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View Full Version : Desktop computing. Here to stay or... ?



Lisiano
October 18th, 2011, 06:23 AM
What are your thoughts about desktop computing?
Do you think they are going to stay? Or will they become deprecated with advances in technology and the modern laptops, notebooks and netbooks?
If you wish, tell us what you think in this thread like why you think so.

Me: I think it's here to stay.
Yea portable stuff is good but still nothing will ever compete with a desktop, you can't modify a portable device as easily as a desktop, especially a custom-built desktop. Also, more space = more stuff to stuff it with like more HDDs, GPUs, RAM, etc ;)

Captain Smiley Pants
October 18th, 2011, 06:36 AM
I'm sure it's going to stay. My job and millions of other jobs basically depend on this sort of work style and using tablets and such, while fun, don't seem business productive and seem to be more of a vice than an actual piece of production. Until we get to the point of Minority Report computers, desktop usage won't be changing for a long time.

dpny
October 18th, 2011, 06:41 AM
Desktops will become, essentially, the high-end workstation market as tablet hardware gets more and more capable.

gsmanners
October 18th, 2011, 06:59 AM
PCs may come and go, but the big "desktop" (as it's called for now) will be around forever. They're just too darn useful.

dpny
October 18th, 2011, 07:05 AM
PCs may come and go, but the big "desktop" (as it's called for now) will be around forever. They're just too darn useful.

You could say the same thing about mainframes, or minicomputers, or dedicated high end workstations, etc. Each has shrunk down to a niche as newer, smaller and more efficient technology has come along. Tablets will do this to the desktop, too.

We've reached a point where most computing needs--web, mail, music, video, most games--can be handled by very cheap hardware, and a point where most high end hardware spends most of its time with it cores hardly utilized. Tablets are, at the moment, fine for most computing needs and, as their hardware gets better, they will be able to do more and more. Desktops will stay for dedicated needs, but I expect their share of the computing market to continue to drop.

aysiu
October 18th, 2011, 07:13 AM
Desktops will never go away completely, but most computer users favor heavily content consumption instead of content creation, and so touchscreen tablets will suit them just fine.

Lucradia
October 18th, 2011, 08:31 AM
Definitely here to stay for gaming and distributed computing.

Artificial Intelligence
October 18th, 2011, 08:45 AM
It will stay, but not as much as we have today. We already see a movement towards laptop, notepad/book, smartphones, tablets etc. which takes over the stuff we usually do on Desktop.

But we'll still see Desktop in the office, development and research environment.

not found
October 18th, 2011, 08:53 AM
It will disappear two days after "The Year of the Linux Desktop" or Duke Nukem Forever comes out... oh wait...


404

PS - I could swear this conversation has taken place before...

Drenriza
October 18th, 2011, 09:10 AM
For the time being, it is not going anywhere. To remove it you would need to

#1 remove the desktop computer from the gaming market.
#2 remove it from the business market.
#3 removing it from the government areas.

And thats not something you just do. So do i think its here for the next 7-10 years?
Definitely.

After that, who knows.
Gaming in the browser, and thin clients will show eventually.

Nytram
October 18th, 2011, 09:13 AM
I think the market share of desktops will become smaller but not disappear.

I never use my desktop since I got a netbook.. except for burning disks.

Dragonbite
October 18th, 2011, 04:29 PM
The desktop won't disappear any time soon, but they also won't enjoy the king-of-the-heap like they used to.

Professional work such as developers, graphics and office workers will likely continue with the desktop though they may get slimmer, lighter and greener. Their durability and cost will keep them in the office for a long time (plus it is harder for employees to steal a desktop than a laptop). Laptops are too prone to issues, and you can't just swap out components as is needed.

People who work on similar stuff at home, plus gamers, will keep the more customizable, efficient and powerful desktops alive. Although laptops will eat away at this since laptops are keeping up with desktop capabilities until you start getting into the higher-end stuff.

Tablets and Chromebooks are handy consuming products for consuming (media, communications, games, etc.) but there isn't much desire to develop on one. Since the vast majority of users aren't developers, higher-level graphic editing (removing red-eye doesn't count ;) ) a Tablet or Chromebook will suffice.

So I think it will shrink in its usage since the gap between desktops and laptops are shrinking PLUS people are realizing they don't have to have more and more powerful systems to do essentially the same thing they are doing now. That's something netbooks helped show people, that a lower-spec (and more efficient) machine can do what they usually use the computer for. So Windows is one of the few pushers for hardware upgrades at this point.

Plus, desktops always makes nice personal home servers! ;)

del_diablo
October 18th, 2011, 04:32 PM
The "desktop" will die for the portable machine with holographic interfaces that will replace the laptop.
But you will still need to bring that thing somewhere and mount it, and then use it as a desktop, so the dektop will live.

3Miro
October 18th, 2011, 07:07 PM
Tablets and phones are not in the same category as desktops. That's like asking if Prius, Yaris and Fiesta can replace the 18-wheelers.

Only laptops can theoretically replace the desktop as they provide the same functionality. However, power-consumption will remain a problem for foreseeable future and the heat issues are bound to get worse. In both of those categories, the desktop wins before the laptop.

The percentage of the desktop use will drop, after all, up until recently, there was no alternative to the desktop. However, even if the percentage drops, Desktops are here to stay.

keithpeter
October 18th, 2011, 08:09 PM
Desktops will never go away completely, but most computer users favor heavily content consumption instead of content creation, and so touchscreen tablets will suit them just fine.

I voted for 'here to stay' for this reason. I suspect desktops will be used by people who create content. Your local content creators include teachers, anyone who does posters/menus/notices, journalists, people who run clubs, churches (Mosques, Synagoges, Temples, Gudwaras), political groups and so on. There are more of them than you think.

I also think that the bog standard 15.4 inch laptop with optical drive will remain popular as well. People don't carry those around so much - my local PC World advertises them as 'household computers', but they can be used in the home and then put away in little space.

PS; I've seen content created on iPads (live music performance, drawings) and I have blogged and e-mailed from an electric ink Kindle (the wifi works better than my netbook in some locations), so don't make too many assumptions about consumption!

KiwiNZ
October 18th, 2011, 08:17 PM
Nothing is forever, the desktop will evolve and or disappear just like, VHS,LP's and turntables, Cassettes.

But just like with Unity the planet will be flooded with tears and Doomsayers.

Dragonbite
October 18th, 2011, 08:28 PM
This is all just proof that computers are just a fad, and doomed to die and disappear (eventually).

KiwiNZ
October 18th, 2011, 08:38 PM
This is all just proof that computers are just a fad, and doomed to die and disappear (eventually).

There is more to computing than just desktops, they are already represent a small percentage of the total devices sold and generally sold at zero or close to zero margin.

aysiu
October 18th, 2011, 08:46 PM
With the exception of some iMacs for video and graphics production, the school I work at uses laptops exclusively (that's for students, faculty, and staff), and that includes content creation.

My wife is a graphic designer and uses a laptop (with 8 GB of RAM and a 1 Terabyte drive) for all the work she does for clients.

I suspect that if tablets really do take over (and also get really powerful processors), all the "don't take away my desktop" people will just hook up keyboards and larger screens to them anyway.

Lucradia
October 18th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Gaming in the browser, and thin clients will show eventually.

Not until game devs figure out OpenGL is better than DirectX, and that .NET, XNA and Visual Basic are junk for serious 3D.

meh_phistopheles
October 18th, 2011, 11:51 PM
I think desktops will die when alternative keyboard technology for tablets or whatever comes up with some practical solution for typing. It sounds stupid when you say it, but I'm thinking about things like typing with your mind. Who knows. That will certainly kill desktops for me.

gsmanners
October 19th, 2011, 12:21 AM
I think desktops will die when alternative keyboard technology for tablets or whatever comes up with some practical solution for typing. It sounds stupid when you say it, but I'm thinking about things like typing with your mind. Who knows. That will certainly kill desktops for me.

I've thought about that, and actually it will have quite the opposite effect. If you really think about it, the only reason laptops and netbooks are so popular is because input technology is so primitive. Once that changes, there will be no need for handheld technology. From then on, it will be only desktops.

Old_Grey_Wolf
October 19th, 2011, 01:08 AM
The desktop computer (the big brick) will be around for quite awhile longer; however, they could take on a new role. For example, they could become:

high-end gaming machines for gaming enthusiast
high-end workstations for heavy computation or high resource demanding applications
the home version of a server
the host for an in-the-home private cloud; with thin clients or tablets/netbooks/laptops connected to it, with the private cloud serving out storage, services, and applications

I do think for most users of home computers they will becomes less desired.

I had 5 desktops a few years ago, I have 2 now, and they are being used as multimedia servers or private cloud hosts.

LinuxFan999
October 19th, 2011, 01:13 AM
I believe that Desktops will still be around for quite awhile, but Tablets and smartphones will take most of the user share.

trollger
October 19th, 2011, 01:24 AM
I'm having a hard time envisioning a bunch of programmers at Microsoft all sitting at their desk with a tablet,

The desktop rules, for now, at least.

Old_Grey_Wolf
October 19th, 2011, 01:31 AM
I'm having a hard time envisioning a bunch of programmers at Microsoft all sitting at their desk with a tablet,

The desktop rules, for now, at least.

I can't envision that either; however, I can envision them plugging their laptop/netbook into a docking station then using full sized keyboards, monitors, and mouse. We do that where I work. From their laptop/netbook they can also access the company servers, networks, storage, and so on. I have accessed my companies virtualized infrastructure using this configuration to manage a datacenter. Programmers have used this configuration to compile and run their programs on the servers from their laptops/netbooks rather than doing all the work on their desktops.

SirDrexl
October 19th, 2011, 02:12 AM
I don't know, but I hope they stick around in some form. I'm just too attached to my large monitor, mechanical keyboard, and mouse, and I hate laptop keyboards and touchpads.

I think they may live on as a niche, like how audiophiles may still buy turntables or CD players that aren't portable and don't play any video discs.

cariboo
October 19th, 2011, 04:04 AM
It will disappear two days after "The Year of the Linux Desktop" or Duke Nukem Forever comes out... oh wait...


404

PS - I could swear this conversation has taken place before...

It has, people that have a vested interest in mobile computing have been saying the desktop is going away for years.

Lucradia
October 19th, 2011, 04:13 AM
It has, people that have a vested interest in mobile computing have been saying the desktop will be going away for years.

I know, and it hasn't yet. What a shame for them.

danbuter
October 19th, 2011, 05:01 AM
Desktops will always be around, as long as there are corporations or PC gamers.

KingYaba
October 19th, 2011, 05:18 AM
I hope it stays. :) I like the tactile feedback of a keyboard.

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 06:05 AM
Desktops will never go away completely,

With all due respect, 2,000 yrs from now, there won't be a "desktop" as we know it. ;)

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 06:13 AM
I hope it stays. :) I like the tactile feedback of a keyboard.

I believe there's always going to be a need for tactile feedback, but computers one day will be able to replicate reality. If we're still around....

KingYaba
October 19th, 2011, 06:48 AM
I believe there's always going to be a need for tactile feedback, but computers one day will be able to replicate reality. If we're still around....

Oh man, imagine the video games. I could do the Michael Vick experience!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oag8iBB7HE

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 07:56 AM
Oh man, imagine the video games. I could do the Michael Vick experience!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oag8iBB7HE

Count me in. Too bad it's not gonna happen for a while.

jwbrase
October 19th, 2011, 09:02 AM
Well, some of it depends on how much longer Moore's Law continues to hold up.

If it holds up for at least another five or ten years, I expect the desktop *form factor*, the big tower case, will certainly go away, just like the minicomputer and mainframe form factors are obsolete except for a few specialized uses, and be replaced by machines the size of laptops or smartphones.

This is an inevitability as long as Moore's law holds out.

However, desktop *peripherals*, that is, full sized keyboards and monitors, handheld mice, etc, will not disappear. Laptops, tablets, and smart phones will have docking stations, and, when they are plugged into these docking stations, I fully expect them to present a GUI closer to that of current desktop systems than current smart phones. I don't expect that the *case* on the machines that tomorrows gamers play on will be any larger than that of a modern laptop (or, if Moore's Law holds up long enough, even a smart phone), but I do expect that they will use monitors, keyboards, mice, and joysticks just as large as the ones they use today (computers are miniaturizing, but human hands remain the same size, and human eyes aren't getting any better in resolution).

ARooster
October 19th, 2011, 12:39 PM
The regular workstation will be the most productive way of working for quite some time. The various tablets and smartphones are just too impractical, the displays are too small and the touchscreen is useless. While voice or mind control of input might seem a fun idea it will take quite a while to master. We've come to the point in time when practically every child can use a keyboard and mouse, only to now try to invent a whole new input concept that will take further learning and adapting? I do think with the more idiot-oriented styles of desktops (such as Ubuntu's Unity and Windows' Metro Windows 8 thing) the actual desktop environments will become more and more greasy-fingerprint-on-screen oriented, but the productivity will probably suffer as a result. If you can use a mouse and keyboard you're much more productive on such a workstation than you could be using a tablet. Touch typing will be virtually impossible on a tablet as you don't actually feel where your fingers are.

Gremlinzzz
October 19th, 2011, 02:00 PM
It will stay:popcorn:

Dragonbite
October 19th, 2011, 05:02 PM
The desktop is dead! The desktop is dead! Long live the tabletop! (or do you prefer some other piece of furniture?) :lolflag:

krakket
October 19th, 2011, 06:13 PM
I think desktops are probably on their way out. Why would you buy a big tower if you can buy a laptop, with wich you have the option to take it wherever you want, place it on your desk, or connect it to outside monitor, keyboard and mouse when you're at home? you can use a laptop like you would use a desktop but you cant use a desktop like you can use a laptop.

BrokenKingpin
October 19th, 2011, 06:20 PM
It is here to stay. Some people use there computers for more than a toy or as a hub to facebook... ie. doing actual work. I am a programmer, and I will always need a PC with a full desktop OS to do my work on. This could be said about a lot of office jobs. Sure you can do document editing in a browser now, but it is still a pain in the *** and works better with a normal desktop application.

To be clear I consider a full size laptop (> 15" screen) to be a desktop for the sake of this argument. The popularity for home PCs will decrease with more and more people getting tablets or using their smart phones.

Also, there will always be full desktop computers for gaming. Although I suppose game consoles may eventually kill off the PC gaming market, but that won't be any time soon.

moldaviax
October 19th, 2011, 06:26 PM
I'm surprised by the strength of opinion in favour of desktops - I haven't had one for 14+ years and organisations I work for are moving their workforces onto laptops.

M.

SirDrexl
October 19th, 2011, 06:49 PM
I think desktops are probably on their way out. Why would you buy a big tower if you can buy a laptop, with wich you have the option to take it wherever you want, place it on your desk, or connect it to outside monitor, keyboard and mouse when you're at home? you can use a laptop like you would use a desktop but you cant use a desktop like you can use a laptop.

I know many wouldn't, but I would still buy the tower. Laptops aren't as useful if you have multiple hard drives, and I like having more dedicated (no hub) USB ports for more devices and charging cables.

SirDrexl
October 19th, 2011, 06:53 PM
I'm surprised by the strength of opinion in favour of desktops - I haven't had one for 14+ years and organisations I work for are moving their workforces onto laptops.

M.

I'm not surprised. People who are into Linux, I would bet, are more likely to want to build and/or tinker with their computers, as opposed to buying a readymade system and just using it. I'm not saying all Linux users are like that, but I think there would be a higher percentage of them within the community as opposed to Windows or (especially) Mac users. Desktops allow for more customization.

krakket
October 20th, 2011, 09:00 PM
I know many wouldn't, but I would still buy the tower. Laptops aren't as useful if you have multiple hard drives, and I like having more dedicated (no hub) USB ports for more devices and charging cables.

Yeah, good point. I had an external hard drive almost permanently linked to my laptop for a long time (until my brother stepped on it) and the only downside was only having one USB port open. BUT, you can get those things that plug into 1 port and give you 4 more. Problem Solved. Desktop would just be less messy. Honestly, I use my laptop like a desktop (plugged in and sitting in the same place) 99.9% of the time, but it's nice being able to move over to the bed and sit with it on my lap in the covers. Playing half life in bed? Sweet. Plus some of the new think pads and other laptops are pretty impressive as far as the graphics they can put out.

Regardless i don't think they'll ever completely dissapear, even if they all but become absent in the mainstream market, people will still make their own desktops for gaming or just because they can and they want one. No matter how nice a laptop is it still sucks playing games with a touchpad or trackball, you want a mouse, a big monitor and a keyboard. And the ability to update your graphics card, wich is my biggest pet peeve.

I also think as more and more laptops and tablets become marketed in leui of desktops, "docking stations" or whatever will be advertised and made more popular because people just plain LIKE having the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to plug in and use at home. So regardless of the actual tower existing, the desktop workspace still will.