PC World magazine ends print version -- will focus on digital

Print media is dying; some may argue it is already dead. With the launch of the iPad and the current industry trend of tablet media consumption, consumers don’t want to clutter their homes with stacks of paper magazines and newspapers. Not to mention, there is the trend of "going green" which is in conflict with the destruction of trees necessary to make print magazines.

Following these trends, PC World announces it is exiting the print magazine business to focus on digital editions. To be honest, it is surprising that a technology-focused publication even lasted this long in the print world.

PC World launched 30 years ago in 1983. To last that many years in any industry is a commendable feat. For many technology and PC enthusiasts, PC World has been a staple in their homes and offices for many years. It offered reviews and news in a wonderful package. Unfortunately, over time, it has shown that printed monthly technology magazines simply cannot compete with the instant news delivery of the internet and sites such as BetaNews. As a PC World print subscriber, I often found myself reading product reviews and news that were weeks old -- an eternity in "internet time". I still enjoyed the content but the untimely delivery made it less useful and stale.


But PC World is not dead. It will focus on digital delivery through its website, tablets and e-readers. I will gladly switch to the digital version using my Kindle. However, while the trend is digital, there is still a benefit to a printed version -- bathroom use. It is not uncommon to find a copy of PC World on my toilet tank. While I can bring a tablet into the bathroom, it just isn't the same. I will miss the print version.

The current print issue of PC World will be the last. Make no mistake; this is the end of an era. Truth be told, it is sad and a bit ironic that an Apple product, the iPad, sparked the trend that ultimately killed the print version of PC World. Luckily no staff on the magazine will lose their jobs, which is refreshing and unexpected news.

Will you miss the print version? Tell me in the comments.

24 Responses to PC World magazine ends print version -- will focus on digital

  1. dwick_OR says:

    "PC World... has shown that printed monthly technology magazines simply cannot compete with the instant news delivery of sites such as BetaNews."

    tee hee... you guys at BetaNews make me laugh!

    • snworf says:

      Their ratio is 10% news to 90% opinion ;-)

    • barely_normal says:

      Oh, Betanews covers things, but many times not the things I want to know about, and NEVER in any depth. Its usefulness is for cursory examination and debate only.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

        Hit me with an email about the things you want to read about. Seriously. I'm always up for reader feedback.

  2. davinpeterson says:

    PC Magazines stop printing several years ago. By the time you get the magazine in the mail, the technology is old news, which is why I don't subscribe to these PC magazines anymore

    • barely_normal says:

      That was not the way it was when PC Magazine was out 22 times per year, instead of 12.

  3. lvthunder says:

    I would rather read an article about a product after the reviewer has had a chance to use the device for a while. I don't need to know about this stuff this instance. It's not life or death. That's why I subscribe to Consumer Reports. They do a good job testing and comparing things.

  4. roadrunner1117 says:

    This is a bummer. I always read my PCWorld print mag when I need a break from sitting at my PC at work. I won't read the online version.

    • nvic says:

      I'm in the same boat here. I don't read their online versions, only the paper one, and do so to get away from a PC.

  5. barely_normal says:

    I will not miss PC World one iota, not that I have any animus for the editorial staff, but the magazine has, for at least the last 15 years, been far overpriced for the amount of knowledge it imparted. Even when PC Magazine had gone from 22 issues a year to 12, it was far and away a better source of information for me, and I suspect, most others. PCWorld was priced higher, had less information, and that information was often stale, having already been covered by Byte, PC Magazine, its sister publication PC Computing, or even Computer Shopper.

    I miss the days when PC Magazine was printed, every 2 weeks, for most of the calendar year, and each of those magazines was stuffed with things other than ads, including help sections, original reviews, and impressions of new products - not just complete machines, but things like SCSI cards, and other add-ins.

    I remember my original purchase of a Promise DC-200 caching controller, because of an early report in PC Magazine. PCWorld has never has this kind of coverage. Its coverage is more for the business types, and perhaps the tech investor, and never getting into the nuts and bolts of computers, or anything else covered.

    BTW, I really would not give Apple so much credit, it has been the steady decline of relevance at PCWorld that has brought its demise.

  6. theweAkinpolitics says:

    Sorry to hear that.

  7. ecvogel says:

    They never notified me. Like PC Mag. Good bye. I do not have a tablet or ereader and no plans to buy one as they cost $$$. It isnt as good as it used to be either. One mag left to read Maximum PC. Plus I cannot seem to pay attention reading on a laptop compared to a mag. And I am not gonna drop money on a device to see if I am gonna find it useful or useless.

  8. Sekyal says:

    I used to read several magazines, but tech ones like PC World I stopped long ago since they were outdated. I do prefer reading an actual magazine but tablets have filled the gap pretty well - even if I don't subscribed to any magazines anyway even now. It isn't just technology that is killing them, it is the internet itself.

  9. andrew__des_moines says:

    While my heart is with the logging industry, ingesting information through flattened dead tree guts is just not as enjoyable as being dazzled by a couple million pixels of light -- nor does it come with the information feast/famine cycle of reading a mag in an hour and waiting a month for the next to arrive.

  10. jimp says:

    Print works a lot better for me than my sluggish wireless internet access. I think web publications are great if you have FIOS or U-Verse. I have downloaded a couple of magazines and my local newspaper as a test case, and it was a bad experience. When you're in a rural area with a wireless data plan with a cap, the usage charges will cost way more than the subscription price for a print publication. Plus, I like the portability, random access and light weight of a print publication compared to my sluggish wireless internet access. Sure, I read the latest computer news on Beta News and other web sites, but I really enjoyed reading my print copy of PC World.

  11. Gordon Gekko says:

    People will lose their jobs because where ever the magazine is printed, the reduction of printing the monthly edition will mean instant layoffs.

  12. fredreed says:

    I tend to disagree that digital version is better then a print edition because Its not. Digital version might be cheaper but It also has alot of disadvantages like you can't get free DVD with free software on it and even though It is suppose to be better It's not. We all saw what happened to computer shopper magazine when it switched over to all digital format It died and went out of business. In the short term this might be a good move but in the long term It will probably hurt PC World much more. I wouldn't stop printing the magazine stand edition but since they are It will mark the end of of a very successful computer magaine as we know it.

  13. leah1963 says:

    Will miss the magazine terribly. I prefer paper print. I do not sit and read digital online magazines. It's a shame. Bring it back....

  14. Larry Wahler says:

    Yes, I will miss not only the print version, but my subscription as well. I guess it seems everyone in the print business is dumping hand held reading materials for electronic, stiff often unreliable screens. RIP the Printing Press, for battery operated hard screens that SOME of us either can't afford, or wish NOT to have! I am unable to roll up an I-Pad and stuff it in my pocket, or simply roll it up and hold it in my hand. I feel this is a bad move for any magazines. I will mourn the loss .....

    Now I am off to stop what is left of my subscription to PC World "MAGAZINE", not I-PAD!
    Thank you for helping out with many things during the time I have been reading your magazine.

  15. Rick Pegram says:

    I will be canceling my subscription ASAP...total BS

  16. Minecraft says:

    And maybe this job will bring unexpected effect.

  17. jfplopes says:

    Bound to happen and as much as we may like it or not it is the future.
    The car replaced the horse because we the consumers decided that there were more benefits than nuincances.
    A car can't jump obstables. You need roads to drive it as it is not suited for uneven terrain.
    We lost the freedom of movement we had with horses but won speed.
    As for digital magazines and in fact the internet, they are also leading into the production of more and more multimedia content as a simple picture is no longer enough.
    When I buy a digital magazine I want video content, audio interviews and so on.
    PC World isn't moving to digital only format because they want to but rather because they need to.
    And there are many pros and cons, but in the end we're moving to digital because there are more pros than cons.
    People with eye strain can adapt the size of the font in a digital book or they can enable read aloud for instance.
    And as for being able to fold your tablet as if it was a newspaper, that is only a current tech limitation. Soon you'll also have that capability.
    Many companies are planning to bring flexible displays in the near future and that in turn means that you may even fit your newspaper inside a pen.
    There is always some resistance to change. In fact I miss the traditional magazines already for all the cool things I could do with it. Fold it, share it and so on.

  18. aretzios says:

    Yes, of course I will miss the print edition. I will continue, of course, the electronic subscription, but I can tell you that I will not be reading the magazine as often as I had, when I had the print copy. In any case, this was a big mistake because although tablets are certainly part of the future, not everybody has them and not everybody is happy to use them as a magazine reading platform. At the end, of course, PC World would only accelerate its demise with such a move.

© 1998-2020 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy.