Here's another take on http://www.william-garrity.com/blog/2013/4/13/pc-sales-plunge.html, in the "Editor's Desk" section of the July 2013 PCWorld (following is the online version, which is a slightly different text than the one in print) --
Last week's news wasn't generous to PCs. In fact, half the Internet was ready to eulogize our beloved black boxes after market research showed that computer shipments fell by double-digit percentages in the first quarter. Stick a fork in 'em, the common wisdom declared. PCs are done.
But nothing could be further from the truth. PCs aren't dead—they're microwaves. But not for much longer.
Hear me out.
From marvelous to meh
Right up until the early ’90s, computers were a luxury, an oddity even. If your childhood chum had a 386, you were at his house every day, churning out ASCII art on a dot-matrix printer and playing asynchronous PBEM games or MUDs. Good times! Today, however, everyone in every neighborhood has a PC, just as everyone in every neighborhood has a stove, a refrigerator, and a microwave.
Our wondrous electronic windows into the world have evolved into ho-hum appliances—indispensable, yet unexciting.
Is it any surprise that shoppers treat these black holes of non-brilliance as appliances? The PC landscape has been devoid of any real hardware innovation for as long as memory serves.
Curious, I performed a quick, completely unscientific poll, asking about 20 nontechie friends, grandmothers, aunts, social-media acquaintances, and convenience-store employees the reason for their most recent computer purchase, whenever that may have been. The answers were unanimous across the board: They all bought their new computers when their previous computer broke.
And you do the very same thing with a stove, refrigerator, or microwave. You buy a new one when you absolutely have to, and not a moment sooner.
It's sad, really. (Do you realize how many microscopic, cutting-edge transistors are packed onto every single computer chip? Billions.) But it's not surprising. A whole range of factors have coalesced into a perfect storm, all helping to turn PCs into a commodity appliance.
Article continues at link.
All that matters to me is a (fast) network connection, a (good) browser (I prefer Chrome), and a screen that's as large as the situation allows -- large-screen smartphone for pocket, ultrabook as laptop, ultrabook attached to large monitor for home. It really doesn't matter what OS the machine uses, how fast its processor is, how much disc storage the machine has.