The PC Industry

Even though we're well into the post-PC era, there are strong and complex forces of the PC era that linger. A whole industry was built up to support the complexity of Windows-based PCs. There are small PC repair shops that can eradicate viruses -- for a fee. There are Microsoft (MSFT) Certified Professional classes.

Most important, there are intelligent people who have the time and patience to master the complexities of the PC and can make a decent living writing helpful articles in major PC publications.

The cult of the nerd arose, and there has been honor, prestige and profit when it comes to revealing the mystery of PCs.

When the Mac Arrived

The story of the Macintosh has been told many times. The legendary "1984" TV commercial says everything about Apple's attempt to tear down the walls of complexity. In the 1990s, Apple had to fight an uphill battle against the business community. When all the money and energy was on the business side, IT managers made themselves important by selecting complex PCs, and Microsoft shrewdly catered to their empire. Both prospered.

The Post-PC Era

The second half of Farnish's article goes into detail about the benefits of simplicity. Simplicity, in the computer industry, is connected. It is stable. It is democratic.

When Apple introduced the iPad, it produced the ultimate manifestation of simplicity in a computing device. The result has been that PC sales are tanking and Apple's iPad sales are surging. Hundreds of millions of people with personal purchase authority have opted for simplicity, and their numbers are far greater than the business users. Plus, BYOD (bring your own device) has changed the game.

The Industry Reaction

Apple's customers are, of course, delighted with the simplicity introduced into their lives. They no longer have to worry about the Windows Registry, print drivers, Internet malware and incomprehensible and costly Windows upgrade procedures. Accordingly, this takes a lot of the wind out of the sails of those who make a living being computer gurus.

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