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Why has the term "microcomputing" been used less and less since 1986-87 (ngram)?

What term has replaced the term "microcomputing" since 1986?

  • Why do you assume it has been replaced? When technology goes out of use, it quite typically takes its name down with it.
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 25, 2013 at 12:31
  • 2
    The term "personal computer" replaced micro-computing..
    – Sweet72
    Sep 25, 2013 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


In the early days of computers, computers were huge machines that filled gymnasium-sized rooms. Over time, they got smaller until a market segment of computers that could sit on a desk appeared. Those computers were called microcomputers.

Eventually, all computers were miniaturized to the same scale; "mainframe" computers were just slightly bigger, more expensive micros. There was no longer a need to distinguish between microcomputers and any other kind of computer so the micro- prefix disappeared.

As for what "replaced" it, the various other computer terms have replaced it. Microcomputing is just computing with a computer.

  • 1
    A desk-top sized micro-computer was no longer so micro when an iphone sized smart phone now has more computing power.
    – bib
    Sep 25, 2013 at 13:02
  • There also used to be a class of "minicomputers" between mainframe and micro.
    – MSalters
    Sep 25, 2013 at 14:26
  • 1
    @bib an iphone has more computing power than any "microcomputer" ever did, but my desktop computer is still way faster than any iphone. Sep 25, 2013 at 16:36

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