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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Decline of the Desktop

Decline of the Desktop - Computerworld

Here comes the definite trend: desktop computers are being phased out.

During each transition period, as you may notice, there must be some intermediate products emerging in the market for a moment, contribute a little, then disappear. One of the example is the “ZIP” drive which happened to be popular for a while when 3.5”floppy disks were about to be abandoned. Yet not long afterwards there are CDROM and DVD, and now DVD-R and DVD-RW are seemingly the most widely used mobile storage in not only PC but also domestic electronics (which happened to phase out video tape recorders too).

Will notebook computers be as long lasting as desktop PC? To hit the main goal of being “mobile”, I think tablet PCs can serve the purpose even better. Imagine a person who wants everything (e.g. daily schedule, phone book, publishing software) in one device light enough to be carried around. He may want to have it ready to function the SECOND he wants an access; and he wants the operations to be as smooth as using mouse clicks (instead of relatively clumsy touchpad)…

Current notebook computers still require too long to start, and they are not too handy to be carried around (I mean carry around other than business trip occasions). The real next generation computers should have the quick start capability of PocketPC, touch-screen control flexibility as well as being light and thin enough for everybody to carry.

With endeavors to make desktop computers smaller, think about iMac and Mac Mini, you may want them to become the mainstream products, yet hardly has it come true. Nevertheless, I do have a fancy feeling that Apple can be the first to come up with tablet PCs “impossibly light”. Until then, we all have to wait and see…

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