2017 is the year that computers became phones

For years, your smartphone wanted to be like your computer. Now it's the other way around.

Smart design.
(Image credit: iStock)

Until very recently, you could feel reasonably sure that a computer was, well, a computer. To use the word might conjure up an image of a digital device that processed information, but for most people, it would have simply been those familiar boxes with a keyboard, mouse, and screen.

The smartphone changed all that. While many people still insist on a distinction between a "proper computer" and a smartphone, so many of the things that people associated with computers — reading the news, sending emails, playing games, or doing work — were taken over first by phones, and then by tablets. Now, even Microsoft, whose mission it once was to get a PC on every desk, admits that its desktop Windows has a fraction of the market. Computing as a concept and a practice is dominated by the smartphone.

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