Every time a new gadget that can browse the internet comes out (Laptop, Netbook, Phone, Tablet) a certain group of people collectively line up to take turns shouting from the mountaintops about how the desktop’s days are numbered. Annoying the piss out of the rest of us who don’t jump to conclusions and think before we speak. These are the same guys who decades ago, after seeing airplanes for the first time, wrote articles about how we’d all be in flying cars by the year 2000. Heck saying desktops are dead is like saying “Entertainment centers with 50″ flat screen TVs and surround sound are dead.” after seeing the iPod play video.
You can’t make statements like “Desktops are on their way out” and still be taken seriously. Office workers, artists, market analysts, designers, writers, video editors, architects, and others stick with desktops for a reason. See, these people use computers for actual work and not just dicking around on YouTube or checking email. And don’t forget Gamers who will ALWAYS prefer desktops over laptops. I don’t think you’ll find a single laptop at the LAN parties below. I wonder why?
Desktops are more upgradable, modular, comfortable working on for long periods of time, have more processing power, more graphical power, more hard drive space, more RAM, have limitless multitasking, more powerful software to choose from, are expandable, support larger sized monitors and even multiple monitors (once you go dual monitors you can never go back), and are faster at pretty much everything. Desktops solve nearly all the problems that portable devices, tablets, and phones have (multi-tasking, copy paste, power, graphic ability, etc…). So why diss on the desktop? Because it’s the popular thing to do. Desktops aren’t the next best thing, they’re not portable, they come with cable clutter, and don’t have an easy to use app store. Apparently using Google to find software and clicking “next” through install wizards is too much for some people (not meant as a insult, it really is too much for some people), but many of us are fine with it.
Yet, it’s funny how this group always comes crawling back to the desktop when it’s time to do serious work (or gaming) without being hunched over on a laptop, getting carpel tunnel on a netbook, or straining your eyes trying to read web pages on a tiny phone (see rise in neck pain, back pain, and eye strain reports from physicians across the US). Well, sometimes they don’t come crawling back to the desktop to do serious work, because some of them don’t have any real work to do (oh snap!).
It’s not that the desktop is disappearing, it’s that they WANT the desktop to disappear. They’re bored out of their minds and want something new. They are also very wrong. Desktops are here to stay, and as they improve and become easier to maintain and use, their numbers will increase. Their sales are slowing probably because most people who want a desktop already have one and desktops don’t have to be thrown out every 2 years like phones, or break every 1 to 3 years like many laptops do.
Here are some real numbers.
“Despite the rising popularity of smartphones, netbooks, and smaller notebooks, desktop PCs have made a notable resurgence in recent months. According to a recent report, sales of the units were up an impressive 30 per cent in February” - infopackets.com
“2010 is likely to see the best growth rates for consumer desktops in years.” We’re all great fans of desktops here, but given how badly PC sales slumped in early 2009, we’re not convinced that the February jump is more than a blip. Desktop revenues have grown in three of the past four months after 21 months of decline—we’ll wait for a few more months of economic stability before concluding that desktops are experiencing a sort-of renaissance.” -hothardware.com
“Desktops aren’t dead. Fewer desktops will be sold in 2015 than in 2010, but in 2015, they’ll still be used by more consumers than any other type of PC.” - Steve Ballmer is Right: The PC Market is Getting Bigger
“Global PC sales grew 27 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared with last year’s first quarter, according to IDC. The analyst firm expects to see a growth rate of 20 percent overall for global PC sales for the whole of this year.” - mcpmag.com
Despite all these new tablets and netbooks and smart phones, desktops are still selling. Now they might take a hit with the iPad being released just recently but again, try browsing the internet for 8+ hours, playing thousands of free flash games, photoshopping, playing premium games (not the “Plants vs Zombies” kind), typing up 7 page Word documents on an iPad. That last one can be done on an iPad, but not very comfortably.
Now don’t get me wrong, tablets, smart phones, and latops are awesome for getting things done and having fun when you’re away from the desktop but they’re just that. A less powerful, portable version of the desktop. In fact, these portable devices try harder and harder each year to mimic the desktop’s features (app stores), power (more powerful processors), expandability (SD card slots and other expansion ports), productivity (integrated qwerty keyboards that slide out), and comfort (larger screens, higher dpi), just in a more portable manner.
The thing here to remember is that no matter how powerful laptops get, desktops will always be more powerful, upgradeable, and comfortable. Even as the world of computing becomes smaller and more mobile, there will always be a market(s) for people who want powerful, upgradeable, comfortable computers.
I’d like to ask the “Desktops are Dead” folks to shut up already, but I know they won’t :(