The home computer has come a long way since it was made popular in the 1980s. From clumsy boxes with flickering screens and minimalist interfaces worthy of a bad science fiction movie, to sleek designs with crisp graphics and dizzying specifications. However if the technology has experienced significant performance improvement it has barely experienced any diversification.
In recent years however, the introduction of radically different designs has shaken the very foundations of the industry. Whereas the leaders of the past were Intel and Microsoft, the big names now are Google, Apple and Facebook. Since the golden days of the tower based desktop computer, there has undeniably been a transformation of the market place towards online based software and portable and increasingly specialized hardware. Ironically, it was scientific progress, the workhorse of traditional business models (selling upgraded versions of previous designs), which brought forth the destabilization of existing standards.
So what are these new technologies, and how do they contribute to the extinction of the traditional home computer?
The history of the computer is one of visionary entrepreneurs who were able to make available to the public an evasive technology. The very first computers were not at all user friendly, in fact their use was restricted to the commercial sphere. It was not until Bill Gates invented a graphical interface with Windows that computers took the form under which we now use them.
Since the introduction of Windows in 1981, there has been dramatic improvement in the performance of the machines and their softwares. However the format of