, because technology advances...
  • Probably true, but then year over year trending becomes meaningless if you keep changng the makeup of the buckets.
  • It had much more logic than the former. Although, I agree that Microsoft would likey highly approve of their response.
  • Yep Gartner seems more logical and realistic. The productivity/OS perspective is much more relevant in real world use. How would the Surface Pro 3 not be regarded as a PC, while a 200 dollar chromebook is regarded as one just because of a hardwired keyboard??? And with so many PCs coming with detachable keyboards, probably only desktops and some ultrabooks would eventually fit IDCs PC category!
  • :D
  • ​@D M C AND your comment is something like someone from Google is commenting... and since you're a paid Google troll, you couldn't say anything otherwise than what you said. You were an MS hater all the way from when you were still commenting at WMPoweruser years ago.
  • You are still alive tips_y?
  • I refuse to accept any computer that doesn't run Windows as a PC. Sorry, but I can't.
  • This. A PC is a Windows on Intel computer. Full stop.
  • AMD?
  • The very first PCs did not run Windows. They were computers like the Apple ][, the Atari 800, Timex -Sinclair 1000, Commodore Vic 20 and 64, the TRS-80, and more, and they all ran a form of DOS. Even the first PC with the name "PC" ran DOS.
  • If we consider what was called a pc in the beginning then we'll have to add all the smart electronic products in this category
  • Yup.
  • IMHO, PC is far too generic a term to be using for this discussion. If you want to distinguish further than just"personal computer" you need to do so these days on either form factor (desktop, laptop, tablet, convertible, ultra, etc.) or OS. Calling a certain group PC and another group something else doesn't work with all the options an use cases out there.
  • Absolutely 100% correct. The only computers that 'PC' excludes are non-personal computers such as cloud based devices.
  • And servers, and there are still some mainframes out there. ;)
  • Very narrow concept.
    What about Mac and Linux PC?
    May be you don't even think them as OS
  • Mac is just a classic product from apple which shows windows can run a lot better on a better hardware.
  • How so? £ for £ I can easily build a Hackintosh that'll trounce any Mac.
  • Nobody said you can't build better hardware.
  • No. We don't :P lol
  • It's more like this: Gamers don't game on Mac or Linux. Gaming on those OSes is a joke. When gamers say that they are a PC gamer, they are 100% always referring to a computer running Windows. I'm so used to putting the terms PC and Windows together that I do not think I can start referring to other computers as PCs.
  • Well, there's the definitive response...If you can game on it, it's a PC.  Maybe we should just use the 'can it run Doom' criteria.
  • What is PC. When it does personal computing its a PC for me. May be a Desktop, Laptop, Notebook, Tablet and even a Phone.
  • Best comment of this topic awards goes to you sir
  • This! A phone too! But not just any phone, though.
  • That's more of a textbook definition IMHO! You wouldn't be referring to your typical iPhone or WP in the real world when you mention the word PC right??
  • Why not? My old Pocket PC is clearly a PC, it's right there in the name. Why not modern pocketables? There are PCs and CCs (Cloud Computers) and local servers. That pretty much covers most things.
  • Why not a phone? What if we see an Intel powered phone running a full version of Windows IF and WHEN connected to external monitor and keyboard? This appears to be doing the same job as my desktop PC, no?
  • I would mention my WP, as it does what it should do.
  • If we start dwelling upon the initial definition then its gonna include every smart electronic product into a pc(even today's calculators,smartwatches etc). So what's a pc? Everything running Windows(not arm)is pc.rest is;I don't know what it is..
  • Yeah, at this point I think the word PC has essentially been hijacked by Windows and Linux machines. Even Macs are called Macs to distinguish them from the others although they are fundamentally PCs too... It's become more of a software thing..
  • A PC is any device that can be used to run actual software for doing actual work.
  • This is also for a debate. What is "actual software"? Chromebook can cache some kind of office suite for offline use, so it's a bit of a productivity machine but I still wouldn't count it as a PC.
  • Office type programs are actual software but they are limited in the type of work they can support. A PC runs every type of software for real work.
  • So iPad is closer to being a PC than Chromebook will ever be.
  • It comes down to having an OS with many capabilities.
  • This is exactly how I think about it and why I wouldn't consider Chromebook a PC. Just like we wouldn't consider a calculator a PC because of its limited scope.
  • Beer Wars on my TI-83+ begs to differ. 
  • If it is cloud based then it can hardly be personal. Chrome books can compute though so they would be CCs? Cloud Computers?
  • I'm not sure I would agree here. Except for the connectivity requirement, cloud computing is fairly indistinguisable from local computing from the point of view of the user. To me it looks like my documents are in my file system, and worked with using my applications. If we require the device to be able to operate autonomously to be personal, we would be eliminiting a large segment of devices that people use everyday to do personal things with cloud resources.
  • I think that definition is just far too basic. By the same logic a calculator would also be a PC. Gartner's got it right  
  • Standard laptops and Macs should be a PC. Ipads, Nooks and etc., with no keyboards are tablets. Lenovo's yoga's and surface Pro's with detachable keyboards or shape shifting abilities are convertible tablets. Chromebo