The next wave of typing innovation was a tsunami. The innovation that was word processing exploded to become the personal computing revolution.
While early adopters purchased personal computers during the 1970’s, it was not until the 1980’s that the revolution really began. In 1981 the IBM PC Home Computer hit the scene, followed three years later by Apple Macintosh computer. By 1983 12.6 million people owned personal computers, and by 1990 that figure had exploded to over 100 million.
The functionality of personal computers far out-stripped their word processor for-runners. PCs had a memory in which files could be saved and edited later. They also presented larger screens that enabled far superior editing capability.
It was correctly predicted that PCs would change our approach to just about every endeavour.
As the century rolled to a close, the vision of the personal computer – a computer for every home – was coming to fruition. By the year 2000, a staggering 500 million people owned personal computers, and sales continued to increase exponentially, hitting one billion in 2002.
You say you want a revolution
Of course each one of this great profusion of computers required an input device. Lamentably, once again, the QWERTY keyboard snuck through the checkpoint as the default, without revision. Yes, dear flabbergasted reader….THAT old chestnut.
Again, the first to adopt desktop computers were those in industry and business, and the first to operate them were those very same professional typists of former years.
However, over the years, an increasing proportion of sales were to people for home use. The less tech-savvy of new users were presented with a gargantuan learning curve. Not only was it incumbent upon them to get their heads around how computers work, but they faced the daunting task of becoming proficient on the nonsensical QWERTY system.
Surely the emergence of this huge new market would prompt the revision of the out-dated and unnecessary QWERTY system, wouldn’t you think dear reader?
Will the personal computing revolution slay QWERTY? Find out in The Dirt on QWERTY: Part 5: One step forwards, two steps back.