Smartphones are getting smarter, but the humble PC is a gateway to professional success.
Our economy, with all its industries and allied professions, is becoming increasingly tech-driven every day. Domains such as 3D printing, user experience design, digital marketing, app development, robotics, cyber security, data science, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and deep learning, which were once considered ‘emerging technologies’, are becoming powerful drivers of industry and business. This new-age digital economy requires tech-savvy workers who are as efficient as they are creative. The personal computer in its various forms – desktops, all-in-ones, laptops, and tablets – is at the core of all modern-day learning and skilling practices, in both the educational and the professional spheres.
The PC is becoming ubiquitous and indispensable at every stage of our lives. Students are no longer dependent on classroom learning; they can supplement their school lessons with online reading and tutorials, especially complex tasks and projects. More importantly, they can explore topics of their interest, enroll for courses and certifications, and discover career opportunities and avenues they never knew existed.
The other factor that underlines the importance of PCs is the worldview and lifestyle of our growing population of millennials and Gen Z’ers. For them, mobility is an essential, connectivity is a given, personalisation is a priority, and design is an absolute must. They live by a ‘One Life’ philosophy, where personal, social and professional spaces overlap and are spread across home, office and outdoors. They demand powerful, versatile devices at affordable price points; devices that enhance their creative abilities and enable them to perform multiple tasks through the day. To that end, the laptops and tablets that come into the market are equipped with newer and better features that make them easy to use and functionally powerful.
For instance, the digital ink pen, together with a Windows Ink-enabled device, can open endless possibilities for creativity. Users can make notes and drawings without leaving smudges or fingerprints. They can use the device screen pretty much the same way as they would use a piece of paper or a canvas, with the added advantage of having a choice of digital tools to edit and enhance their work. This feature is of immense use to cartoonists, art designers, fashion designers, architects, and illustrators, whose work involves a lot of visual representations. It’s the kind of capability —and one of many—that makes the PC such a powerful work tool.
There are many who believe that smartphones can replace PCs or prove to be at least as functionally diverse. It is true that smartphones are getting increasingly smarter, but they cannot compare with PCs for learning, skilling or professional purposes. A smartphone is great for consuming content, but most of the work in the world happens on PCs, not smartphones. And it will continue to be that way for the foreseeable future.
A tool is only as good as its user. The computer is one of the most powerful, most versatile tools devised by man, and we owe it to ourselves not just to be equipped with it, but to become capable of using it in the best possible way.
Vickram Bedi is senior director, Personal Systems, HP Inc. India