It’s hard to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that we only had a couple of choices to meet our computing needs. As recently as 2007, the year before Obama was elected, someone looking for a new computer basically could choose between a desktop or a laptop. In mobile, Research In Motion offered the Blackberry, which candidate Obama was famous for using — and still uses.
2007 was the year things began to change. In June of that year, Apple introduced the iPhone and in October Asus released the Eee PC, the first netbook of the modern era. When in October of the following year HTC released the Dream, the first handset running Android, it became obvious that consumer computing space had been forever changed. Less than two years later Apple released the iPad which was quickly followed by tablets running Android.
The introduction of the modern generation of tablets, which were highly capable and easy to use, had an immediate effect on sales of traditional desktops and laptops, leading some tech writers to proclaim that the age of the desktop was over and that desktop computers were on their way out. This wasn’t true, of course. We were just experiencing what the Wall Street types call a “market correction.”
Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux