PCs Are Stoves and Tablets Are Microwaves: Dell Inc. (DELL), Gartner Inc (IT), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Until the microwave oven came around, everyone longed for a traditional stove. However, now that cheap and powerful microwaves are plentiful, you don’t always need a stove. If you’re a college student merely heating up ramen noodles and bagged popcorn, why do you want a full-blown oven? This is the real problem in the PC industry. Too many consumers overbought when they grabbed a PC. They didn’t need the sheer processing power, but they didn’t have a choice beyond stuffing a V-8 engine in a subcompact.

Imagine if the first beds to hit the market were vibrating beds. Imagine if the first cuts of meat available were Kobe.

You may be on a PC or laptop right now, but do you really need it?

Microsoft has feasted for years on selling the notion that you need a PC. Unfortunately for Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) , they believed it too. They were too late to realize that smartphones and tablets were the future, and when they did commit they were too close to Microsoft to get it right.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and HP were tech tastemakers, and now they’re waffling about in the teens.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) never saw it that way. Sure, Apple’s hitting fresh 52-week lows these days on fears that its margins will be squeezed in the future given the popularity of the open-source Android operating system, but shrinking margins is better than shrinking margins and revenue. Apple’s also eyeing India, and who can forget the massive opportunity China represents?

Windows will never go away, just as the stovetop oven will linger. Just don’t expect to treat Microsoft, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), or HP as growth stocks again.

The article PCs Are Stoves and Tablets Are Microwaves originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Rick Aristotle Munarriz.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft.

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