I grew up with desktops. I’ve defended them against laptops for decades. All that’s changed.
With the recession kaput in the tech sector, one casualty is the traditional desktop PC. Its sales are still depression era and getting worse. Some are calling it a “death spiral.”
My best computing friend remarked, “Hey, my desktop sucks, it’s so 1990s.” That’s a pretty good obit for what once was the apple of our eye.
I went computer shopping recently and was shocked that my favorite store had only three desktops. All the rest were laptops and pseudo computers such as cell phones and tablets.
The manager told me the consumer desktop died with the recession. “Everybody wants laptops, even at businesses,” he said.
Why not. Laptops once sold at premiums over desktops. Now they’ve switched. You can buy a laptop for $399 and would need $600 for its equivalent in a desktop.
It took eight years for laptops to eclipse desktops. This year it’s lights out for the loser.
I feel so weird about this, almost funereal. I grew up with desktops. I’ve defended them against laptops for decades. All that’s changed.
While I’m writing the obit, I’ve found the cause of death: Wireless networking. It’s meaningless with a desk-born dinosaur PC. It’s everything with a portable laptop. Period.
What a weird revolution. While desktop sales are free falling, the desktop’s peripherals are soaring. Big monitors and full-size keyboards are flying out of the stores.
This is not so strange when you think about it. Laptop consumers often opt for adding these “accessories” to their portable systems, giving them the best of both worlds. That’s thanks to the USB connectivity of all laptops. My wife uses her laptop that way, with the heavy work going to the keyboard. My sister’s doing the same.
For years, laptops were ridiculously underpowered compared to desktops, especially given the power-hungry image and movie editing we now require. No longer. That $399 laptop has 3 gigs of RAM and a 320-gig hard drive. The $600 desktop comes with 2 gigs of RAM and a 160-gig hard drive. Enough said.
The new boys on the block are Internet TV and smart phones. Some predict they will negate the need for any PCs at all.
Why do I feel that next year I will be writing the death knell of the laptop? Nothing is sacred in technology, everything is at risk of the next big thing. That’s the only thing that never changes.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.