Is desktop computing dead?


While the tablets, smart phones are increasing the market share of the clients and cloud computing is increasingly dominating the software requires complicated logistics, the question naturally arises, is the desktop dead? 

I would say desktop is losing a lot of its mind share due to the popularity of the tablets and smart phones, but there are two types of the computing are hard to be replaced in the near future. The first type of the applications is those applications that intensive in graphics, such as first person shooting games, simulation games, video editing, 3D CAD software, etc. The graphics cards on mobile phones are not going to get a lot more powerful in near future due to the consumption of the energy  and the battery life of the tablets. Those graphic intensive applications are not going to move to mobile. Moving to cloud is possible but that is going to take a while. 

The second category of the applications that desktop application are going to continuously dominant are those applications require specific ergonomic needs, for example,  Microsoft Word. Some writers need to write/edit documents for 6-8 hours per day, including frequent typing on the keyboard,  tablets are too small to type for a prolonged period of time. For example, Microsoft Visual Studio, software engineers need desktop and big screens to look at code, edit the code, run test them. This is also very unlikely to go mobile in the foreseeable future. 

Comments (4)

  1. David Mark Shaw says:

    CAD applications can be delivered to mobile phones and tablets not just over LAN the WAN as well but far better over the LAN. There will be a place for a desktop although more likely laptops. I have been working with architects and designers for a while now helping them deliver 3D intensive applications as a serivice. No need for heavy duty workstations any longer as it can be run on any device. Although it can be done using Revit or AutoCAD on a tablet is not really practical.

  2. gongcheng says:

    very interesting!

  3. Simon says:

    Anyone that counts will have a desktop or laptop, tablets are pretty much just additive to the market.  That's why they showed such rapid growth as everyone who already had a desktop or laptop went and got a tablet too.

    They serve different purposes and signify that we needed a device to fill the gap between a mobile and a desktop to use when we were on the couch or in the kitchen rather than in the office/study or mobile.

  4. Niekess says:

    I agree that the desktop computing is slowly going dead. Many home users are already using a laptop now and will go to the convertibles. (Surface etc.)

    As for the work environment who are typing 6-8 hours a day will the desktop computing also die soon. The solution is very simple for the small screen, plugging in an external monitor. The gamers will take longer, the current technology doesn't allow to bring a beast of graphics card into a small laptop/tablet, But I'm pretty sure that in 10 years it will be possible.