I’m the first one to call bullshit on all the hyperbole the press engages in on a regular basis, but even taking that into consideration, there’s definitely real upheaval going on in the computer world.
Can we give some credit to Apple and the disruption it brought into the mobile computing world in 2007? Absolutely.
Are there other factors involved beyond Apple? Absolutely.
But make no mistake – these are not isolated incidents.
.NET Journal: Is Microsoft’s Ballmer Out?
Electronista: Nokia shareholders call for CEO to resign; Palm deal ignored
SEC: over a quarter of shareholders want Dell CEO out
Whether we’re talking about mobile phone makers failing to turn their units into profitable computing platforms and not cheap throw-aways, or PC makers failing to move from desktop computers to multi-touch mobile/tablet computers, we’re seeing denial/stubborness/ignorance in the face of a changing computer world.
Steve Jobs talked about this at the D8 Conference this year (about 44 minutes into the interview):
When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars. … PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.
And this transformation is going to make some people uneasy. People from the PC world, like you and me [looking at Walt Mossberg] … it’s going to make us uneasy because PC’s have taken us a long way. It’s brilliant. And we like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen I think it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people, because it’s change. Vested interests are going to change, it’s going to be different.
The way I see it, the PC landscape would continue on in it’s backwards-looking, non-innovative direction ad infinitum. Change is not something these entrenched giants (Dell, Microsoft, Nokia) want or are structured to create on their own. The change (erosion?) to this landscape would have happened one way or another, Apple simply sped up the process with the iPhone.