Posted in: Technology

Run for cover – the death of the desktop is upon us – again


I think that I have lost count with the number of times I have heard the dire warnings about the death of the desktop computer. I believe they were even forecasting it back in the days of the XT’s and then there was the thin client that was going to replace all those hunkering monstrosities with uber cool slim boxes that you would miss if you blinked the wrong way.

Well once again the death and destruction of the desktop is being heralded by Stacey Higginbotham because Microsoft reported lower than expected second quarter earnings. Or to put it in plain English our crappy economy is kicking the snot out of the desktop PC industry and our love affair with small screens and wireless connectivity is giving mobile computing that extra boost it needed to show the PC who’s boss.

Okay .. so let me get this straight. Microsoft finds itself with an 8% decline in multi-billion dollar revenue and all of a sudden the millions of desktops in both the corporate world and our homes are suddenly going to be replaced with iPhones or clunky Androids. Ya … okay .. I just want to know one thing. Can I have some of the drugs that Stacey is taking?

Look – the desktop computer isn’t going anywhere for some time. It is a fixture that too many people and corporations are reliant on. To assume that because of a dip in earnings everyone is going to go rushing out to replace their computers with underpowered hard to use mobile versions of a squawk box is nuts.

What will happen at some point is that the desktop computer will become the desktop. It will become your office wall but it will never be replaced by some small hunk of overpriced plastic. As we become even more connected and require even more power out of our computers we will find that the desktop computer will in fact become even more ingrained in our daily work and personal lives. the only thing is – they won’t look like what we use today. Minority Report might have been a science fiction movie but the technology it portrayed is getting ever closer but it won’t come in the size of an iPhone.

Instead it just might come as your new desk.

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2 Responses to “Run for cover – the death of the desktop is upon us – again”

  1. ontarioemperor

    If desktops do pass on, it won't be smartphones that will replace them.

    There have been several instances in which laptop sales have overtaken desktop sales, and the case for laptops is compelling for some workers in some industries. And as far as Microsoft is concerned, desktop and laptop O/Ses and software cost the same, more or less.

    I can't exactly predict a “desktop computer becomes desktop” scenario, at least in the short term, but I will grant you that desktop computers will continue to be more powerful for laptop computers, and that certain workers who perform work at a fixed location will demand the power of a desktop computer.

    But then again, who needs fixed locations when we can store all of our data and applications in The Cloud! The Cloud will be our friend! The Cloud will permeate All! Entire new industries will spring up to allow you to access your data in The Cloud from grocery stores, gas stations, and bars! (Yes, I'm kidding.)

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