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Are Desktop Computers on their Way Out?

Are Desktop Computers on their Way Out?

We have been hearing this a lot. Desktop computers are a dying breed. Is it really so? This Techspirited article discusses whether PCs are on their way out or here to stay.
Pushpa Duddukuri
"The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it's going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade." ~ Steve Jobs
There was an event that occurred a few years ago, that brought about a change in the world of technology as we know it. Apple's market capitalization overtook that of Microsoft's. This change went unnoticed by many. But now, Apple controls the tech world and Microsoft is grappling with the reality of disused desktops that can be found in most people's homes. Most PCs had Windows OS in the past, which was the brainchild of Microsoft.
mobile computing devices
As hand-held devices (like smartphones, tablets, etc.) and applications, made by Apple, have conquered the market, desktop computers are slowly losing out on its users. Their job is being done by the aforementioned gadgets and software, with precision. Does that mean, desktop computers are slowly dying out? Can we say with surety that in the next decade or so, there will still be a computer resting on a desk in our homes? There are some people who think it's time to throw away the computer on the grounds of portability alone. While you are at it, they suggest you throw the desk too; after all, the piece of furniture has basically no use, other than using it for your PC. I, for one, feel torn between the desktop proponents and people who are predicting its doom.
Here are some of my observations and thoughts on this matter.
They Don't Make Them Like That Anymore
ancient pc
In its heyday, everything used to be about the desktop computer. Remember, there was a time when you wanted to upgrade your CPU? Then, there were all these slots for cards in the PC that gave it more power, making it go where you wanted it to. The more slots, the better. "It will give you an opportunity to expand the memory of the PC beyond your imagination" or so, the sales guy pitched. And you bought it. Of course, it was all true. But then, the features were transferred from the cards to the motherboard, making the cards obsolete.

Now, we have sexy models of desktop computers. I am using the word 'sexy' here not to glamorize an inanimate object, but to point your attention at the sleek, powerful designs of computers that were built by computer manufacturers in order to give the desktop a new lease of life. However, nothing worked. Computers have become boring. It does not have an option to fold its keyboard and function as a tablet, unlike the latest laptops or notebooks.

The good stuff being portable devices, the smartphones, iPods, PDAs, cameras, gaming consoles, etc. You can have the most fun with them, while the desktop sits at home, waiting for you to return and check your email. However, that too, you end up doing on your way back home on the tablet. Funnily enough, all these products already have several overlapping features.
Dead or Alive?
old pc
A word of explanation: It seems that 80% of the function of the PC can be accomplished on the tablet, and people have figured out the secret. Does that spell trouble for the desktop computer?

IDC, an American market research company, reported that the PC shipments have gone down by 13.9% in 2013. This number is the steepest decline in the past few years, ever since IDC started tracking the slow demise of the PC industry. When Microsoft came out with Windows 8, it received harsh reviews from both critics and users alike. Windows 8's radical interface was least of its problems. It was launched at a time when PC world was coming to grips with the user's changing needs. No, it was not that bad, it was the awfully poor timing that acted as another nail in the coffin of the PC.

Of course, not all computers have Windows. Some also have Mac interface. Let's face it, Mac does make you feel good. However, they are expensive and most people buy Windows. At least that's how, it used to be. PC analysts, Gartner, released their report on the state of the PC industry. They believe, Windows 8 was not the real culprit behind the slow death of the said industry. In fact, they claim that the industry tanked long before Windows 8 came into the picture. As I mentioned before, poor timing!
Where Does the PC Go?
new pc
From the earlier ugly and cumbersome versions of computers, to the sleek, stylish LCD monitors, desktops have come a long way.However, people aren't buying them so much anymore. Why? There are two theories concerning it. One that points the finger at Microsoft for launching an OS that everyone loved to hate. Another theory says, the era of the PC, as we know it, has come to an end. Definitely, there is some truth to it. But if the desktop is really dead, where am I typing this? Not my smartphone, it's not keyboarding friendly. Or my tablet, same reason. Not my laptop either. Why? Let's just say it's a matter of ergonomics more than anything else.
Though a tablet or laptop, the arch nemesis of the desktop, can do many things, it will fail to run certain resource-intensive applications smoothly, like Photoshop, AutoCAD, home video-making software, etc. Not just that, multitasking is sometimes beyond the capabilities of an average tablet. Some of us still need the desktop to do our daily tasks including doing the taxes. So, let's not pull the plug on the personal computer as of now. Why don't we wait for a decade or so, and then, if needed, sit down to write its obituary.