Microsoft UK's managing director, Ashley Highfield, believes that we have entered the next phase of the PC's evolution, but that talk of a post-PC era is premature.

Asked if Steve Jobs' suggestion that we are moving away from PCs at the launch of the iPad was premature, Highfield answered in the affirmative.

"This is beginning of the next phase of the PC's evolution," Highfield told TechRadar.

"With 29 million PCs in UK homes and 9 million more going to be sold this year [the PC] is clearly not over.

"The iPad can fit in with the ecosystem in your home, but not going to eschew your PC.

"It's still the machine that you are going to load your heavy duty software onto and sync with your other devices."

Multiple devices

Highfield points out that Microsoft's strategy does not revolve around one single device, with the market so big that differences of consumer need and desire must be brought together.

"Clearly one size can't possibly fit all," he added. "When you're at that 29 million figure you are not in niche market.

You have to have a range of device fitting ever more sophisticated needs of people who want to be ever more individual.

"Obviously people now have more than one device – a Smartphone, an iPad, a PC and maybe other things as well – and yet the PC is at the heart of home network, if you like.

"That's our vision, and our strategy is of social computing – a number of devices talking to each other with your apps and software or whatever, kept in sync on whatever machine you use and the cloud."