Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #236 1/29/2014

Question: Are desktop PCs obsolete?


Lots of articles in the past year have been saying the PC is obsolete and dying. We are in a period of change in computers, but that is normal. Something new or different about computers is coming and that is true whatever day or year you read this.

The desktop PC has been the main type of personal computer since about 1981. Although over the years from the 90s forward we have seen a lot of usage of laptops but most people still had a desktop although if you look back you will see for a number of those years it was said the desktop was dead and being replaced by the laptop.

Now we have a number of mobile devices that do what many people had been using the desktop for. These include tablets, PDAs and smart phones. That is to use the Internet, and check email. For these users the desktop I think is basically dead. However there is a very large market of desktops (mainly businesses) that the desktop does things that their employees cannot do on a mobile device including running many applications. These same employees will be using a mobile device to do their Internet and email. Another group that is clearly still alive in desktops are the gamers. For many of their top of the end games they need the strongest and fastest PCs and mobile devices have no chance.

If you are into graphics or picture or video editing most want a desktop although a laptop may do. There are lots of applications who need the stronger power or larger resources. It is a combination of CPU speed, amount of memory and graphics capabilities and then size screen you need.

I fully expect the sales of desktops to continue to decline as people realize their smart phone or PDA handles their needs but I also expect lots of desktops to continue to be sold. People have predicted since the PCs appeared about the death of mainframe computers but they are still sold. PCs have replaced a lot of smaller ones but organizations with large data needs find them still useful and there are companies making money still building super computers.

I expect we will see smart phones, tablets, PDAs, laptops and desktops all around for a good while although I think the laptop will be the first casualty.