Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Will Desktops Ever Make a Comeback?

Will Desktops Make a Comeback

Laptops are becoming increasingly popular. Personally, I haven't owned a desktop in five years and don't see myself ever going back to being desktop-only household. Nothing beats using my wireless laptop from anywhere in my home. If I'm cooking from a recipe I found online, I just put the computer on my kitchen counter. If I'm sick, tired or just being lazy, I can take the laptop to bed with me. And on nice spring days, I can work outside, on my porch, vs. being tied to my desk and stuck inside all day. Not to mention I can take my computer with me anywhere I go, whether it be a vacation or to a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi.

But it seems as though I'm not alone. Desktop sales are falling and laptop sales on the rise. Does that mean desktops are gone forever? Not according to a few people at AMD and Via.

Patrick Moorehead, a vice president at AMD, told the New York Times he sees the computers reemerging as "small form-factor desktop[s]." Via Vice President Richard Brown is also optimistic, asserting that desktops in the corporate world are not going away anytime soon.

But according to research firm IDC, desktop shipments will decline over the next few years. In the United States, in 2009 alone, desktop shipments were expected to drop 14.2%. In 2010, they will fall another 3.6% and 1.9% in 2011. However, international desktop shipment numbers look a little different. While shipments were expected to decline 12.9% in 2009, they are expected to gradually rise again in the following years: 0.1% in 2010, 1.6% in 2011, 2.0% in 2012 and 0.9% in 2013.

According to Brown, that worldwide increase can be attributed to Asia, "In China and elsewhere, those people have started to desire a real computer when they get home. They want a bigger screen and more power. The desktop offers that."

Even so, laptops and other portable computer shipments are expected to increase at unbelievable, double-digit rates over the next four years, due to the fact that users are becoming increasingly mobile. There's no question notebook computers will continue to dominate the market in the near future but as for the desktop, only time will tell what becomes of it.

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