Did the processor speed of PCs and Mac finally stop being a key differentiator?

I have been reading with great interest a post from my friend and former colleague George Pneumaticos in which he is ranting about the fact that Apple brought out a new MacBook just two weeks after he purchased his.

It struck me when George was comparing his “old” MacBook with the new one: he compared design, the trackpad and display. No word about the slight increase in processor speed. True, it is only a slight increase but still. Similar feeling I got from a lot of the review sites that covered the new MacBook and the new iMacs: it was more about the esthetics than raw processor speed. This even though only a while back speed was the key differentiator.

What is happening here? Have we all realized that it does not really make a difference at all whether a browser loads up in 5 seconds versus 4.5 seconds? Have we realized that not everybody is a video editor and that therefore Mac Pro speed is not required in an iMac? Have we stopped playing 3D games that actually only can be played with processors not even on the market? Or have most of us simply switched from using primarily native apps that rely on processor speed and memory to browser based services?

This is an interesting moment in the PC/Mac industry and the big question is: what will be the next real differentiator?

And for those interested: the story of George seem to get a happy end!

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