Weekend Open Forum: Desktops doomed to irrelevancy?

By Jos · 164 replies
Mar 5, 2010
  1. jjmgs1005

    jjmgs1005 TS Rookie

    I have to agree that the desktop is here to stay. To many applications in the business world require the speed and power of desktops. I don't see many CAD or graphics users switching anytime soon. My own personal choice is the laptop. Working in IT I don't need the horsepower of the desktop. I need mobility the laptop. I can not see a time were I would use a smartphone to remote into servers, switches or routers from home. The lack of screen size and easy to use keyboard (big fingers) make it to difficult to use.
  2. tim074

    tim074 TS Rookie

    I would say no to that. A lot of people prefers performance over portability, and since you can't cram 2 HD 5970's in a laptop, desktop won't die for the next 10-20 years or even beyond it.
  3. isamuelson

    isamuelson TS Booster Posts: 100

    Right, because I can play Fallout 3 and GTA IV on my phone SO much better than my PC.

    Google, STFU!
  4. jjbeard926

    jjbeard926 TS Rookie Posts: 69

    While portability is the future, and I foresee laptops, netbooks and ultra-portable devices each outselling desktops in the near future, there will always be a place for the desktop. To me this is reminiscent of the "the mainframe is dead" theories of the 80's. We still use servers, we just don't call them mainframes anymore. And with cloud computing increasing the server is actually more important than ever. So no, the desktop will still have a place, the question is how much of a market will it have in the future.
  5. tacotech

    tacotech TS Rookie

    I think that it will happen but not in the time frame the author suggests. I personally am staying away from desktops systems even now. Primarily because they are not portable and secondly because the laptop/notebook does everything I need a computer to do, of course I do not play games. However people that do will probably want their own machine to customize. So really it depends on your use.
  6. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Brilliant but slightly flawed. Toyota Prius is a fad, for celebrities to show off that they are concerned about environment. However, factually Toyota Prius is just as bad for environment as SUVs. Therefore, a better petrol or diesel engine for that matter would do lot less damage then Prius anyway. By the way I haven't seen any 'sensible car owner/driver' buying Prius for that matter ;)
  7. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    These statements are made to generate buzz because they set no context. Context is devilishly left out, yet implied with the sole purpose to spark media attention in the person and organization the speaker represents. This is prolonged as we are compelled to engage in debate over the accuracy of such a seemingly open statement.

    The bigwig from Google makes broad statements, yet honestly his statement rings true in the context of his business, information access and share. Simple computing or more likely referential tasks make sense on portable devices that we can carry around with us - searching, emailing, Twitting, Facebooking, Wikipediaing, IM/Texting, some banking, and maybe a little online shopping, “remoting”, and other inventive app that are otherwise mashups of these producing something else that lends itself to portable devices. The portable computing market is expanding and will have tremendous future growth - thanks for stating the obvious.

    However, the desktop still has interfaces for applications that will continue to be necessary because a portable device will just not be appropriate. High Performance computing, hardcore gaming, Content Creation require large screens and computing power. Then there is the need for on site and personal storage and file sharing; not everyone one wants all their data in the cloud at this point or into the near future as there are bottlenecks for broadband and concern about security of sensitive information. The smaller devices are a major market as they will complement the desktops providing remote monitoring and control of desktop orientated tasks.
  8. mneidoni

    mneidoni TS Rookie

    While the laptops become more and more powerful, let's not forget that:
    - components are still VERY expensive compared to the desktop counterparts.
    - GPU power is severely cut down for the laptops.
    - screen size can be deterrent for some enthusiasts.
    As an enthusiast, I like to create my own configurations, and assemble them. I cannot rely on a company's pre-made choices, I hate to be a slave to THIS or THAT system, that's why I think, IMHO, that laptops will never be able to replace desktops. At least for gamers.. .and professionals.
  9. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Desktops will ALWAYS have their place in the market. Although notebooks are increasing in numbers, desktops will still be preferred systems for quite a few companies who do not wish to issue their employees laptops.
  10. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    This is like saying, "the stationary house will go away in favor of mobile homes."

    I highly doubt that the desktop will ever go away, and I pray to God that it doesn't. While portability is nice, performance will always be greater in a desktop. When laptops are as powerful as today's desktops, desktops will already be 3 times more powerful than they are now. I'm sure most people will always have a family computer, and I highly doubt that it would be in the form of a laptop.
  11. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I can see it for your 'Average' populous. The people that just hit up facebook, and send emails, maybe a bit of skype and such. But for anyone that needs processing power whether for work or pleasure, desktops are going to stick around for a while. When we can get a laptops/netbooks at equal power to desktops that cost the same or less, and also tackle the small screen issue - then we might see desktops get really rare.
  12. z71kris

    z71kris TS Rookie Posts: 20

    like it has been said, the gamers will need heavy artillery, web designers, GA's but most other people could easily use laptop, or netbooks for what they do on line, simple web browsing, email that stuff easily done on something like a netbook or small laptop..
  13. drasho

    drasho TS Enthusiast Posts: 62

    i never liked cloud computing... i like seeing this huge cpu next to me =P... Plus how can you brag about your rig when you dont have any ^_^
  14. 1 - Can't read those little screens.
    2 - Don't like trying to read those little < 14 inch laptop screens. Why when i can look at a 24 inch desktop screen? Needs to have a docking station so i can use a big screen not those those mobile devices. And don't even get started on them 1, 2, or if you really lucky 3 incher jobs on smartphones.
    3 - Performance of these mobile devices can't come close to a desktop that I can build myself verse having to buy their pre-built toys with all that blot-ware on them.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    It's a Matter of Principal...............

    I'll give up my desktop when they pry the mouse from my cold, dead hand...!
  16. ToastOz

    ToastOz TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I like the idea of computers becoming more like gaming consoles, something you can plug and play with ease no long setup times much more user friendly experience at a mass produced rate and therefore at a huge reduced cost in price tag. I'll buy a PC for $299 and plug it into my huge high def TV and enjoy gaming and surfing the web at the same time. Smaller more friendly but not a laptop. That's the future I see.
  17. RockandRepublic

    RockandRepublic TS Rookie Posts: 27

    Errr, no. A desktop actually gives me some comfort. Strange as it must be.
  18. bearspencer

    bearspencer TS Rookie

    "Few businesses cater to niche markets"

    Sorry, CMH, but I couldn't disagree with you more.

    As a current successful amateur stock market investor (ie I didn't lose my a** when the market tanked and made money when it came back) I've done a lot of research and found the most profitable SMBs are niche players. Consider that way back when, Microsoft, Dell, Apple, were all catering to (at that time) small, specialized markets.

    BTW, computer gaming is still a niche market, particularly at the levels discussed in this forum. Talk about your prices soaring...average folks buy complete brand new entire desktops for the price of a high end graphics card...or less. Niches are always about "wants" rather than "needs". People "Needs" become commodities and are available from Wal-mart. People "Wants" become Nvidia
    Even though
  19. bearspencer

    bearspencer TS Rookie

    ET3D & Wolfleader 's comments are already proving prophetic.

    When Asus' UL50VF laptop ships, it's going to come with a "hybrid graphics" solution from Nvidia. That's a fancy way of saying that it will have both integrated and discrete graphics. If you're working in Word, Nividia's Optimus will route GPU info directly through the integrated graphics. Start running Photoshop or Battlefield and Optimus' software automatically turns the GPU on and "Boom!"; your game is on.
  20. jasonk1229

    jasonk1229 TS Rookie Posts: 58

    no way, desktops are faster than laptops, yes they are limited but the speed changes everything
  21. theosephus

    theosephus TS Rookie

    I don't think this executive realizes the full ramifications of his comment. Desktop PCs give the user control over device maintenance and upgrading, and in their current state mobile devices are nowhere near as serviceable by non-professionals.

    It makes fiscal sense to limit the control users have over servicing & upgrades, because that returns the control to businesses instead of customers. But some of us do not want to pay extra for service & upgrade plans, either tacked onto the retail price or, worse, as a subscription/insurance fee.

    If desktop PCs are somehow phased out, what will happen to many of us who enjoy the responsibility and challenge of maintaining and servicing our own equipment?

    Should we all just go the Apple route and bring our Chrome PC pods in for a Google Genius to fix?

    Granted, this exec may just be extrapolating the rate at which mobile devices have increased in functionality and coverage in the past few years, but the consequences of a true decline in support for Desktop PCs would damage a large consumer group still quite happy to pay retail prices for components later, as opposed to high initial sale prices.
  22. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Posts: 174

    There are so many advantages to desktops. Ability to have multiple large screens, high performance graphics cards, ability to upgrade, etc. I know I will always be a fan desktop pc's. Laptops are meant to go on the internet for the most part.
  23. jjbeard926

    jjbeard926 TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I wouldn't jump straight to calling the Prius a fad or to claiming as fact that hybrids are as bad for the environment as traditional engines.

    Yes, there is a current fad for celebrities to appear eco-friendly and so hybrids are a quick status symbol. That aspect is a fad. However, the long term solution for the environment is one of mixed solutions. We won't have a truly clean fuel vehicle for a very long time, so in the meanwhile a mix of hybrids, electric vehicles and more efficient traditional gasoline vehicles will help during the transition.

    As far as hybrids being just as bad (or worse) than traditional gasoline cars for the environment, that argument is usually based on a study relating to the production of the lithium ion and nickle cadmium batteries used in hybrid cars. That study was found to be very flawed. You can look it up on Snopes, as well as a number of scientific journals. Yes, lithium, nickle and cadmium are elements that through their mining and refinement processes are bad for the environment. Very bad in fact. However, you are talking about a 1 time damage to the environment in the mining and then refining process. The vehicle then produces less emissions and lower damage to the environment throughout it's product life cycle. In contrast a traditional vehicle make similar (though slightly lower) damage to the environment during it's production, no nickle or lithium, but plenty of iron and aluminum (almost as bad during mining and refining processes as the materials used in the batteries). But then during the products life cycle it will continue to do significant damage through it's consumption of gasoline (not just the C02 gasses it emits either, but also in oil pumping, and refining).

    Look up that claim again and double check the sources.

    As far as that all relates to the desktop though, small and compact is the way of the future. But lower cost, while still high powered machines will not just go away. I know I'd rather spend an hour sitting in front of a desktop than in front of a laptop. And I don't even want to have to do a full days work on my cell phone.
  24. buttus

    buttus TS Enthusiast Posts: 180

    Desktops will be around for a very long time. The upgradability, the fact that people like to have workstations at home. And I for one believe that eventually people will grow tired of having mobile internet (ever try typing or reading a small screen whilst in your car?). I am a techie guy with loads of tech in my house. The one thing I do not have though is a cell phone as I find the technology invasive and intruisive. People do not need to get a hold of me if I am on the road, or I am in the washroom. Messages can wait until I am home or at the office.
  25. jjbeard926

    jjbeard926 TS Rookie Posts: 69

    On the one hand I agree: all this mobile tech can feel very invasive and more like digital leashes than toys. On the other hand, I'm on the flip side of the spectrum. I did away with my land line and TV service years ago and couldn't be happier about both. I get all my entertainment and news online. My only phone is my cell phone. My wife and oldest child have phones and I couldn't imagine not having one any longer. It's so much easier to reach my child when she's at a friends house or if she needs to stay late at school she can call to tell us.

    But yes, smart phones will never fully replace laptops and desktops. You just can't get the functionality out of that tiny screen and the limited input methods. The question is really: will desktops survive the laptop trend. And I agree with you that they will. If nothing else as media servers.
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