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The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop! 453

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-abandon-your-battlestation dept.
theodp writes "'The desktop or laptop is now in decline,' writes John Sall, 'squeezed from one side by mobile platforms and from the other side by the cloud. As a developer of desktop software [by choice not necessity], I believe it is time to address the challenges to our viability. Is software for the desktop PC now the living dead, or zombieware.' While conceding there's some truth to truisms about the death of the desktop, Sall believes there's still life in the old desktop dog, 'We live in a world of computing where dreams come true,' Sall concludes. 'The mainframe bows to the minicomputer. The minicomputer bows to the personal computer. The personal computer bows to the tablet and smart phone. It seems as if these will soon bow to the smart watch or smart glasses. But at each step along the way, some applications find their best home – and other applications as well as new applications find the more convenient and smaller home better...So let's keep our desktops and laptops, our PCs and Macs. They are amazingly good at what they do.'"
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The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!

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  • by servo335 (853111) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @09:15AM (#45593815) Homepage
    I can say as a computer repair / consultant shop the desktop/laptop is not dead. people don't like windows 8 and when i tell them i can still get windows 7 they are ecstatic and want me to build them from scratch a computer!
  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @09:23AM (#45593877)
    Not to mention but managing all those virtual servers, real spreadsheets, serious management software - it's all desktop and 2-3 monitors minimum. Let everyone have their 'gadgets'. Serious PC/Mac users will remain there and leverage the smaller components for remote access or travel work. Productivity on a real system though is at least 150% higher.
  • by Drethon (1445051) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @09:32AM (#45593961)
    Unless you are stress testing the latest and greatest PC games, very little development in my experience requires sustained high CPU frequencies. A lot of development requires little more than Notepad++ which I've got some decade old laptops that do quite well with that.

    The primary limitation I've found at work has unfortunately been memory due to someone deciding 2Gb was just fine for a Win 7 machine. When running half of the corporate apps I'm already into virtual memory... ug. This of course has nothing to do with the power of laptops, just the unfortunate inability to get anyone to plug an additional $25 memory chip in my laptop.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @10:21AM (#45594499)

    I think it's more than just PC gamers, but you're right about the power of the desktop and laptop PC being a limiting factor. I have a laptop that I got three years ago and it can still run every program I need it to run. Maybe I'll need to upgrade in a year or two, but that's in the far future as far as the computer market is concerned.

    Contrast this with the early 90's when you'd get a new computer only to have a new, more powerful one come out and make you want to get it. Computers were the hot commodity and everyone wanted the latest and greatest. Now, they are seen as useful tools which are so powerful that even the low end products can handle the tasks most people need them for.

    Add into the mix the fact that smartphones and tablets can handle the tasks that many people previously needed a computer for (e-mail, updating Facebook, etc) and it's easy to see why desktop computer manufacturers are seeing stalled sales. The market isn't dying, but it is reaching an equilibrium much lower than it was in its heyday.

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