Sunday, March 7, 2010

Desktops Gone in Three Years?

Desktops Gone in Three Years?

Everyone (except maybe my parents) know that desktops are becoming less popular. People are trading in their old computers for newer, more portable models or other devices that allow them to perform many of the same functions (browse the web, check email) on the go. But while speaking at the Digital Landscapes Conference, Google Vice President of Global Ad Operations, John Herlihy, made the shocking prediction that desktops would become obsolete in as little as three years. And he says laptops aren't far behind:

"In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs. Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible. Because there’s more information and because it will be hard to sift through it all, that’s why search will become more and more important. This will create new opportunities for new entrepreneurs to create new business models - ubiquity first, revenue later."

But not everyone sees it that way. People from other major tech companies say that while it's true that smartphones and other similar gadgets are becoming increasingly popular, that doesn't necessarily mean desktops, and especially laptops, are going anywhere. Experts believe people will continue to brace new mobile technology, as well as keeping their home computers for other tasks, allowing the two to compliment each other.

Have you ever tried to type on a mobile phone? No matter how fancy your keyboard is, after a while, your hand's going to cramp up and increasing the size of the mobile phone is impractical. In that case, you may as well be carrying around your laptop. Tasks such as creating large word processing documents on your cell phone is probably not going to become trendy anytime in the near future which would make things so much harder on students and working professionals. The same could be said for screen size and weight. Increasing those things would defeat the purpose of having a mobile phone.

Comfort's not the only reason. First of all, battery life is a major factor. Right now, increasing battery life would mean the same thing as increasing the comfort - more power would mean larger phones. And never mind other factors such as software design. Could you imagine gaming only on your phone?

Personally, I'm not an expert, but I think laptops sales will continue to soar. I also think desktops will be around for longer than three years. They may continue to decrease and in the long run, become obsolete, but I just can't picture anyone giving up their computers in favor of mobile phones.



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1 comment:

todd said...

I am not so sure this will happen. Everyone talks about cloud computing and I think in the end people will be afraid to give up their rights and data.