Change PC to Win or Windows

Lie Lie.1296 at
Mon Jul 21 21:32:00 CEST 2008

> It very much IS the point.  Language evolves based on common usage
> patterns of the people who use it.

That is inarguably correct.

> The term "PC" is commonly used in English, in the United States
> and other English speaking countries, to mean a computer running
> Microsoft Windows.

As far as I am aware, they're like that because most people aren't
even aware that there are other OSes than Microsoft Windows. If the
world is still back in the 80s or 90s when people that use computers
means they're knowledgeable enough about computer, PCs would be either
applied to "all kinds of small computer/microcomputer" or only to "IBM-
branded microcomputers", the latter because PC is originally IBM's
marketing term, the former is a natural expansion of the meaning since
"Personal Computer" is a neutral term, unlike marketing terms like:
"TravelMate", "Lifebook", "MacBook", "GeForce", etc. "Personal
Computer" is more like the term "Mobile Phone" which is brand-neutral
and is usable by any brand, regardless of how the term originated.

The reason why the world hasn't evolved to the two predictable cases
("all kinds of microcomputers" or "IBM-PC and clones"), is what I'll
explain below.

> That's a simple fact that you can not escape, no matter how
> much you may not like it (it just so happens that I also don't l
> ike it, but I realized long ago the futility of arguing against
> its usage).  It's still a fact, and I described roughly how
> that fact came to be.

> It wasn't something that Apple started; it's been used this way
> in increasingly common usage for at least 20 years, although
> exactly what combination of hardware and software was being
> refered to as a "PC" has evolved over that timeframe.

Apple popularizes the term by explicit marketing, but the real blame
is to Microsoft's dominance, though it is without their explicit
consent, blessing, or resistance. Not entirely Microsoft's fault for
being dominant, but their dominance in the lower level users makes
those lower level user unaware of other OSes and applied the term PC
to Windows-based computers. When other OSes are gaining popularity
again (i.e. when Microsoft starts to lose its total and complete
dominance, i.e. around right now) the term's meaning become a huge
matter because people associated the term with Microsoft Windows (i.e.
software), not with IBM-PC and its clones anymore (i.e. hardware).

On Jul 21, 11:50 pm, Derek Martin <c... at> wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 02:56:07AM -0700, Lie wrote:
> > government, etc. IBM PC is one of the first computers that ordinary
> > people could possess, when IBM-clones appeared on the market, they're
> > referred as PCs too because they are Personal Computer, a computer
> > that is designed for personal use.
> Just to be clear, this statement is WRONG.  PC-clones were so called
> because they were clones of the IBM-PC.  The term is very specific to
> IBM-compatible hardware.  
>     IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the
>     original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to
>     as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated
>     all the significant features of the PC, XT, or AT internal design,
>     facilitated by various manufacturers' ability to legally reverse
>     engineer the BIOS through cleanroom design.
> Wikipedia's article on the personal computer accurately reflects
> the multiple meanings of the term, and points out the common usage
> to mean a Windows box:
>     Today a PC may be a desktop computer, a laptop computer or a
>     tablet computer. The most common operating systems are Microsoft
>     Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, while the most common microprocessors
>     are x86 compatible CPUs.  However, the term "PC" is often used
>     only to refer to computers running Microsoft Windows.
> So please stop your whining and get used to the idea that THE REST OF
> THE WORLD uses PC to mean a Windows box.

The rest of the world? Not in this part of the world, not in my whole
country at the least...

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