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The PC Era: 1976-2012

Here is an important data point: For the first time, comScore reports, the number of desktop searches for a month declined in August, year-over-year.

It's not a secret. Even the folks at BlindFiveYearOld reported it.

This has not gone unnoticed by the tech firms. Intel (INTC) is practically begging the PC industry to save itself through reinvention, as ComputerWorld reports. The company's chip inventories are building because it has little traction in the device-cloud industry that has evolved over the last four years.

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Yes, it's been less than four years since the iPad's introduction. And a new era has clearly dawned in technology. That's change you can believe in.

Apple's (AAPL) announcements this week make it obvious. The iMac now has 27% of that faltering desktop market but (more importantly) an iPhone can now pack in much more power than the sharpest desktop -- a faster processor, the fastest Internet, snazzier graphics, and a better user interface. If you really need a typewriter, just buy a solar-powered wireless keyboard from Logitech.

Not everyone "gets it." Dell's (DELL) head of services, Stephen Schuckenbruck, doesn't get it, as evidenced by his recent interview with AllThingsD. He still thinks it's 2009. But here's some news. Your servers are all in clouds now and they're Chinese. Your PC business is dying, and you have nothing to replace it with.

All this puts immense pressure on Microsoft (MSFT) to deliver with Windows 8. If it's not competitive in the phone and tablet markets, it's circling the drain right alongside Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and (yes) Intel.

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