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Brian Cooley: No Windows Needed For Newest Computers

Brian Cooley, CNET Editor At Large
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Acer DA220 Android computer (Acer)

Acer DA220 Android computer (Acer)

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – As the PC industry sunsets into niche status over the next few years, we are getting a look at what’s next: Computers, yes, but ones that feel more like mobile devices.

At the big Computex electronics expo going on in Taiwan this week, Acer and Asus — the #4 and #5 computer makers — showed off new computers that either don’t run Windows at all or don’t run it exclusively.

The Asus Transformer Book Trio is a 11.6″ Android tablet that can dock to a keyboard to complete a Windows 8 laptop or you can dock the keyboard part to any external monitor to create a Windows PC.

Switching between the operating systems — and tasks on the fly — is said to be seamless but that will be the key part of this product if its going to be harbinger of the future. Pricing and avail is TBD on this product.

Acer, meanwhile, rolled out a new desktop computer that doesn’t use Windows at all. The DA220 is a 21.5″ all-in-one computer that runs Android 4.0 like your tablet or smartphone.

Its heading to retail now at around $425, which is quite cheap, and remember there are 700,000 Android Apps out there to choose from. But you will ot be able to run Windows software like Office, Photoshop, or Windows games — unless they also exist in app form or as a cloud service (and that means, just about everything you care about these days).

Overall, this is part of a major trend that indicates less development of Windows PCs — and even Macs — will take place over the next few years as there is just not a growing overall market for computers. Mobile devices are part of the new behaviors we have embraced and apps & online services have been able to largely replicate the old PC-based behaviors we still need to hang on to.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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