Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Work, school, and entertainment have changed. PCs are helping us adapt – The Times of India Blog

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Prakash Mallya, VP & MD – Sales Marketing & Communications Group, Intel India
According to PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021: India insights, 59% of Indian companies admitted that their business was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But one industry that continues to remain strong is the Indian PC industry.
Despite worldwide supply chain shortages, Q2 2021 PC shipments grew over 50% YOY to 3.2 million units in India, according to data from IDC. That figure includes over 2.4 million laptops, 669,000 desktops, and 63,000 workstations that were put to work in the quarter.
That level of demand indicates that enterprise companies, small and medium businesses, and consumers were continuing to upgrade the technology they use for work, school, and having fun. The pandemic confirmed that the PC remains the preferred device for getting things done—whether that’s learning, productivity, content creation, or gaming.
The continuing evolution of the PC platform drives people to seek out the benefits of thinner, lighter, more powerful, and more efficient devices. Year after year, PC manufacturers innovate on materials to improve durability, shrink motherboards to increase battery life, and develop antennas to enhance Wi-Fi capability. Such flexibility and continuous product improvement make the PC the platform of choice for meeting the demands of our new world of hybrid work, remote education, and digital entertainment.
How business is adapting
It’s clear the shift to remote work drove a large volume of PC sales over the past 18 months. Better connected and more powerful machines made the transition out of the office and into the digital workforce more seamless than anyone might have expected.
The surprising levels of productivity that many businesses have been able to maintain in a work-from-home world is leading many workers and executives to re-evaluate the work-from-office model. With business-grade video chat services like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Webex, workers now hold meetings on their PCs, speaking with their counterparts as easily and,some might say, more productively than when they did in the office.
The increased acceptance of work-from-home arrangements has even spurred discussion of amending Labor Codes to bring them into alignment with the unexpected and sudden arrival of “the future of work” across India.
Normalizing digital learning
Driven by the pandemic, 2020 saw a dramatic shift in learning, which persisted into 2021. Digital learning, which had been evolving slowly, condensed many years of progress into a matter of months, transforming the way students at every level learn and cementing the PC’s role as being central to education today. Early in the pandemic, the Ministry of Human Resource Development established guidelines for online classes to enhance learning outcomes. The Ministry also released a report on digital education in the country to spotlight the innovative ways states were bridging learning gaps during the pandemic by maximizing e-learning platforms such as ePathshala, Swayam, and Diksha.
While students across India may have previously relied on smartphones for chatting, browsing, music, social media, and even gaming, the move to remote learning put a new breed of PCs in their hands. Once these young people experienced what a modern PC was capable of in terms of speed and connectivity, there was no turning back.
Students who take part in digital learning will take away an important long-term benefit from the pandemic, as the higher level of computer literacy they achieve will improve their ability to compete in a fast-changing digital world.
The move to online continues to be a positive experience for teachers as well as students. Through digital classes and online courses that promote continuous digital learning, teachers are exposed to new developments in their fields and are more likely to spend the time it takes to explore new material at home. Without taking time to travel back and forth to schools, teachers can instead attend on-demand sessions that offer advanced certifications to help them improve their teaching skills and their careers.
Fun and games have found a new home
As the pandemic took hold across India, the entertainment industry was deeply impacted. Cinemas closed their doors, music clubs were shuttered, and concerts were cancelled. The speed of today’s processor and graphics technologies, coupled with the quality of high-resolution screens, quickly made the PCs that people brought home for school and work the preferred streaming device for many entertainment-starved families.
The gaming segment was on a significant growth trajectory in India before COVID struck, and the pandemic has only accelerated the trend. More time at home and a generation of incredibly fast processors mean that the immersive qualities of the games they run is increasing exponentially. PC manufacturers continue to place a strong focus on gamers, developing advanced graphics that deliver remarkably realistic gaming experiences, memory that accelerates how quickly games and levels load, and high-performance Wi-Fi technology that delivers extraordinarily fast gameplay. Virtual reality gaming headsets are driving new levels of participation and interest in gaming that will only increase as the technology driving VR headsets improves.
The future of PCs? Faster, smaller, smarter
The PC has gone through a tremendous transformation in the last two decades. Looking back, we can clearly see how the processor alone has transitioned – continually growing in capability and diminishing in size, enabling popular PCs to move from desktops, to laptops, to tablets in a period of 20 years. The recently announced 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family will scale across all PC product segments — from desktop gaming to ultra-thin-and-light laptops — all boasting a new performance hybrid architecture, Intel’s biggest leap in Core architecture in a decade, to enable major performance gains across a wide array of client workloads.
Some of the biggest changes to PCs you can expect to see in the future include increased portability, big advances in battery technology, and entirely new PC designs driven by close collaboration between software and operating system vendors, such as head-mounted displays, flexible displays, high-performance wearables, and true PCs that fit in your pocket. Of course, AI will impact the way you interact with PCs in the future, predicting which apps you want to load, managing your schedule, and automating routine tasks.
SSD storage will continue to get faster and cheaper, most likely eliminating mechanical hard disk drives from every PC form factor. More and more of everything we do on a computer will be moving to the cloud and will require super-fast 5G connectivity and high-speed wireless connectivity like Wifi 6E.
Predicting the future is certainly not science, but in the world of PCs, it’s safe to assume that PC technology will advance faster than we expect today and continue to inspire entirely new ways of working, learning, and playing.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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