With the invention of laptops, tablets and other mobile devices, it would seem that the desktop PC is slowly dying. The sales are lower, but that doesn’t mean all sales have dried up. There are still people looking at buying computers for their desks, with a move to the All-in-One computers, where there is no need for all the connections and wires.
So, is the desktop PC dying and how long does it realistically have left in the world of technology? Will mobile technology be a definite takeover?
The Addition of the Laptop and Notebook PCs
During the turn of the 21st century, laptop computers and notebooks became the thing to have. They allowed people to work on the move and the sales of the desktop PC started to fall. There was a major benefit to having a laptop. It could be used on a desk, and have a mouse and traditional keyboard attached to it, to work like a normal PC.
However, there has always been a downside: the space. Desktop PCs always had, and still do have, more space than other types of components. They are bigger and able to hold more space easier. Even the All-in-One devices have more space than tablet computers, smartphones and laptops.
The Move to Mobile Technology
Just a decade after the growth of the laptop and notebook, there was a move to mobile technology. There is no need to buy anything else, when you can do all you need on a mobile device. This could be a tablet computer or a smartphone. People all over the world are using the internet on-the-go thanks to the mobile technology.
Since the release of mobile devices, the sales of the desktop PC have dropped. People want the latest, and don’t want to feel like they’re stuck in the age of old computers. In fact, PC shipments have dropped by 7.8% in this year alone, and that trend looks set to continue.
Why Could the Sales of Desktop PCs Drop?
It begs the question, though, why so many people are favoring mobile devices over desktop computers. There is still a need in the world for the desktop devices, especially when they are no longer the big, bulky space-users that they once were. So, why are the sales of desktop PCs dropping?
One of the reasons could be that people are more on-the-go than they have been in the past. They need to be able to multi-task or get everything they need in one place. This is what mobile devices, especially smartphones offer. It is possible to check emails, get social media alerts and do work all on one device, no matter where you are. Some are limited to Wi-Fi internet connections, but it is possible to pay more for a device that works on mobile internet too.
With the need for this, desktop PCs simply cannot compete. They are fixed to one place, so they have everything that people need except the mobility. However, they are much bigger. The screens are wider and not all websites are dynamic and mobile responsive.
Another reason is that a person can do everything on their mobile device. A student can take notes in lectures, while having all the slides on his own device. A commuter can catch up with work on the train or bus into the workplace. There is no need to wait until powering up the desktop when in the office. In fact, many offices are becoming mobile friendly to allow commuters to get on with work while out. Company owners are also able to handle work needs while out of the office. They could decide not to go into work and handle it all from home, or could check up on emails while abroad, without having to find an internet café.
The cost is also prohibitive to many. Tablet computers may seem like a lot when you consider they reach to around $700, depending on the make. However, desktop PCs are much more expensive and can cost into the thousands. This is just too much for people, who want tablets, smartphones, games consoles and all the rest of the great devices. The cost of the desktops need to drop considerably, or else they will continue to die out.
The Storage Space Problem Solved
Computers sitting on the desktop do have more storage space available, often 10 times more than mobile devices. If you look at the majority of tablets and smartphones, you are limited to 16-32GB in most cases, unless you’re really lucky and can afford the bigger storage capacities. With that in mind, you would think most people would opt for desktop PCs, and that was the case for a long time.
However, that storage space issue has been solved in a number of ways. First of all, SD cards and memory sticks can be used to store the media. Most Android phones and tablets will use MicroSD cards to store music, movies, images and documents. Those cards can be carried around in the wallet or handbag, so they are always there when needed.
There is also the benefit of cloud storage, which is now becoming extremely popular. Cloud storage involves storing things online. Free accounts are available from places like DropBox and SkyDrive, or people can pay to gain more space for their needs. This is excellent for all types of users, whether personal users or businesses with a lot to store. Backups can be created quickly and easily, and everything can be gained wherever you are from your mobile device. Of course, this deals with the lack of space on the devices!
For those who love music, there is no longer the need to carry it around, either. Not only could it be stored on the cloud storage, there are apps that allow you to listen to music on the go. You could access music for free, from all your favorite bands, with apps like Spotify. Google has even brought out its own version where you can store your own music and play it through apps on various mobile devices.
Is There Any Need for Desktop Computers?
So, the next question would be whether there is still a need for desktop computers, when mobile devices are so superior. The problem lies in the ease of use. Desktop computers are much bigger and still have the keyboard permanently attached. With mobile devices, there is the touch screen keyboard, but it isn’t useful for everyone. You would need to purchase an external add-on to use a physical keyboard and mouse.
Desktop computers are also heavier and less susceptible to being stolen. There is more value in the mobile devices, which are just easier to take from someone’s pocket or handbag. For those who worry about their own safety, there are many benefits to opting for a desktop device, or even a laptop as compared to a tablet or smartphone.
For those who are stationary in their work, there is really no need to get a mobile device. People who work from home or can only do work in an office would benefit from the desktop devices. They are constantly there, all the programs required are on the computer and there is enough space for everything. There is no need to fiddle around with memory devices, or hope that there is an internet connection to access the cloud storage.
Those who work stationary and sometimes commute or travel could find a benefit in having both types of devices. People are more used to the desktop PCs, so they work on them faster and easier. They can have multiple screens connected to one computer, which helps to do more at once. When it comes to the tablet computer or the smartphone, you can only really work on one program at a time, and it can be trickier to switch between the two.
Tablets Become PCs
The manufacturers know how important desktop PCs are, and how much people still prefer to use them. Because of that, they’ve created add-ons that will turn tablets into PCs. For example, Microsoft has the Surface Pro tablet, that has the keyboard add-on and cover with a stand to turn it into a smaller version of a laptop. There are versions where the monitor can be removed from the keyboard base, to convert from laptop to tablet in one quick move.
The desktop PC isn’t dying out; just in the sense that people understand them to be. The lines between them are starting to blur. However, traditional PCs may never die out, as manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make changes to them. It was only recently that they changed from the monitor and base to the All-in-One design, because that is what people want and need.
There are pros and cons to the different devices on the market. For some, the tablet computers and smartphones offer everything they could possibly need. For others, the desktops and laptops are just right. Until everyone decides that tablets are perfect and there is a way to do absolutely everything that a desktop does, the desktop PC will never die out. However, that doesn’t mean sales will drop as more people learn the use of tablets quicker and become more accustomed to them.