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5 experts and 5 parents have answered

expert answer
Bill Jenkins expert
Bill Jenkins E-safety professional Hersham, GB

I heard a wonderful explanation that really helped me with my own thinking in this respect;

'Mobile devices are great for consuming content, but not for creating it'

Thought provoking and certainly true about the way I use all my tech!

6 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
Rosemary Duff expert
Rosemary Duff Research Director Norfolk, UK
Education expert

Among 5-16 year olds in the UK - 73% have their own computer of some kind. 51% have a laptop, 20% a tablet, 11% a netbook, while just 22% have a desktop PC, down from 33% four years ago. (ChildWise Monitor Survey of over 2000 UK children aged 5-16, autumn 2012). Desktops are more popular with boys than girls (presumably because they are better for gaming), girls favour laptops (social networking).

4 Reply Share:
Fact 4 years ago
expert answer
Andrew Weekes expert
Andrew Weekes Techy engineer, father of two. Sevenoaks, GB
Technology expert

I'm a massive fan of mobile technology and am utterly committed to it. There is a smartphone and tablet for every member of our house, yet I don't see use reducing the number of PC's in our house (7 at the last count) in the near future though.

Some things just need a large, high quality screen to do them, along with precision input tools, or just need the flexibility for customisation that only a PC can deliver.

Serious gaming doesn't migrate anywhere near well enough to either mobile or dedicated devices yet, and when it comes to some tasks, sheer horsepower is the order of the day.

The mobile devices are improving rapidly, but then so is the PC, and the gulf is likely to stay there.

For many though a good tablet device would fulfil their needs for the majority of their use, but the PC will never die, it will just become unnecessary for some.

3 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Cheryl Bresnark
Cheryl Bresnark Nerdmother Oxford, GB

I work in academia, purchasing tech for a very large user base.

Academics want desktops. I believe 'cold, dead hands' may apply.

Their use isn't strictly necessary, but the desire for use certainly exists.

3 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Helen Gardener expert
Helen Gardener Head of ICT & Business Bristol, GB
Education expert

Until they can come up with a reliable mobile device that has the storage capacity and processing power of a desktop then I believe the desktop PC is here to stay. In my home we use it more as a server than a computing device (all my husbands 500gb of music is stored on it) with the cloud acting as a go between to stream stored data to our handheld devices.

2 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Quib.ly Staff Writer Derby, UK

Everyone and their mother is scrabbling to predict the death of the humble old desktop PC, what with the uptake of laptop, tablets, and smartphones – as early as 2010 we were being told they were finitio; finished; like, so last decade. Is that the case, though? Perhaps not.

According to a lot of brain-aching statistics, PC sales in Europe have been down year-on-year for the past couple of years. Compared to the stunning increase of tablet (well, iPad) sales, it doesn’t bode well for the bulky big brothers.

John Herlihy, vice-president of Google’s global ad operations, reckoned desktops would be gone this year. Why? As his peer, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt explained, ‘Mobile first in everything. Mobile first in terms of applications… Every product announcement we’ve done recently – of course we’ll have a desktop version – but we’ll also have one on a high performance mobile phone.’

Since you can get wi-fi, 3G or even 4G pretty much anywhere now, mobile computing and mobile internet is the priority.

The portability is the big issue, but that doesn’t mean the PC is toast – portable devices are still marketed as additions to your home desktop, perhaps for good reason. Size does, in fact, matter: both in terms of physics (if you make microprocessors do too much work, they’ll EXPLODE, maybe) plus PCs are more difficult to steal. Or to put it a way we’re more familiar with – they’re more resistant to the destructive tendencies of the under-12s.

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
Adam Clark expert
Adam Clark Father of 5, Technology Expert San Luis Obispo, US
Technology expert

Depends on where you are talking about. You have to think about technology in terms of a "techography" - the geography of technology so to speak. Technology for sales people, for instance is drastically changing and many are only using tablets. I haven't seen an average salesperson with a desktop in a number of years already.

But video editing studios, music production companies, etc, are still going to use larger boxes with the capability to store a lot more hardware because the technology for RAM and such still hasn't shrunk in size a ton. Although - check out Xi3 - a former client of mine. They are making really amazing desktops the size of a softball (or close to that).

I would also say that the very idea/concept of a "desktop" will vanish within 10 years as a commonly used word. "Computers" are becoming more and more integrated into other things, that our whole concept of a computer will change within 10 years. With the shrinking of the hardware through bio/nano-tech, your children are going to see things that are going to be as revolutionary to life as we did when the iPhone came out or the Internet began being public, etc. It's going to be fun!

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton I work in a school Torquay, GB

As programming is starting to gain popularity, i am sure the use of desktops will change esp as writing / testing / discussing code would be easier on a large screen, even if the program is aimed at mobile devices, you have software on 21" screen which can then allow design for smaller screens, but you can view /edit the code in a big window and not have to read small text on a smaller screen.

try having a developer application, irc, e-mail, and a forum as well as say an e-book or website all open at the same time when developing stuff.

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago
Matthew Day
Matthew Day A geek London, GB

The same amount of computing power, for heavy duty gaming, serious graphics or audio crunching, will always be more feasible in a desktop - it needs power and cooling that you just can't get in anything portable.

Of course, today's Netbook has has much power as an old but still usable desktop, but to get real performance in a laptop, the price climbs a lot faster than for a desktop.

For basic connectivity, and to echo the first answer, "content consumption" it looks like the tablet will be king ... with no spinning drive, it's more resistant to getting jolted, with 0-seek flash memory, it should be able to boot up faster, without the "luxury" option of fitting an SSD to a PC.

The desktop is no longer necessary to get your emails etc.

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago
Kristin Bennett McNeely
Kristin Bennett McNeely Techie Designer Mom Seattle, Washington

I think it's already over, it's not mainstream anymore it's more of a niche product. Gamers, Game Developers, and other people who use it more intensely (3D design, animation, video work) I think will still want it, but for more casual or light users they are already irrelevant.

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago

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