Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Will the Desktop PC Live Forever?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-one dept.

Hardware 625

concealment points out a rebuttal from PCWorld of the increasingly common claims that we live in a post-PC world. "It's an intriguing proposition, but don't count on mobile devices killing off your desktop PC any time soon. While mobile gear is certainly convenient when you're trying to conduct business on the go, it's nowhere near as convenient as a desktop when you're trying to complete serious work in an office environment. Sure, your phone, tablet or even laptop might conveniently fit in your pocket or backpack, but all these devices are fraught with compromises, whether it's computing power, screen size, or, well, a really expensive price tag."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600093)

That is all.

Re:Yes (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41600235)

Indeed, this is a rare counter-example to Betteridge's Law of Headlines [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#41600281)

Basically this, with a few reasons

As long as desktop hardware is cheaper than comparable laptop/portable hardware, it will have a niche. You can hook up all the docking stations and external monitors in the world to your tablet, but a desktop rig will have more storage, more memory, more GHz and better longevity (if only due to superior air flow) at a lower cost.

That's not even getting into the ability to customize and replace hardware without a dozen proprietary bits.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600377)

I think we'll actually approach the point where you only have one "computer" and that what you carry is the user interface and cache. The distinction between a seperate desktop computer and tablet will become one of thickness and cache. Email and calendar are already there; my wife doesn't care wether she's using the destktop, laptop, tablet or phone; they all just sort of mostly work.

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600303)

These claims of a post-PC world seem based on the fact that the vast majority of the population is fine with the kind of walled-garden content consumption found on nearly all phones and tablets and has no need for the sort of content creation you have to sit down at a workstation for. OK, I'll stipulate to that premise.
But if the shift of that group of people away from the desktop PC means we live in a post-PC world, then what did we have before that group of people started using PCs?
They pretty much didn't come along until we had mainstream GUIs, the World Wide Web, and ubiquitous digital media--all of which came considerably after "the desktop PC".
Their departure won't kill the PC any more than their arrival created it.

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#41600465)

Kill, no. Mortally wound, perhaps. Think about it this way: right now, you can get cheap PCs for a few hundred bucks. Adjusted for inflation, computers in the mid-1980s ranged from about $3000-$6000 in today's dollars. Now think back to high school economics class and remember the discussion of economies of scale, then think about how few parts from modern tablets are actually used in a typical desktop computer.

Re:Yes (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41600645)

When I was in high school you could buy a non-PC home computer for $300 and it ran circles around a kludge clone. The idea that you need a Lemming driven PC mentality in order to have sufficient economy of scale for home computing is just a Lemming fantasy.

Re:Yes (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41600615)

At some point maybe. But I see the PC (including Laptops) to migrate dominance positions to follow the same patterns at the Mainframe (which are still not dead yet)

1970's Mainframe was absolute King No PC to speak of.
1980's Mainframe is king PC was a toy with a few Business applications
1990's Mainframe is considered dieing PC's began to dominate small and midsize companies reducing the needs to big expensive mainframes. Used for Big companies.
2000's Mainframes are still there, PC's are now indespensable and used by most businesses (the PC based servers has taken over the mainframe for most new task) Ultra Mobile Devices are appearing but mostly a toy with a few Business applications.
2010's Mainframes are limited to a few Old Legacy Stuff (too expensive to move off) or some very detailed performance related stuff (Modern Mainframes) Mobile devices get more ingrained into the business and every day use....

Now I see the PC moving away from the personal computer and to more of a high performance workstation usage. This will used mainly by software developers, and engineers for CAD and other high performance work. while the Mobile stuff will dominate every man Computing. As for the mainframe more old legacy systems will go away but still have a market for the really high performance needs.

Are these guys kidding? (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41600121)

Nothing lives forever. The PC will die eventually... but not any time soon. I can see fewer and fewer desktops in the home, by notebooks and tablets, but there's little you can do in an office that doesn't demand a PC.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (4, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41600179)

Workstations (i.e. where anything important or revenue-generating happens) will always be desktops in one way or another.

What will probably happen is that your average office desktop will get smaller. We're already seeing this, with some desktops using laptop parts, some going as far as using the same power brick as the company's laptop's (HP does this, others too, I suppose).

Re:Are these guys kidding? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600241)

Desktops are still the best way to watch a woman drop a footlong brown steamer all over the chest of a man you're pretending to be, watching it coil over and over again like a scoop of soft-serve ice cream being dispensed from a tap at McDonald's.

Of course, you could watch it on your smartphone, but you probably would only do that when you're jacking off in the bathroom at work.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1, Interesting)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about 2 years ago | (#41600255)

Take the iMac for instance; it uses NOTHING but laptop parts.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600433)

Take the iMac for instance; it uses NOTHING but laptop parts.

Because everyone knows that 27-inch screens and 3.5" hard disk drives are laptop parts ...

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41600667)

Cramming a 3.5 inch drive into a monitor without making the monitor larger?

They must be using some form of Gallifreyan dimensional warping technology there.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41600681)

I thought it used 2.5" hard drives. Or am I thinking of the Mini?

Re:Are these guys kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600709)

Take the iMac for instance; it uses NOTHING but laptop parts.

Because everyone knows that 27-inch screens and 3.5" hard disk drives are laptop parts ...

And that custom made system board, the large fans, the processor, the keyboard, the mouse, and other things.

Yup... all laptop parts...

Sort of (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 2 years ago | (#41600695)

I think, currently at least, what you're describing is more of a 'desktop' machine, not a workstation. Then the question is what did Soulskill mean when he said "desktop", did he mean "cheap commodity non-portable machines" or did he mean "ALL single-user machines with a console that aren't portable"? If the former, then I agree, they'll slowly be relegated to being no more than docking stations ultimately.
OTOH if people are talking about actual WORKSTATIONS? Yeah, those aren't really using laptop parts. I mean when I do a build I need 8 gigs of RAM, lots of fast drive space, and 4 fast cores. None of that has squat to do with laptop parts. Laptop chipsets, processors, memory, and disk drives simply aren't going to meet my requirements. At best maybe I could get by with a very high end laptop, but I can easily buy an equally powerful workstation and an 'ultrabook' for quite a bit less money than that...
Now, one day maybe I'll be able to easily just farm out the number crunching and storage to say AWS or something, but what about my displays? I've got 2 23" 1920x1024 LCDs on my desk and that's one place where no mobile device is going anytime soon either. Obviously if we can put all the CPU power out in the cloud I can end up with a thin client, which could be eventually the same hardware that goes into a tablet basically, but I think we're a good 10 years from that being the norm.
Maybe I wouldn't try building an empire around commodity workstation or desktop hardware right now, but its not a closed chapter, and I suspect there's always going to be a niche for stand-alone machines.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

xtal (49134) | about 2 years ago | (#41600247)

Talk to someone that works in a technical capacity. You'll take my 3 30" monitors from me over my dead body..

Now, will they go back to the minicomputer era pricing? Probably.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (4, Interesting)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#41600479)

I work in a technical capacity, have 2 big nerdy flatscreens, and my favorite keyboard and mouse. But it's not a desktop PC. It's a laptop in a docking station. That's how it's done in every gig I've had in recent years. I have identical setups in cubicles in two different cities and my home and only the laptop and I have to move between them.

The #1 problem with the arrangement is the requirement for whole disk encryption on the company laptop. It really slows it down. Performance is always worse on a laptop but it's dismal with disk encryption.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41600455)

Nothing lives forever.

Yes, now. At first we were kept in balance by birth rate. Few of us were ever born, less than a handful each year. Then, I think, the Universe decided that to appreciate life, for there to be change and growth, life had to be short. So the generations that followed us grew old and infirm, and died. But those of us who were first went on. We discovered the Vorlons and the Shadows when they were infant races and nourished them, helped them and all the other races you call the First Ones. In time most of them died, or passed beyond the rim to whatever lies in the darkness between galaxies. We've lived too long, seen too much. To live on as we have is to leave behind joy and love and companionship, because we know it to be transitory, of the moment. We know it will turn to ash. Only those whose lives are brief can imagine that love is eternal. You should embrace that remarkable illusion; it may be the greatest gift your race has ever received.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600477)

Probably won't even last until the heat death of the Universe.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600495)

Nothing lives forever. You mean like fire, stairs, toilets, weight-based clocks, all sorts of garments, all sort of farming tools, tables, chairs, axes, knives. Sometimes we invent things that evolve, but ultimately will be recognizable for millennia. Who knows if a keyboard, box and monitor will be around as a oft-used set of tools for virtually forever.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41600699)

...and mainframes. Let us not forget mainframes that are supposed to be long dead by now.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41600517)

there's little you can do in an office that doesn't demand a PC.

Anything you can do in an office with a PC, you can do with a VM with a thin client.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

grimm20000 (2741501) | about 2 years ago | (#41600715)

+1.. That is what we use at work. I even have a dual screen. So much easier to manage for the IT Department.

Re:Are these guys kidding? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41600735)

> Anything you can do in an office with a PC, you can do with a VM with a thin client.

At which point you've got sufficient computing to just compute locally. Chances are your "terminal" isn't going to be any cheaper either. This stuff has been done and tried and abandoned once or twice already by now.

It's like 3D movies...

Hybrid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600131)

We're going to see tablets that connect to monitors and keyboards. You work on them at your desk, then move around with them like a laptop. Or at least that's what I dream of. The iPad is close but not quite what I'm looking for. I think the MS's surface might fit the bill.

Re:Hybrid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600283)

Who knows? No one has had a chance to use one yet.

I suppose you'll be getting a Lumia 920 as well.

Looks like the shills are posting anonymously now

Re:Hybrid (2, Insightful)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41600285)

That's completely retarded. So what you're saying is we're going to replace laptops, the superior device, with a crappy device, used to to do the EXACT same things the EXACT same way using slightly different connectors? Oh wait nevermind, tablets can't do the same things. Desktops will never be replaced. Laptops are simply not reliable and not repairable or modifiable by most people, even computer technicians who know how to replace laptop components would not willingly do so on their own.

Re:Hybrid (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#41600553)

Laptops are simply not reliable and not repairable or modifiable by most people....

Maybe you should try spending more than $300 on a laptop next time. I just replaced my previous laptop after more than five years of reliable service, except for one dead hard drive, which was trivial to replace. And the only reason I replaced the machine at all is that it is an anachronism that won't run some modern software....

Re:Hybrid (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41600649)

Not really. Even a thousands dollar laptop is still a laptop, and still garbage. You must not be familiar with hardware if you think a laptop is anywhere as stable when it comes to heat management or airflow as a desktop.

Re:Hybrid (2)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41600657)

Also, look anachronism up. Improper usage. It makes perfect sense for a 5 year old laptop to not run modern software.

Re:Hybrid (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41600677)

We're going to see tablets that connect to monitors and keyboards.

At which point it's no longer a tablet, it's a PC.

Will the Desktop PC Live Forever? (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41600167)

I don't see how. Typically, a fan or the PSU goes out first, and given enough time the HDD begins to fail.

Historical anaolgy (3, Insightful)

mccrew (62494) | about 2 years ago | (#41600177)

I am reminded of Stewart Alsop's [wikipedia.org] famous quote about mainframes: "I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15, 1996." Mainframes are going stronger than ever.

Discuss.

Re:Historical anaolgy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600215)

I think "chains" is a more appropriate analogy. Desktops will live (in one form or another) because managers can't see their people working if they're not chained to a desk.

Re:Historical anaolgy (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41600277)

Mainframes did not die because they were good for the market they served -- profitable for the vendor, utilized productively by the customer. PCs are different -- utilized poorly by most customers, and not as profitable for the vendor as they could be (oh, if we could just find a way to not allow people to run their own software...). That is why PCs are in greater peril now than mainframes ever were.

You'll still have a computer on your desk, with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse hooked up to it in 20 years. The difference is that you will need to get permission from the vendor before running software on that computer, and you will not have the chance to use your computer to create disruptive technologies. Middle schoolers with a passion for programming will only get to exercise their passion in the tightly controlled environment of their school's computer lab, using the language their teacher demands they use. Programmers will use $10k computers with special licensing structures that most individuals cannot afford.

The issue is not the form, it is the philosophy.

Return of terminals (2)

Keruo (771880) | about 2 years ago | (#41600183)

I'd like my cell phone to act like a thin client.
Just pop it into charging dock and it gives you browser and email on big screen(s) and rdp client to access applications on server for those things your phone isn't powerful enough itself.
The dock could even have external GPU for extra power.

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600275)

Just pop it into charging dock and it gives you browser and email on big screen(s) and rdp client to access applications on server for those things your phone isn't powerful enough itself.

Why not, you know, just throw a CPU and RAM into the 'dock' and have a real PC instead?

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41600355)

Because that would make sense?

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Keruo (771880) | about 2 years ago | (#41600407)

Because that wouldn't allow me to use the device like a smartcard and login to every system with entering my unlock key/pattern.
I'd have to separately configure email for that PC, install software, update software... why the extra device?
All that stuff is already on my mobile.

Re:Return of terminals (4, Insightful)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#41600697)

If all you need a PC for is your calendar and email, then, sure, your idea sounds great.

At the last company I worked at the engineers all got new workstations. Super high end stuff, basically the fastest desktop machines money could buy at the time. And Autocad performance was still just in the "OK, but meh...." range for the stuff they were working on.

Do you want to be the one who has to explain to them that from now on they're going to be doing their work on a phone?

Good luck with that.

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Extremus (1043274) | about 2 years ago | (#41600319)

Or having a tablet you could use with a proper video screen, keyboard and mouse. Actually, I believe that is the whole point of Windows 8: two different GUI environments intended for two working environments.

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600333)

I think Motorola tried that, but nobody was buying the docks.

Re:Return of terminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600435)

Motorola tried this, no one bought it.

Re:Return of terminals (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41600595)

I think we're going there eventually... I mean the CPU, GPU, RAM etc. keeps getting better - even smart phones have a gigabyte of RAM these days. They won't be doing anything heavy but for light workloads, the hardest is probably watching movies on YouTube but the latest generation of phones can already decode and stream 1080p to a TV like for example here [youtube.com] . How much more power would the average non-gamer really need? I've been thinking about replacing one of my parents' boxes with a zbox nano [zotacusa.com] which is pretty much as minimal as you get but in reality it's still overkill for their needs. As long as they got to use a big screen and a big keyboard a smart phone would be plenty.

Heavy Iron will live on (5, Insightful)

badford (874035) | about 2 years ago | (#41600193)

Having 3 big arse monitors connected to a giant, lint-filled box humming noisily under my desk will always be a part of my life.

I have ipads, androids, smartphones, netbooks and ultrabook and a bunch of game systems. don't matter.

Yes, in zombie form. (3, Funny)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 2 years ago | (#41600203)

And they will all be using Internet Explorer 6.

Concept versus form factor (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41600205)

The form factor is not going away any time soon. Eventually it will be replaced, I do not know with what, but it is likely that such a thing will not happen for a long time -- maybe not even within our lifetimes.

The concept is already dying. The idea that you can own the means of your own computing, and not have it be controlled or dictated to you by someone else, is on its last legs. We have been watching it die a painful deal for the past few years, and by 2020 personal computing as a concept will be forgotten by most of society.

Gaming (4, Insightful)

alphax45 (675119) | about 2 years ago | (#41600211)

For now nothing beats a desktop for a gaming PC. I just built a new one and got Steam. Nothing else like it right now.

Re:Gaming (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 years ago | (#41600391)

Unless you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 and buy games from PSN or Xbox Live. Same thing.

Re:Gaming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600463)

As long as you don't mind shitty controls.

Re:Gaming (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41600625)

Yeah, except that developers have been fleeing consoles and coming back to the PC market for the last 3 years because it's a declining market. More so because PC's are a booming market not only in the Americas but in Asia. And it'll probably be another 2-3 years before consoles catch up. Let's not forget that as it stands, PC gaming is limited by consoles right now...6 year old hardware.
 

Yes, But perhaps a new OS. (1)

bobs666 (146801) | about 2 years ago | (#41600427)

I am no Apple fan, but there UNIX core OS make that a much more stable base for games. I would hope a free or at least open OS would be the future.

It still amazes me the group think that gave us the MS-PC for business. Why do people use a gaming platform for work. Any group with an IT staff, shame on them from using such a OS. I understand smaller groups have to wait for more access to support.

Many smart corporations have left the PC all ready. the two examples I know off the top of my head are Google and the German Government.

No, but it will be around for quite some time. (3, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | about 2 years ago | (#41600219)

Let's face it, the pc is very efficient in some things. Like text processing, image editing, programming, all tasks that depend heavily on user input are preferable done on a pc or laptop. A device that has decent input options. Typewriters replaced handwriting and the pc replaced those, the pc will be viable until someone comes up with a clever way to do those input tasks in a matter that is just as reliable as a keyboard/mouse but faster. That someone will become really rich btw. Till that day, I'm keeping my pc.

Re:No, but it will be around for quite some time. (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41600577)

Here's to the neurohelmet.

Re:No, but it will be around for quite some time. (1)

sstickeler (786277) | about 2 years ago | (#41600621)

I wonder if the effort put into user friendly UIs will start to diminish as the focus shifts away from home users.

The Post PC world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600233)

The claim is not that PC's will disappear from the marketplace and go the way of the slide rule. Many, if not most people will still be using one for quite awhile, and there will be a decent sized market for new and improved versions. It's just that the PC (including Mac as well as Windows desktop and notebook) is no longer a focal point for either technical or entrepreneurial innovation, and arguably has not been for at least 10 years. With the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, the importance of PC's for innovation becomes even less.

what the hell is 'serious work' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600251)

When it comes to computers, and what's a 'real computer', there's a definition of 'real work' that tends to be used in discussions like this that ensures a circular mode of thinking that ends up with work at a desk being some core mode of real computing.

Computers can do almost anything. Absolutely. Fucking. Anything. People who sit at a desk and work with computers are a subset of that, and framing compromises around what they can do is so insanely limiting I can barely believe people still state it.

To me, desktop computers are limiting because I can't take them in the field and record with them. or photograph with them. or draw in-situ with them. or carry them to the top of a comms tower. Desktop computers are fraught with compromises to anybody whose work doesn't revolve around the early niches computers found them in due to their bulk and power requirements.

Of course the Desktop PC will live forever despite its limitations, because it also has a very well entrenched use, but equating that with 'real work' or 'serious work' is limiting in itself.

Re:what the hell is 'serious work' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600457)

I'd call "serious work" something that one gets paid a living to do. "Blogging" and "social media" all of that other useless bullshit is what most people use computers for, and are not what I'd call "serious work".

Re:what the hell is 'serious work' (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 2 years ago | (#41600527)

I'd say serious work includes: engineering design, simulations, software development, graphic design, photo / video processing, accounting, process control / automation, financial trading, and a bunch of other things I'm certainly missing. In all of these occupations having a large screen and powerful processor improves efficiency, and the cost of a desktop computer is small compared with the annual salary of the employee.

I can see mobile devices as useful for jobs where you need to constantly move around - sales, inventory, inspection, on-site management etc, but my feeling is that those do not represent the majority of computer users at work.

The newest and greatest (5, Interesting)

ADRA (37398) | about 2 years ago | (#41600287)

tape killed records (effectively), CD's killed tape, InternetAudio is killing CD's
VHS killed BETA, DVD killed VHS, VideoDisc killed nothing, BluRay clipped but hasn't kill DVD
HD killed SD, 3D didn't kill anyone, 4K has yet to kill anything
PC's killed the MAC classic / UNIX workstations, Laptops clipped (desktop) PC's, Netbooks killed nothing, Tablets have yet to kill anything
really dumb cell phones clipped POTS, dumb cell phones killed really dumb cell phones and pagers, Smart phones killed dumb cell phones
digital video cameras killed film video camera's (effectively)
Video killed the radio star

Re:The newest and greatest (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600629)

Digital video cameras killed film video camera's what?

A few words from beyond! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600293)

"You can have my desktop computer when you take it away from my cold, dead hands!" Charlton Heston

Re:A few words from beyond! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600729)

"Your proposal is acceptable" The Bug

desktop PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600297)

What's a desktop PC (don't have one at home or at work)???

Nobody makes the Laptop I wish were here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600311)

What I want is a laptop with a WUXGA 17 inch screen, quad core hyperthreading beats-audio, and all that other great entertainment stuff.

But I want it to be super-thin and ultralight weight all but maybe 2 pounds tops.

Big screen, lots of power, feather light.

That way I can both work and stay entertained on-the-go without it weighing so much that its just too much trouble to have to carry it. As it is I have a machine with these specs already, but it weighs 7+ lbs. Its a brick to carry around NYC.

Nobody has made anything really light with this kinda power unfortunately.

Re:Nobody makes the Laptop I wish were here (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41600383)

That's because all the things you want are power hungry and heavy.

Re:Nobody makes the Laptop I wish were here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600669)

_I_ am power hungry and heavy. The laptop should be my lean-mean sidekick.

Re:Nobody makes the Laptop I wish were here (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41600647)

What I want is a laptop with a WUXGA 17 inch screen, quad core hyperthreading beats-audio, and all that other great entertainment stuff.

But I want it to be super-thin and ultralight weight all but maybe 2 pounds tops.

Big screen, lots of power, feather light.

That way I can both work and stay entertained on-the-go without it weighing so much that its just too much trouble to have to carry it. As it is I have a machine with these specs already, but it weighs 7+ lbs. Its a brick to carry around NYC.

Nobody has made anything really light with this kinda power unfortunately.

In fact, try finding any laptop PC with a WUXGA display (1920x1200). There may be a Macbook thing available with WUXGA, but the PC laptops were down-specced to FHD (1920x1080) instead. This is posted from my 8+ year old laptop with a 17" WUXGA screen. I had hoped to replace it with something of higher screen resolution by now, but that plan got thwarted by the stupid manufacturers. Luckily, its pathetic processor (1.7GHz Celeron) and RAM (1GiB, not expandable) are still adequate for Xubuntu.

Re:Nobody makes the Laptop I wish were here (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41600707)

Barring a major innovation in battery (or compact power generation) technology, this "dream laptop" can never exist.

Add to that, very efficient cooling/very efficient semiconductor tech.

The "lots of power" you want comes at a cost of increased power consumption. Increased power consumption means "very heavy battery", and "roasts your balls like christmas chestnuts on a campfire."

You need a very, very dense energy storage/generator that is also lightweight, and very efrficient cooling to remove the thermal exhaust of that power use.

There is research being done on all the needed areas, but it will be some time before such a creatue can exist; and by that time, your needs will have grown anyway.

do we still have mainframes? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41600315)

PC didn't kill off the mainframe, just more PC's and cheapo servers took a lot of the market as well

just like mobile won't kill off the PC

Re:do we still have mainframes? (5, Insightful)

afgam28 (48611) | about 2 years ago | (#41600379)

And no one said it would. This is a really dumb article which totally misses the point of what the term "post-PC" means. If you click the first link in the article, it says it in black and white:

It started last year...when (Steve Jobs) said that PCs are going to be "like trucks" in that they'll still be around and useful for certain work, but only a smaller percentage of the users will need one

Somehow the author (and submitter) have taken that to mean a world "without desktop computers".

Sure, desktops will have their place for a long time. But we're living in a post-PC world right now.

Compromises (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600323)

but all these devices are fraught with compromises, whether it's computing power, screen size, or, well, a really expensive price tag."

Or the worst keyboard layout anyone could (not) think of! And you're stuck with it. And if you'll get an external one, what's the point of mobility again?

Why does it matter? (1)

camcorder (759720) | about 2 years ago | (#41600361)

I don't see why does it matter at all. New technology always wipes out the previous one, time it takes depends on marketing and social changes of people's life. Since people started to be mobile every now and then, mobile devices are rampant now, and I would not think that smart phones that ubiquitous if Telco companies didn't offer data services. On my first desktop i was playing games and now if I want to do that I have plenty of other options to choose from. It's just that technology has entered people's life so much that there's a more market so different gadgets pop-ping up.

I'm sure one day your e-identity (via biometrics or NFC tags) will follow you and you'll have devices all around your environment which can authorize you and bring your data there, so you won't need to carry a separate device. Devices handy could be even a public service at some level. So you'll be able to use any phone you'll around and only that one will ring when you're around. Might look futuristic, but one day it's going to be your identity and data to be mobile, not your devices. Then we'll have desktop "PC"s all around again. Even with cloud computing we're getting there.

I don't think they get it (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41600373)

Admittedly the "Post-PC World" comments involve quite a bit of hyperbole - but this was never about what happens in businesses, at least in those cases where someone's entire day involves inputting stuff into a computer (whether that's as a programmer, a web developer, or an office jockey). The concept of the post-PC world is more about what's happening in the personal lives of everyday individuals (which doesn't include most Slashdotters).

The majority of people that have owned a home computer don't really use it for much more than browsing the web, email, and viewing photos or videos. For those folks, a tablet or a phone works just fine - and nowadays even their TV will let them watch YouTube or Netflix videos. They don't need a PC - heck, a PC is actually more inconvenient for their purposes than these other options are. And even if they take photos... they're probably just uploading them as-is directly to Facebook or Flickr.

So yeah, the PC won't exactly be dying anytime soon... but fewer and fewer individuals will be owning one.

Re:I don't think they get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600559)

I don't think you get it.

Except for taxes, accounting... that your "everyday individuals" are still discovering can be handled much more easily on a PC.. tasks which still don't handle well on a mobile device.

The concept of a "post-PC" world was always just that.. a concept.

The real news in this supposed "post-PC world" is that people who never touched a computer before are now getting introduced through the gateway "drug" that is mobile computing.

Re:I don't think they get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600613)

Admittedly the "Post-PC World" comments involve quite a bit of hyperbole - but this was never about what happens in businesses, at least in those cases where someone's entire day involves inputting stuff into a computer (whether that's as a programmer, a web developer, or an office jockey). The concept of the post-PC world is more about what's happening in the personal lives of everyday individuals (which doesn't include most Slashdotters).

The majority of people that have owned a home computer don't really use it for much more than browsing the web, email, and viewing photos or videos. For those folks, a tablet or a phone works just fine - and nowadays even their TV will let them watch YouTube or Netflix videos. They don't need a PC - heck, a PC is actually more inconvenient for their purposes than these other options are. And even if they take photos... they're probably just uploading them as-is directly to Facebook or Flickr.

So yeah, the PC won't exactly be dying anytime soon... but fewer and fewer individuals will be owning one.

In decline and not likely making a comeback == post X, what is hard to understand here...

The only people reading it as post == total annihilation of X, are people getting all butthurt and defensive over their desktops.

my smartphone is on top of my desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600375)

Mobile devices killing off the desktop PC any time soon maybe not, but sometime -soon- the desktop PC will be... a mobile device - so, the desktop PC will live forever, and will be mobile !

Re: building (1)

menno_h (2670089) | about 2 years ago | (#41600385)

I just built a new one

I predict a future wherein we buy smartphone-sized computer casings and put the CPU, memory, post-SSD storage stuff, etc in there with tweezers. (Anything smaller would be impractical.)
We then connect these to screens and keyboards. There is no way I'm going to exchange my keyboard for a touchscreen, I have to feel the keys.
After a while, when we are all illiterate and [tor.com] , we get voice-controlled computers that we don't understand but upon which we are completely dependent. [wikipedia.org]

Re: building (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41600581)

I predict a future wherein we buy smartphone-sized computer casings and put the CPU, memory, post-SSD storage stuff, etc in there with tweezers.

...and I predict that you will not be able to connect that to any other computers, until you insert a special smartcard that burns itself out every thirty days. You will not be able to connect to the Internet, you will not be able to do your banking, you will not be able to share your birthday pictures with Grandma unless you buy access rights. Should you find a way to connect to another computer without making such a purchase, you will have become a criminal hacker, facing five years in prison for violating 60 different laws.

The death of PCs has nothing to do with form factor, and everything to do with the concept and purpose of PCs. We could have had computer access in every home via mainframes, by having terminals with x.25 connections. Of course, we would have had no innovation, but then again, why would the industry giants want to allow for disruptive technologies? The PC is one of the few examples in human history where entrenched interests were completely blindsided by a couple of commoners trying to help each other out (and now that those commoners are in positions of power, they recognize that they must prevent such disruption in the future).

Gaming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600397)

Don't forget gaming!

KVM (4, Interesting)

labnet (457441) | about 2 years ago | (#41600421)

The cornerstone of of any creative work:-
  CAD
  Photo / Video Editing
  Document Creation / Coding (to a lesser extent)

still require KVM:-
  Tactile Keyboard (touch typing requires the feeling of the edge of keys for long term typing)
  Mouse (because it more precise than fingers which occlude the display)
  Large Hi Res MultipleMonitors.

+ USB to interface with odd devices such as cameras, serial busses (RS232, RS485, CAN Bus, MIDI, etc etc), tablet inputs etc.

So while it does not need to be a big black box under your desk, the 'Personal Computer' will be with us for a while yet, until the boffins can tap replace the KVM/IO configuration.

Not a "personal computer" if it is not yours (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41600627)

If you do not control your computer, if you cannot run whatever software you feel like, if you need to ask permission to do things, then it is not a "personal computer." It does not matter if it has a keyboard, mouse, and monitor; we can make a thin client with a connection to a mainframe that has such an interface, but that would not be a PC either.

Laptops instead of PCs at offices (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600423)

At my current job(software developer), I'm actually having to actively fight to get a PC. Currently I have a laptop that is maxed out at 4G of RAM and I'm expected to run virtual machines on it... Everyone at my work uses laptops except for a few servers. I don't get it. They pay such a premium and 70% of the laptops don't leave the office. Some of the developers take home their laptop, but don't actually use it because running virtual machines on them are horribly slow (and they have newer laptops than me)

I'm trying to explain that if I need to work from home I can use a VNC + a virtual machine installed on my home computer and with that then use a PC at work for everything...

I'm sure they pay more than $900 for each laptop.. Yet, the PC I built at my house 12 months ago for $600 is much more powerful than even top of the line laptops. Example: How many 8-core laptops do you see? How about RAID'd across 2 harddrives? 64M cache on blazing fast 7200RPM drives?

Everything must be compromised for laptops to conserve power and price.. If you need any amount of computing power, a laptop is useless.

Portable + dock. (3, Interesting)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#41600443)

We'll have a phone-sized computer that can dock and provide a complete desktop experience from any compatible monitor / keyboard / charging setup. The upshot is that you can port your life around from place to place without actually carrying much hardware, with enormous rewards to the hardware firm who controls the most popular standard, because it'll be in every workplace, hotel, school...

This has been tried and sucked. Same as tablets circa 2004. This will require some tight standards and UX design to make the transitions from mobile to desktop really stable and seamless, which points to a certain control-obsessed fruit company having a decent shot.

Given hardware trends, we're less than 5 years away from a mass-market phone-sized desktop replacement.

They will. And won't. (0)

zmooc (33175) | about 2 years ago | (#41600449)

None of the - stupid - 10 reasons mentioned are unique to desktop PCs. Power and possibilities of smaller devices and desktops are converging. While Moore's law still is more or less correct, it is increasingly less the case for my desktop PC. It's simply fast enough. So is my 8 year old P4 for most tasks. At the same time, smartphones become faster at an incredible pace.

Therefore I believe it probably won't take quite that long before even the typical slashdotter won't have a desktop PC anymore. Why would you still have a desktop PC if your phone has more than enough power, storage and (wireless) connectivity? You will have a monitor, sure, and a keyboard and a mouse, but those are not unique to Desktop PCs. In fact the only things that's still missing from the equation is proper ubiquitous wireless video. But we're getting there.

Sent from my Android tablet using a normal keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Even the Sun is on a deadline. (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 2 years ago | (#41600461)

So, no, the PC will not live 'forever.'

On the go (2)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#41600475)

It seems to be a trend these days to do things "on the go". The boss likes to know that you are working all the time, even when you are not at the office. You want to pretend you are this active guy who lives outdoors and has never sat down in a chair (because that's the type of guy that women claim to want want). Eventually we'll all realize that it is much more convenient to use a desktop on a nice big desk with a comfortable chair than it is to balance a tablet, keyboard, and mouse on your wobbly knees sitting in a lawn chair. We'll also realize that most of us are not "on the go" all the time. Most of us stay in one place and only go places for recreational purposes that do not require computing devices.

Mobile and desktop can coexist... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#41600521)

What sometimes gets lost in the mobile furor is the fact that many (most?) people that are buying mobile devices already have a desktop and/or laptop computer. This might not be true in some of the 3rd world countries but in 1st world countries I believe that it is true. Yes, mobile will be increasingly popular but for content creators nothing yet rivals the versatility of the full sized keyboard and large (or even multiple) screens that the desktop offers. For some tasks a mobile phone or tablet is great. Things like checking email, watching a movie, etc. But if you have to do a lot of typing or precision drawing then the small screen doesn't cut it. Granted, most people are content consumers rather than creators so the mobile use case works well. However, someone has to create the stuff that we consume so the desktop is going to be around for a long time to come.

Display space (2)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 2 years ago | (#41600529)

My main battle station uses two 22" display, one 24" display and one 15" display giving me 6486 horizontal pixels. I use them all. When I can do that with a laptop that I can easily carry with me I'll think about it.

What I'd like to see happen (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 2 years ago | (#41600533)

...is for my mobile device to have the entirety of my 'computing life' contained in it - even all the stuff like CAD applications and drawings, microcontroller development environment, etc, that I CAN'T normally use on a mobile device.

Mobile devices should plug into docking stations that provide the HMI necessities currently provided by desktops - large/multiple monitors, 'real' mice and keyboards that actually support a day's serious work, USB ports, extended and backup power, wired network connections, etc. The docking stations would become ubiquitous, and I'd be able to do mouse-keyboard-and-graphics-intensive work wherever I go. As I see it, the computing part of our lives is too integral to NOT be portable in its entirety; but a device that I can put into my pocket won't have a practical, heavy-duty HMI of its own until 'Minority Report'-style interface hardware can fit into an Altoids tin. So in the meantime, I'd like to put all of the computing power and data into my pocket, and connect to the bulky HMI hardware only as and when necessary, 'cause there's still a lot of useful stuff to be done on a pocket sized device, at least in a pinch.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid an ugly little thing called 'The Cloud' is going to ensure that this vision never sees the light of day.

Laptops are actually becoming less useful (2)

eyegone (644831) | about 2 years ago | (#41600545)

Laptops seems to be moving in the "media consumption" direction, becoming less and less useful for actual work all the time.

Try to find a laptop with a 16x10 display. I get that 16x9 panels are less expensive, but it blows my mind that no one makes a "premium" business laptop with a 16x10 display. (I specifically exclude Apple from the business category here, due to the lack of things like docking stations, dual external display support, etc.)

It's incredibly frustrating for those of us who need to do real work while travelling.

price and volume (1)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#41600549)

I probably won't come as a surprise, but as the volume of desktop computers goes down, and the volume of mobile devices goes up, the price tags will likely converge more so that there is only a small mobile premium. The only limiting factor will be the screen size that differentiate a mobile device from a desktop device.

If someone can solve this problem with some sort of projector or retinal imaging (not retina display, but imaging directly on the retina [wikipedia.org] ) technology, that last difference will go away.

Just like the answering machine... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#41600599)

We'll never delegate our private voice messages to the cloud. That's why we all still have an answering machine next to our landline in the kitchen.

My eyes are failing!!! (2)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#41600605)

So I'm not going to watch TV/movies/slideshows (or do gaming) on a cell phone unless they are 27" across. Besides, Verizon is annoying.

Desktop is needed now (3, Insightful)

eexaa (1252378) | about 2 years ago | (#41600663)

...and will be for quite some time, because we don't have any more convenient platform to do actual work.

I mean, did anyone try to do programming, system administration and/or serious graphics or writing on iPad and alikes?

And it's not about screen size, it's basically ONLY about having input devices that don't make your wrists rot away if you use them more than 2 hours daily.

PS. do you count traditional notebooks (15" and bigger screens) as desktop computers? (I do.)

Perhaps few are upgrading... (1)

Nexion (1064) | about 2 years ago | (#41600705)

I purchased a dual core 2ghz computer with 2gigs RAM and a Nvidia 8800 around 2005. I looked at getting a new system and priced it at around 1600$ for what I wanted. Thing is, my computer does fine for all I use it for, including a bit of Skyrim. I just dropped 8gigs into it as an upgrade and am pondering getting a 3ghz+ four core for about 90$. That will push out my purchase of a new system at least a few more years. I own a laptop and an iPhone as well. The iPhone doesn't replace a laptop, and the laptop doesn't replace a desktop. Oh, in the same time that I've had that destop I have purchased 5 iPhones, yes... FIVE iPhones. I don't have to upgrade my desktop every two years, it doesn't get accidentally dropped in the ocean, crushed or flung across the room. Perhaps sales figures are just that, eh?

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600719)

Desktop PCs are cheap:
    Rebuttal -> Mobile device prices are also cheaper than ever. Did you see the video ads in Entertainment weekly? They sliced an Android phone into a magazine page to use it as an Ad viewer. Mass production counts for a lot.

Desktops are more powerful
    Rebuttal --> But I can carry a mobile device with me and use it wherever I am - I have more opportunity - and many mobile apps rely on servers that are much more powerful than desktops.

You can plug a ton of peripherals into desktops
    Rebuttal --> I can use bluetooth and turn on only the devices that \i want, minus the clutter of wires you see around your typical PC.

You get extra screen real estate with desktops
      Rebuttal --> I can send my video signal over Widi to a 50+ inch TV set - and sit on the comfy couch rather than the office chair.

You can play (real) computer games on desktops
    Rebuttal -> most games these days run on consoles (pirating killed off all the good PC games) besides,
    I like Angry Birds and they didn't cost as much as a typical PC game.

Fixing a desktop is easy
    Rebuttal -> It's easier to carry your mobile to the store to get it fixed. Or just replaced (when it's time)

You can use creative software efficiently on a desktop
    Rebuttal -> Depends on the creativity you want - it's hard to be creative sitting on your ass at your desk.
    Go to where the action is happening and watch the ideas flow.

You can recycle a desktop as an NAS deviceor a fish tank
      Rebuttal -> My Android tablet is much more power efficient than my Atom based NAS.
      And I can recycle it as a media centre or use it as a screen + camera for my front door.
      Not to mention that, since the mobile is smaller, there's a lot less to recycle.

Desktops are secure and they last a long time
      Rebuttal -> Most interesting mobile devices haven't been around long enough yet to have a problem with durability.
      There are quite a few dinosaur PC's around that people keep "just in case" but that serve no useful function.

You can build your own desktop
      Rebuttal -> But it still looks beige or black metal and plastic -- you can accessorize your mobile devices much more

Long live the desktop!
    Rebuttal -> Rex mortus, vivat rex -- don't hang on to your PC until it's too late !

Gaming will ensure PCs are not going anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600727)

Until I can play WoW (on ultra) on my mobil phone attachted to my 42" 1080p display I think I'll be keeping my PC.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?