Desktop computers may still be around, but for how much longer? Mobile computing sales have been growing steadily causing desktop sales to stall out over the years. People are finding that they can do just about the same thing from their laptops, tablets, or even smartphones that they could do with their desktops. Are these mobile devices the end of the desktops?
In today’s society, people are always on the move and they want technology that can move with them. With portable devices people are able to access things like social media, bank accounts, and games no matter where they are. This is one of the biggest reasons why people seem to be buying laptops, net books, and tablets instead of a desktop with a tower. Desktops are difficult to move, whether it’s from one desk in the house to another, or if you are going on a trip that requires you to have a computer. People opt for smaller, more portable options when it comes to technology; they like to have the option of taking it with them where ever they go. Being wireless is a big perk for people on the go; desktops have lots of wire connections for speakers, a keyboard, a mouse, and many other things. People now prefer to have less clutter. This makes a laptop vary appealing since it has not only the hard drive, but also the screen, keyboard and mouse, and sound system.
Technology has changed a lot letting laptops become even more powerful than they once were. This is another reason why more people want laptops rather than desktop computers. It used to be that your desktop had more RAM, storage, and speed, and your laptop would never be able to stack up. Many notebooks and net books now, however, come with dual or even quad core processors, which give them the same computing power as a desktop. This means that not only is a laptop light weight and portable, but it has almost the same power as most desktops on the market now days.
Laptops aren’t the only things stunting the sales of desktops; smartphones have also had a big impact. For a long time, the closest thing to having a computer in our pocket was a palm pilot or PDA, but those never matched up to your home desktop. However, Apple had different plans for the mobile computing market. When Apple came out with the first generation iPhone in 2007, stores couldn’t keep them in stock for more than a couple hours, which has never happened with computer sales before. The first generation iPhone’s biggest feature was being able to use WiFi to surf the web and for apps. This had a lot of people excited that they could have internet access in more places than just at home, without having to carry around bulky machinery. When the iPhone was released, it set the stage for more advanced mobile technology and computing.
Tablets also have also changed how many desktops are being sold. iPads or Android tablets may not be considered as a replacement of a laptop or computer, but they do act like a bridge between smartphones and personal computers. However, there are many tablets that are almost equivalent to that of a laptop or net book. Tablets that run Windows 7 or are compatible with Microsoft are user friendly and act like a tablet computer. People like these types of tablets because they let them have access to important documents that run off of Microsoft, while having the same layout and function as a laptop or even a desktop. Tablets have become a very viable option in the computing industry.
Tablets, smartphones, and laptops now have access to cloud storage. This makes it easier for people to use their smartphones and tablets for their computing and storage needs, which means there is less of a need for a home base desktop. Use of cloud storage and applications like DropBox has let tablets and smartphones act in the same way that laptops and desktops do. It lets users view and edit documents, as well as sync calendars and pictures with their laptops or desktops. This lets people stay mobile but still stay in touch with all of their documents wirelessly. Mobile devices also have a more personal feel than desktops do since they are able to use GPS and accelerometers to help give the user up-to-date information about their current surroundings. Smartphone and tablet companies have been working to make these devices even more personal than they are now. Google has been working on Project Glass to create the ultimate personal experience while using a mobile device. Project Glass is a pair of glasses with a small screen that lets you see current weather updates, travel times, maps, and a variety of other things that are completely personalized to you. This mobile device isn’t concept technology; Google is almost ready to start Beta testing of this product. People like to have technology that seems to be designed for just for them.
In the current market, PC sales have stayed stable, but haven’t showed any sign of moving up. In the latter part of 2010, desktop computer sales were around 80 million, but a year later, sales had dropped by 5 million. While 75 million desktop sales may seem like a lot, it is still a sign that desktops sales are declining. This drop in sales could be related to the economy, but it could also be from people choosing a different option for their computer needs. Laptops that match the power and storage of a desktop may have a cheaper retail price, which makes it more affordable. Many people also find that it is cheaper and less time consuming to simply buy a new laptop rather than to replace or upgrade their desktop. It is expected that by the year 2015, desktop sales will make up only about 18% of computer sales.
Whether or not this is an immediate sign that desktop computers are slowly becoming obsolete doesn’t change the fact that technology is always bringing us something new to hopefully better our lives. There are plenty of new inventions that, one day, will change the way we use technology and possibly get rid of current technology. Google has already shown their new device that could make even some of the newer smartphones we have on the market history. There is no telling what type of technology the future may hold and when some products will become obsolete. Corning Inc. has already shown us they plans they have for the future that relies entirely on interactive glass. In their vision of the future, there are no desktops or even laptops.