Early this year, Apple ran an ad that featured a young girl using an iPad as her primary computing device. An older woman asked the girl a question about her computer, and she responded, “What’s a computer?”
The ad was widely mocked. For starters, an iPad is a computer. But also, the hypothetical future when kids don’t even know what a desktop or laptop are seems very distant at best. Yes, tablets and smartphones have replaced laptops and desktops among large numbers of young people for personal uses like social media, Web browsing, and games. But despite some high school students who sometimes write their papers on their smartphones, mobile devices are still not where the real work gets done. Real work is done on a laptop or desktop.