Ever since the industry-quaking news broke that Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC manufacturer, is looking to spin off its PC business, there's been a steady drum-beat among analysts and prognosticators heralding the end of one era and the arrival of a new one, in which users have gone "post-PC." HP CEO Leo Apotheker all but blamed the ascendance of more nimble computing devices for his company's big shake-up when he told reporters after the news broke that "The tablet effect is real." But while it's true that tablets and, more commonly at this point, smartphones, have made us all less tethered to large, humming screens and full-sized keyboards, memorial services for the Personal Computer are far too premature.

A recent Nielsen poll showed that only five percent of Americans currently own a tablet, while a Pew study underscores the enduring ubiquity of more traditional computers with 76 percent ownership. Even as tablets and similar devices have experienced a boom in recent years in both popularity and computing power, the smart money says it will be years still, not months, before the PC goes out to pasture. Read on to find out why. 

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