NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead

NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead
“Whatever happened to the laptop computer?” asked Erik Sandberg-Diment in the New York Times of December 8, 1985. It was just a passing fad, he wrote:

“Was the laptop dream an illusion, then? Or was the problem merely that the right combination of features for such lightweight computers had not yet materialized? The answer probably is a combination of both views. For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few.

“The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so.”

“We shouldn’t fault the author of the article for lacking the foresight to predict modern day cloud computing or anticipate the oncoming smart-device revolution,” says  Robert Montenegro at Big Think:

“The part of it that gets me is this piece reflects what was no doubt a shared opinion about a technology thought stalled like an old jalopy. That opinion, of course, was proven wrong.

But since time is nothing but a flat circle, it makes you wonder what sort of technology today we’re being far too bearish about.”

— “A New York Times Article from 1985 Deemed the Consumer Laptop a Failure,” Robert Montengro, Big Think

Original 1985 article:

“The Executive Computer,” Erik Sandberg-Diment, New York Times

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kUQ

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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