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Personal computers continue toward irrelevance

It is no secret that the PC market is struggling. The last few years have seen big drops in PC sales as consumers turn more and more to tablet computers in their place.

It is easy to see the writing on the wall. People like convenience, and there is nothing more convenient than a tablet computer. For home use, tablets simply make more sense. After a long day of work, most people use a home computer for email and surfing the internet. Why sit down in front of a laptop or desktop computer when you can accomplish these things just as easily with a tablet, or even a smartphone?

When it comes to office work, tablets have yet to really advance enough to take over PCs, but that day is probably coming as well. Technology is always advancing. It would be a mistake to assume that in the not-too-distant future we will be able to do everything on a tablet that we currently need a desktop to accomplish. Technology moves at a super-fast pace, and each year tablets are getting stronger, and eventually they are going to completely wipe out the PC market.

The evidence is all around us, we can see people in our everyday lives walking around with tablets, or checking e-email and Facebook (FB) on their phones. We live in a mobile world and PCs don't really have a place in our future.

For more evidence, we simply have to look at PC sales figures. During the fourth quarter, PC sales came in at 90.3 million devices. This was down 4.9% from the same period last year, continuing the trend we have seen in recent years. When tablets first hit the market, everyone believed that most people would continue to own both a PC and a tablet, but that is simply not happening. The future now appears to involve people using primarily tablets, and sharing PCs for administrative and creative tasks.

A decade ago, two companies that dominated the PC market were IBM (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). IBM saw the future very clearly, and in 2004 it announced that it would be its PC business to Lenovo. Hewlett-Packard, on the other hand, continues to refuse to accept the reality of the world in which we live and is forging ahead in its attempt to bring its PC unit back to life.

It will not work Hewlett-Packard! You could make the best PC in the world, and it will not help you. The world has changed, and continues to change… and PCs are definitely not going to come back into favor. Their day is over, and the tablet is here to stay.

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va. His articles typically cover big-picture events and forecasting what impact they will have on the stock market. In addition to writing for Fresh Brewed Media, Michael also wrote for AOL's BloggingStocks for three years, focusing most of his attention on the energy and technology sectors. Follow him on Twitter at @MFatMICenter.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.