The last ( Dec 2009) issue of the Indian PCWorld and ( right) the portal
PCWorld India, RIP!

 Indian print edition of the popular IT monthly ceases publication this month, some 40 months after it was relaunched in this country for the second time.

PC World
– the Indian print edition of the popular infotech monthly from global publishing group IDG – ceased publication this month. Subscribers were informed by mail; but news stand readers learned only in recent days from their usual outlets that there was to be no January issue. Instead they have the option to subscribe to a free daily tech newsletter from  

“We believe that this goal is best accomplished by picking a different medium, rather than the print magazine with which we started. Today, the Internet provides a far more comprehensive, instant, and interactive platform for us to provide the information you seek”, subscribers were told.

IDG has a presence in over 50 countries and publishes titles like ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, NetworkWorld, MacWorld and CIO. In recent years many geographies have seen these titles go online from a print version.

This is the second time that PCWorld is seeing a print shut down in India. In the 1980s, it was on news stands, together with a sister publication, Computer World. Both publications folded after a run of less than a decade. The magazine in its present form was relaunched in July 2006 and in an arena crowded with titles like Digit, Chip, Computer Active, Silicon India, the woman-oriented LiveIT – and the slate of titles like PCQuest, DataQuest, Dare etc from the CyberMedia group, it managed to retain its own classy flavour -- fine production values; useful content on DVD and a mix of articles from the parent magazine as well as a lot of localized India-specific content edited in its final phase by industry/media  veteran Vijay Ramachandran  

But with the Internet burgeoning in the country -- 80 million (and growing) with access – there was so much instant information out on the Web that print magazines seemed to be struggling to get a share of IT companies’ shrinking advertisement budgets in the last year or two. 

The biggest IT media group, Cybermedia India,  has  morphed many of its flagship publications to address separate vertical segments of the industry -- and is seen to bolster its print offerings, with a strong portal, as well as    hosting and managing  many  IT events in the country.

 The  'garam hava' or hot breeze of Cyberia   has  been seen to affect not just pricey monthlies but even free give away papers. The Hindu newspaper group launched  a free   tech-lifestyle tabloid, Ergo,  in 2008, as a free  paper specifically  targeted at Chennai's IT corridor. It went online only less than a year later.

Cover prices of the IT monthlies have gone up – to Rs 100 and more – and the content of the ‘free’ DVDs tend to be almost identical in many months.

Yet India’s rich IT media --even if financially challenged – is  playing a crucial part in e-powering a new IT-savvy generation, that is able to afford the new generation computing and gaming platforms and is hungry for news and information about digital gadgets and lifestyle products. PCWorld – the print edition -- played its own unique part in this service and its passing is sad, even as we welcome its new online avatar.

Goodbye PCWorld; hello !  - Anand Parthasarathy, in Bangalore Jan 20 2010

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