"Death Of The PC" Greatly Exaggerated
With apologies to Mark Twain, the recent reports of the death of the PC are, in my opinion, greatly exaggerated.
This year, we heard repeated references to the "post PC" era from Apple CEO Steve Jobs upon the launch of the iPad 2, and more recently senior IBM engineer Mark Dean declared that the PC era is over. He was one of the team that originally designed the first IBM PC some thirty years ago.
I would argue that while the "Personal Computer" is certainly evolving and diversifying, it is certainly not dying. Even if you define the PC as a beige colored box running Microsoft Windows - well, realize Microsoft Windows still maintains around an 87% share of operating systems in use world wide.
What we are hearing and reading, I think, is a reaction (overreaction?) to the previously mentioned diversification of personal computing platforms. Beyond desktops and laptops, we have a bevvy of smartphones and (more recently) tablets that can provide the bulk of most normal folks' computing needs - that is, checking emails, listening to music, Tweeting, watching video content, and being able to open the odd .pdf or Word-type document.
Is the PC dead? Not hardly; it's changing and evolving to meet the needs of the times. What will the PC look like in 20 years? Probably like something we have not even considered yet - but it will still serve our computing needs for that time.