Linked by kloty on Tue 6th Apr 2010 21:22 UTC
Editorial A few years ago I wrote on OSNews several articles (1,2) about workstations. After three years I had to stop, because there were no workstations left on the market, they became legacy and were not sold any more. Now with the rise of mobile devices with touchscreen and wireless network connectivity virtually everywhere, the question becomes valid, what will happen with the desktop computers, are they still needed, or will they follow the workstations on their way to computer museums?
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I don't think so
by KagiRai on Tue 6th Apr 2010 21:37 UTC
KagiRai
Member since:
2010-04-06

In my opinion, or at least for me, I still prefer using a desktop over any portable devices, in fact I never thought about buying a laptop, as the desktop makes the work easier with a REAL keyboard and mouse and bigger monitor.

And of course Desktop will favorite machines for gamers, as the prices of gaming laptops are really insane, and the capability of upgrading / changing hardware on the desktop pc makes it the best choice.

Reply Score: 13

RE: I don't think so
by Lennie on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:00 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Games seems something the article missed, but people are using consoles more and more it seems. Especially things like the Wii because of it's 'accessories'.

So games isn't something which needs a desktop either.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: I don't think so
by puelocesar on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
RE[3]: I don't think so
by woegjiub on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

Games on PC are infinitely superior to their console counterparts.

They only require updating every 3 or 4 years, and already the PC offers far greater FPS and graphics than the PS3 is capable of.
I can't believe you're suggesting playing fallout3 on a console.
I have to install mods to make it playable, because the menu text is FRAKKIN MASSIVE to support console players.
With a Bethesda Softworks game, it's all about the mods; 25% of the experience is the 'core' game, the other 75% is made by modders. Consoles can't install mods, they can't use Wrye Bash to make them work together even if they could.... etc etc.

That, and it's impossible to play an FPS without a keyboard and mouse.
Gamepads are horrible.
Better graphics, proper controls, moddability, smoother gameplay, the ability to use the same device for advanced 3d rendering, modelling, image modification and creation... etc etc.
Honestly, consoles won't get my thumbs up until they are running a PC operating system (Linux?), still have the same ease of running games, but also support a keyboard/mouse and desktop software like openoffice, Inkscape and Emesene.

The desktop will eventually die, but it's going to be around for more than a decade - until we have neural links (these are being added to compiz :p), like say.... the holobands of Caprica?, the keyboard and mouse reigns supreme for content creation.
Not to mention the desire for dual monitors.
There will probably always be the desire for localised computers which offer far superior power to the cloud solution, and greater security.
Desktops will fade, but I don't think we'll ever see them die - they'll simply be for extreme power users.

Meanwhile, if consoles added mind control/keyboard+mouse support with Linux's mix of desktop applications (which would probably cause windows/osx progs to be ported to the console), we would see a single hardware base to aim for, as well as far more powerful devices (By default, have a simplified Android-like interface on the console, plus autoboot into games, but allow it to be swapped out for gnome/kde and still run the games?)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I don't think so
by thedreampolice on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
thedreampolice Member since:
2010-04-06

I felt that way for many years but the xbox changed my mind.

" and already the PC offers far greater FPS and graphics than the PS3 is capable of. "

The average user does not care about FPS

"I can't believe you're suggesting playing fallout3 on a console"

I love Fallout on my 360

"That, and it's impossible to play an FPS without a keyboard and mouse.
Gamepads are horrible. "

have you played any of the Halo games? They NAIL IT I do not EVER want to go back to keyboard and mouse.

"Meanwhile, if consoles added mind control/keyboard+mouse support with Linux's mix of desktop applications (which would probably cause windows/osx progs to be ported to the console), w"

No I would NEVER buy that. I want a game console, and maybe I want it to play my music and movies but no more. People get consoles because they are simple. No AV updates, no DirectX updates (that they no of ;) No changing video cards. You know when you get a game it will work the same in your 360 as it does in your friends 360. Its about convince and consistency. Just like McDonald's they may not make the best hamburger but you always know what you are getting.

Also Xbox Live is AMAZING!

oh and read what paul has to say about PC gaming.

http://www.winsupersite.com/xbox/pc_gaming.asp

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: I don't think so
by darknexus on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Just like McDonald's they may not make the best hamburger but you always know what you are getting.


That you do, a downpayment on your next heart attack. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: I don't think so
by zlynx on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I have indeed tried to play Halo on a Xbox 360 with that crap controller.

Mouse and keyboard forever!

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't think so
by thedreampolice on Thu 8th Apr 2010 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't think so"
thedreampolice Member since:
2010-04-06

Give it more than five minutes of play.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I don't think so
by computrius on Wed 7th Apr 2010 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

"Meanwhile, if consoles added mind control/keyboard+mouse support with Linux's mix of desktop applications (which would probably cause windows/osx progs to be ported to the console), we would see a single hardware base to aim for, as well as far more powerful devices (By default, have a simplified Android-like interface on the console, plus autoboot into games, but allow it to be swapped out for gnome/kde and still run the games?)"

At that point you just have a pc... And they currently not all aiming for it. I definitely prefer a pc, but it seems like all they are getting anymore are poor xbox ports.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't think so
by nt_jerkface on Wed 7th Apr 2010 03:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

PC gaming gets the shaft these days and everyone knows it.

There's too many good games on consoles to be a pc elitist. A game like Red Dead Redemption would run great on a pc but that isn't an option. You can stick with your silly framerate elitism but I'll be having fun roaming the western plains on a 52" plamsa. The last thing I'll be thinking about is pc gaming.

I used to be a dedicated pc gamer but have moved on and in fact have grown to love my little box with the green lights. I'm not going to stick with the pc so I can play the wait and see game with developers. Wait and see if they port to the pc and sometimes wait even more since the pc port is often delayed. Oh and now we have single player pc games coming that require a constant net connection. But the pc can draw polygons faster! WHOOHOO!!

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I don't think so
by vinterbleg on Wed 7th Apr 2010 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
vinterbleg Member since:
2005-07-11

You may like gaming on the PC better, but unfortunately you're not significant enough to change the trend in the games industry towards console-based gaming.

I happen to work in the games industry, and when I ask why the PC is being ignored, people give one reason: Piracy.

In a few years, almost no AAA titles will be released targeting high-end PCs, and the ones that will be released for PC, will be at least as buggy and bad as the current generation. Already PC-centric companies like Blizzard and Valve are making the right decision: Target low- to mid-end PCs and laptops (i.e. lower the system reqs) to reach a wider market, and completely ignore the hardware fetishists among "hardcore gamers".

Arguing that you need a high-end workstation-class PC to play games on is not going to make sense for very long, because very soon, there simply won't be any games left for the PC with system requirements above those of an average laptop.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: I don't think so
by nt_jerkface on Wed 7th Apr 2010 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yes a big problem is that those hardware fetishists have incredibly high piracy rates. They'll spend their money on hardware but not software which really calls into question a lot of the common rationalizations for piracy.

Of course those 'hardcore' pc gamers write hundreds of blogs posts and try to downplay the piracy problem but game companies track torrents and can see which group is the absolute worst when it comes to piracy.

Edited 2010-04-07 07:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't think so
by mikeinohio on Wed 7th Apr 2010 11:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't think so"
mikeinohio Member since:
2010-02-21

Yes a big problem is that those hardware fetishists have incredibly high piracy rates. They'll spend their money on hardware but not software which really calls into question a lot of the common rationalizations for piracy.

Of course those 'hardcore' pc gamers write hundreds of blogs posts and try to downplay the piracy problem but game companies track torrents and can see which group is the absolute worst when it comes to piracy.



There are software vendors who consider it an act of piracy if you don't purchase a new license every time you make a hardware upgrade. The best solution is not to use software from said vendors.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't think so
by cerbie on Sun 11th Apr 2010 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Meanwhile, my PC, nearly 3 years old, now, with the addition of a nearly 5 year old video card (underclocked, at that), manages to get me by.

If you are a hardware fetishist, that's not everyone else's problem. The quality sliders go to the left, just like the volume knob.

When consoles get keyboards and mice, and the games use them, such that PC-friendly games can be played with some efficiency on consoles, and when the console makers get out of their vendor-locked multiplayer network bullshit (an Xbox360 and PS3, FI, should be able to use the same game servers, if they have the same game released for them), call me.

Until then, me and my PC will wait for, and then play the Hell out of, Starcraft II, Diablo III, MMOs, any new Civ games or Civ-alikes, FOSS games (necessarily PC-only), and mods for other so-so games (the big media house model makes for great engines shipped with so-so content), that either don't exist on consoles, are are laughable on them.

What has been in full swing, though, is that games that would have been better outside of the PC, except that the PC was where the interesting hardware advancement was going on, are now moving to consoles. And that's just fine. For some things, a 10' interface and a gamepad are where it's at.

Edited 2010-04-11 06:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't think so
by WorknMan on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:13 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What he said. The only way you're going to take my desktop away from me is from my cold, dead hands. Mobile devices may be good for making phone calls and web browsing/media consumption while on the go, but for those of us who use computers to get real work done, the desktop still reigns supreme, and probably always will.

Edited 2010-04-06 22:14 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: I don't think so
by ShadesFox on Wed 7th Apr 2010 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
ShadesFox Member since:
2006-10-01

How many people use computers to do real work? I've noticed that most people who have computers just mess around on facebook and play flash games. Given a few years they might not be buying a desktop. Then it will get harder for you to buy a desktop too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't think so
by strcpy on Wed 7th Apr 2010 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

How many people use computers to do real work? I've noticed that most people who have computers just mess around on facebook and play flash games. Given a few years they might not be buying a desktop. Then it will get harder for you to buy a desktop too.


Practically every single white-collar worker?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I don't think so
by isaba on Wed 7th Apr 2010 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
isaba Member since:
2006-12-30

"How many people use computers to do real work? I've noticed that most people who have computers just mess around on facebook and play flash games. Given a few years they might not be buying a desktop. Then it will get harder for you to buy a desktop too.
Practically every single white-collar worker? "

And I am one of them since many years ago. What do we do mostly at office?
- email > could be done perfectly with a service like gmail for instance
- archiving files > box.net
- design and/or use some spreadsheets > I find editgrid or zoho almost as useful as the 'standard spreadsheet' most often used in offices...
- perhaps every month or quarter preparing a presentation? > google docs would be enough for us here at work
- word processing > see above for all kinds of solutions
...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't think so
by strcpy on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Good luck suggesting that to your employer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't think so
by twitterfire on Wed 7th Apr 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

"[q]How many people use computers to do real work? I've noticed that most people who have computers just mess around on facebook and play flash games. Given a few years they might not be buying a desktop. Then it will get harder for you to buy a desktop too.
Practically every single white-collar worker? "

And I am one of them since many years ago. What do we do mostly at office?
- email > could be done perfectly with a service like gmail for instance
- archiving files > box.net
- design and/or use some spreadsheets > I find editgrid or zoho almost as useful as the 'standard spreadsheet' most often used in offices...
- perhaps every month or quarter preparing a presentation? > google docs would be enough for us here at work
- word processing > see above for all kinds of solutions
... [/q]

Perhaps you are so kind to help me find online services that will allow me to: use Visual Studio, Photoshop and play Crysis and Dragon Age: Origins. And some ocasional 3D Max rendering and encoding HD movies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't think so
by WorknMan on Thu 8th Apr 2010 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't think so"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Perhaps you are so kind to help me find online services that will allow me to: use Visual Studio, Photoshop and play Crysis and Dragon Age: Origins. And some ocasional 3D Max rendering and encoding HD movies.


Yup, like I'd rather do all that on a 10 inch or smaller display without a real keyboard/mouse, instead of on my dual 20-something inch monitor setup.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't think so
by fretinator on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I tried the desktop on the couch while watching TV, but the monitor kept falling off my knees. At school, they complained about me taking up too much space. I used a car battery to run it on the train, but people kept tripping over it.

But seriously, we are talking about your other computers. I have a quad-core desktop for gaming, but I use my laptops most. Everyone in the family has a laptop. The days of a single computer are gone.

In fact, even the laptop is often overkill. I use my Android phone to check my email all day long, keep up with Facebook, and listen to streaming music.

I think that is the point of the article.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I don't think so
by Morgan on Wed 7th Apr 2010 03:03 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Exactly! We have progressed more and more towards an ubiquitous, always-on, always on your person, permanent link to all the information that is important to you. This is the stuff of science fiction of just 20 years ago (Star Trek TNG) and I for one, love it! Fifteen years ago I got my first laptop computer as a high school graduation present, and even though in those days I had to tether to a phone jack to connect to CompuServe it was still so liberating not having to be at my desk. A few short years later we had mainstream WiFi, followed shortly by high speed cellular data and now, WiMAX.

As to desktops...sure, they'll still be around for the foreseeable future, though they too are getting smaller and more energy efficient every year. Soon the current generation Mac mini will seem large, slow and energy inefficient yet today it is the fastest and greenest desktop system you can get in its form factor. I do wonder if one day the laptop and all-in-one form factors will overtake the traditional box-and-monitor desktop scheme. As long as the hardware remains easy to work on and upgrade (are you listening, Apple?) it will be a welcome change in my book.

Reply Score: 2

Strange question
by Delgarde on Tue 6th Apr 2010 21:52 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

A rather odd question, to my way of thinking. I use a high-end desktop at work, like most of my coworkers - there are a few with laptops because they need mobility, but most of us use high-spec workstations. And I use a desktop machine at home, because I couldn't get anything done on a small laptop keyboard and screen, nor can you get a decent spec laptop for anything near the price of an equivalent desktop.

I do own a laptop - a netbook, actually - but it's pretty much only used when traveling. Until such machines started coming out, buying a portable machine for a few weeks holiday a year just didn't make sense...

Reply Score: 6

Legacy?
by NiceGuyEddie on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:07 UTC
NiceGuyEddie
Member since:
2006-03-22

I always thought of it as the PC desktop merging into and absorbing the workstation arena (rather than the latter market disappearing). Your definitions of a workstation (from a previous article) seems to support this view as well.

"It's a mini-computer for a single user, with a processor, which can also be used for servers, with several gigabytes of memory, big storage, OpenGL-capable graphics system and UNIX or UNIX-like OS"

You only rejected Windows because of its (then) lack of 64-bit support.

I'm not quite sure home the iPad will merge into and absorb the desktop PC.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Legacy?
by r_a_trip on Wed 7th Apr 2010 09:54 UTC in reply to "Legacy?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

"It's a mini-computer for a single user, with a processor, which can also be used for servers, with several gigabytes of memory, big storage, OpenGL-capable graphics system and UNIX or UNIX-like OS."

If this is the definition of a Workstation, I don't have a Desktop computer. AMD Phenom Quad-Core (ok, ok it's not an Opteron ;) ), 6 GB RAM, 1.5 TB harddrive space, Radeon 3200 Graphics and Debian Testing.

This rig was cheap. I didn't want to spend too much, but wanted something I could use several years. The box didn't cost more than EUR 500.

Maybe the question should be if the Desktop still exists? To me it looks like Workstation material seeped down into Desktop territory.

Reply Score: 2

Where did workstations go exactly?
by 3kirt on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:16 UTC
3kirt
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm pretty sure people all over the world continue to use high end computers at work to do coding, CAD, etc. Maybe vendors stopped calling these computers "workstations", but I don't think they went anywhere.

I have a laptop and use it when i'm away from the house, but if I have the option I use my desktop. I like my Das Keyboard, MX revolution, and 23" monitor thank you very much. You'll pry my desktop from my cold, dead hands.

Reply Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yea but you can plug those devices into a notebook.

I used to switch between desktop and notebook but I got sick of maintaining two workspaces.

Reply Score: 2

tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Yea but you can plug those devices into a notebook.

I used to switch between desktop and notebook but I got sick of maintaining two workspaces.


Really? You've got Workstation class Xeon or Opteron CPUs in your laptop? You've got Quadro or Tesla GPGPUs from Nvidia, or ATi FirePro/FireGL or AMD Firestream GPGPUs inside your laptop?

You've got 2 or 4 socket motherboards for your laptop?

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Very few actually have a need for that hardware.

Edited 2010-04-07 16:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

3kirt Member since:
2005-07-06

I want different things from a laptop and a desktop. My laptop is a 13" acer timeline that has great battery life and is light and thin so it isn't a hassle to carry around with me.

While I like my laptop, it is inferior in terms of performance to my 3 year old desktop. I wouldn't want to buy a laptop that could replace my desktop because it would suffer from all the problems that plague systems that try to cram powerful components in a tiny space.(heat, noise, weight, etc)

I don't think it makes sense to buy a loud, heavy, overheating, but powerful laptop that's going to cost many times more than an equivalent desktop that runs quiet and cool. Especially if the laptop never leaves the desk, which I've found is the case with many people that buy "desktop replacements".

But I suppose laptops just look sexier in the store..

Reply Score: 2

Demise of the desktop apps
by Lennie on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:20 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, I've been predicting it for years, the desktop apps are going to be less and less significant, they will be replaced by webbased applications.

This is the only reason netbooks and iPad, etc. make any sense. Because you don't need any powerfull machine on your lap/desk to do any of this (although the powerfull machine of the old days is slower than what you have in your backpack these days).

And if your argument is, 'but they are using the appstore instead'.

Apple's policy on their appstore is they review everything, the same with Google and so on. But this just slows developers down. So the developers who know how to build webapplications will do that instead of building apps for appstores.

They also work on many devices, instead of having to support several platforms.

The others are slowly starting to learn this I think.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Demise of the desktop apps
by NiceGuyEddie on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:38 UTC in reply to "Demise of the desktop apps"
NiceGuyEddie Member since:
2006-03-22

Blimey! They will soon be telling us that we should all be running ISPF and letting the mainframe...oops cloud...take the strain.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Demise of the desktop apps
by Lennie on Wed 7th Apr 2010 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Demise of the desktop apps"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Yes, that's what the cloud is, timesharing.

Reply Score: 3

ipadmania
by ebasconp on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:26 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Come on, I think the iPad is beautiful, gorgeous, amazing, incredible, perfect, fascinating, marvelous, etc. etc. etc... but sending to the grave to desktop computers just because a new player is on the market seems to be quite premature.

Ok, if "normal" people will forget their laptops and desktops computers to use their gorgeous tablets and the desktops and laptops are already in their graves... where the developers will implement the applications the normal people will use?

I work in an ISV and I do not imagine management replacing all our desktops containing a lot of software, and virtual machines to... say... iPads...
Maybe they will give us iPads as gifts to save our photos, videos, little games.... mmm... nop, I do not think so... ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: ipadmania
by puelocesar on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:30 UTC in reply to "ipadmania"
puelocesar Member since:
2008-10-30

The iPad isn't killing nothing. What he is talking about is a trend that started years ago. The iPad is just one more step on the way to that

Reply Score: 1

Desktop vs Workstation
by Sodki on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:31 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

What is the difference between a Workstation and a Desktop, really?

Reply Score: 7

RE: Desktop vs Workstation
by sergio on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:43 UTC in reply to "Desktop vs Workstation"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

In the past, workstations were mini-computers (midrange hardware, usually RISC) and Desktops micro-computers (PCs).

Today they're all the same.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop vs Workstation
by Delgarde on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:52 UTC in reply to "Desktop vs Workstation"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

What is the difference between a Workstation and a Desktop, really?


I think that the two terms come from different backgrounds. 'Desktop' being from a PC background, contrasting with 'Laptop' or 'Notebook'. And 'Workstation' being from the world of Unix (and predecessors), contrasting with thin terminals or servers.

These days, the implication is that a workstation is a serious, powerful machine - high spec, big screen (or screens), etc. Contrasted with the kind of machine used by normal people - call center workers, secretaries, etc.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Desktop vs Workstation
by steogede2 on Wed 7th Apr 2010 02:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop vs Workstation"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

UNIX would probably have been a key differentiator, as would price. In the hay day of SGI etc., a workstation may have cost 5 to 50 times as much as PC.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop vs Workstation
by cb88 on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:25 UTC in reply to "Desktop vs Workstation"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

A workstation costs 15k :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop vs Workstation
by Carewolf on Fri 9th Apr 2010 10:11 UTC in reply to "Desktop vs Workstation"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Desktops is for home use, secretaries and sales people. Workstations are for people who actually use and need a powerful computer.

So:
Desktop: for playing minesweeper and surfing facebook
Workstation: for working

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ssa2204
by ssa2204 on Tue 6th Apr 2010 22:43 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

Sure the PC will be dead, the day they figure out how to:
1.) Connect your little toy device to a screen that is actually readable
2.) Provide the storage capacity to rival what a desktop could theoretically have.
3.) Provide processing power to rival that of a desktop
4.) Of course provide a means of input, and now the little on screen keyboards just do not cut it.

Get the point? No, the desktop will be with us for years to come. Of course innovation and advancement will occur. When the future cell phone has a 5Ghz quad core CPU, while impressive, let's not forget that the what the desktop will have!

Edited 2010-04-06 22:43 UTC

Reply Score: 6

v I don't think so... desktops are already dead!
by sergio on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Cromat Member since:
2009-12-15

I am a developer, I will never give up my desktop with 3 monitors, working on a laptop with at most one extra monitor is not enough anymore!

Further more I don't buy into this corporate bs that we need devices like the iPad or iPhone, these apps are only for entertaining, do people like to accomplish anything anymore, or are we so consumed with shiny entertainment devices that we forget how these devices and the software are created....On real workstations.

Reply Score: 2

sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a developer too and I use powerful desktops all the time (PowerMac G5 and iMac)... but c'mon We aren't average computer users.

Desktops are unnecessary for 99% of the population... and that number tends to 100% faster than ever.

Reply Score: 1

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

No, sales charts say that people are buying more mobile devices. We're buying mobile devices that can somewhat compete with the desktop PCs because we don't have them already. Meanwhile, most people who have uses for desktops got them. Broadband getting more common is getting people to buy desktop PCs who haven't before, but not at any great rate. The desktop is pretty much at saturation level.

I don't know anyone who has a notebook replacing their desktop, and statistics haven't shown that to be wrong. Fitting with the statistics, I know tons of people who have been getting notebooks and smartphones, in addition to their desktop computers, or in lieu of them for specific cases (like going to college and living in a dorm, where space is a premium).

The desktop will die, and be fully replaced by other things, but we are still a good ways away from it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 7th Apr 2010 08:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Sure the PC will be dead, the day they figure out how to:
1.) Connect your little toy device to a screen that is actually readable


HDMI Port

2.) Provide the storage capacity to rival what a desktop could theoretically have.

How much space do you need? Most people's music collection fits on a 30 gig ipod. ID estimate that they'd need close to 150 gb for movie collection. So once they hit 200 gb of storage, it will be close.

3.) Provide processing power to rival that of a desktop

For what? A desktop of what era? today's? Yesterday's ? tomorrow's? Its a moving target describing what? People want to do things other than add integers and floating points. That's what matters. The nexus is more powerful than the computer I had four years ago.

4.) Of course provide a means of input, and now the little on screen keyboards just do not cut it.


You mean a doc? like the Ipad keyboard doc?


Get the point? No, the desktop will be with us for years to come. Of course innovation and advancement will occur. When the future cell phone has a 5Ghz quad core CPU, while impressive, let's not forget that the what the desktop will have!


I think you've done a good job convincing me that the article isn't that far off. I don't care what form the desktop takes. Just that it has the features you listed above. Plus maybe hardware upgrades. No crappy non serviceable battery.

Edit: But maybe I could be persuaded to give up hardware upgrades if the price was right.

Edited 2010-04-07 08:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by Kroc on Wed 7th Apr 2010 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

But maybe I could be persuaded to give up hardware upgrades if the price was right.

Convienience. I used to build and maintain my own computer for ages, and eventually I grew tired of that. Upgrading is great and all, but at the end of the day you want to save space, you want to declutter and you want to spend more time being productive than forever maintaining your computer. I went from hand building a desktop cheaply to an expensive Mac laptop and haven’t looked back.

The desktop will eventually be the domain of the engineer and the “fetishist hardcore gamer”. The rest of us will have moved on to a less stressful, less complicated computing experience.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by r_a_trip on Wed 7th Apr 2010 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I think this is a grave oversimplification. I'm neither an engineer nor a “fetishist hardcore gamer”. I like the simplicity of the PS3 and Wii for gaming. Yet I also like to build my own PC's. It gives me the option of tailoring the components to my needs and budget, while still getting a sturdy workhorse. A self built PC, with well selected components doesn't have to be more hassle than a shelf bought PC. Mine have always behaved very well.

Even "an expensive Mac laptop" will need software maintenace at some point. And "an expensive Mac laptop" can have hardware problems. Plonking down money is not a guarantee against malfunctioning.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'm not a hardcore whiteboxer. I just build them once, often from barebones kits. I wont touch them again unless there is a problem. Its more satisfying to know exactly what's in the box.

Although... I also have a Mac book. But it still allows me to upgrade the memory, hard drive and battery. I've upgraded all but the battery, and it's much better after my modifications. Its still running OSX, but its getting used less and less. When I do use it, I typically hook it up to a 24 inch monitor and usb keyboard and mouse.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by cerbie on Sun 11th Apr 2010 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

HDMI plugging into...what? This DVI port here? That DVI port there?

Until one of the other new ports finally, "wins," I'm sticking with DVI, which is on all my current hardware, and likely to be on any future hardware,

200GB doesn't even cover CDs (hyperbole: it's about 230GB, right now). I'm not average, and I'm OK with that.

Processing power I agree with. Drivers are a far more important issue (and the reason we don't have good ARM devices around). I have all the processing power I need in a PC that's a few years old, and we're still getting faster and adding more of those still-faster cores.

I think you will give up hardware upgrades. Based on what AMD is doing just next year w/ LLano, once we can get high-speed RAM (like DDR5) into PCs, the equivalent of $100 video cards today will not be needed (just as non-Intel IGP has replaced the need for a card to have a decent display and decent 2D GUI performance). Then, you'd need to plug in storage and RAM, with maybe one or two internal PCI-e slots.

Add another decade, and those slots go away. It's a box with plenty of peripheral I/O options, that might have upgradable memory. Think Mac Mini, but w/o Apple's minimalism.

Eventually, a PC at a place where you sit down will not be about hardware features so much as being able to sit there, with a mouse, keyboard, big display, and big storage (NAS for everyone is like thin clients--neat sometimes, but it doesn't work out so well for most people in the long run).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by leech on Sat 10th Apr 2010 02:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I have a Nokia N900, and could almost replace my computer with it. I can connect it to a TV for a larger screen, use Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and it currently has 48gb of total space.

With Easy Debian installed, I have access to pretty much all of Debian Lenny.

Really the only thing that would be missing is a DVD burner, I don't think they make a bluetooth one.

But seriously though, why would I want to do that? Just think if your phone/pda/iPad/whatever was stolen and all your work taken?

Reply Score: 2

Desktop stays
by twitterfire on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:33 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Nobody's going to take my desktop away from me. If necessary I'll buy a gun to defend it from desknappers, and they'll get it only over my dead body.

The desktop isn't going anywhere. You can't do anything serious on tablets, phones, pdas. Just play some silly games, browse the net (not as good as on desktops), watch some movies (a worse experience comparing to desktops) and write short mails. Oh, and keep groceries lists.

Currently the desktop is used for: content creation (programming, graphic design, CAD, writing, composing music), watching pirated movies at high enough resolutions and on large enough screens, playing quality games with quality details and nice FPS, hacking and cracking, streaming video and audio, webservers, and almost anything that someone can do on a computer.

A desktop can do all the things a phone or tablet can do, but much better. A phone or tablet can do only a small fraction of what a desktop can do and much worse.

And by the way, even if it's the only reason, we need desktops to write apps so "cool" people enjoy their phones and tablets.

I'll take as a personal insult any allusion that desktops will go en masse to the heaven of desktops to the a better place where they never rust.

Edited 2010-04-06 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 5

My Input
by Jedd on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:54 UTC
Jedd
Member since:
2005-07-06

I run a small business doing custom made machines, repair, web design, custom software, etc. I have had 10 of my clients over the past 2 years tell me that most of their computing needs have not changed but it seems that most laptops (not netbooks) are up to the task of their old desktop or workstation (and then some in some cases!. In all cases it seems true.

I have a personal friend (whom I've done work for as well) who told me just last month that his computing needs have dramatically changed over the years, and he is currently trying to decide on a machine out of 5 he's looking at.

I myself feel that the desktop/workstation is becoming legacy. I have moved 90% of my work to a laptop, and sometimes a netbook (which my daughter mostly uses, she's obsessed with things that are "mini" computers being no exception.

I infact took my desktop and installed Slackware Linux on it, and made it into my "everything server" at home: media, files, print, http, ftp, shell, etc., etc.

Reply Score: 4

Legacy Desktops, Modern Appliances
by runjorel on Tue 6th Apr 2010 23:55 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

While I still am not convinced with iPad, I see a lot of my friends and family who do not have an in-depth knowledge of technology loving the iPad. They don't care that they could have a tablet/slate PC with a full blown OS and/or USB ports, etc that could accomplish more than the iPad. They just care about the *simplicity* of surfing the internet, reading books, etc.

So, I think the general trend is moving away from large desktops/workstations and moving more towards tech appliances. I think the power users will always use both desktops and tech appliances, but I feel that the regular end-users will tend to use tech appliances for the majority of their computing work.

Now that data can reside in the cloud and Internet apps gain in popularity every day, a plain vanilla desktop has become a power house utility.

It seems funny to me that technology, *in essence*, is repeating history. We went from Mainframe/thin clients to monolithic machines, and now we are going back to server/thin client architectures. We also went from having separate appliances (typewriters, word processors, calculators) to amassing all those tools into one machine (desktop), only now to start separating our devices again (Desktop, Laptop, Netbook/Slate/Tablet, MP3 Player, Phone, and/or any combination etc.)

I know it's not a perfect example, but I remember when we got our first desktop it was as if ANYTHING could be accomplished on our desktop. But now, I want to access email on my phone and my computer. Sure I could load up a PDF on my computer and read it, but I'd rather read it on a portable ebook reader, etc.

Reply Score: 2

No.
by Phloptical on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:17 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

A desktop will always crush a laptop/notebook of similar specs. Everything in a notebook is designed for power savings, and that means clocking things down, slower busses, etc.

Reply Score: 6

RE: No.
by darknexus on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:22 UTC in reply to "No."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not all. There are workstation laptops, for lack of a better term, that are designed to essentially be mobile desktops. They typically way about 8 lbs, have super high-powered components and a lot of fans to cool them off, and only run for about an hour and a half on battery. They're also pretty expensive, and not the laptop most people are going to buy. Those who need them will buy them. Laptops, therefore, are not always less powerful than desktops, just usually.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No.
by Phloptical on Thu 8th Apr 2010 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE: No."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

We've got a couple of those where I work for our CAD engineers. Lenovo W500 and W700, to be exact.

Yes, they are mobile, and yes they are quite powerful, I would still take our desktop CAD quad core workstations over either of those laptops any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. The W500 is doable, and a nice system, but the W700 is ridiculous. It weighs in at just under 10 pounds. Has a full size keyboard, with keypad. Has 2 hard drives for RAID capability. Can get a 2nd processor. I can't see how you claim "mobile" when lenovo recommends your laptop carrying case should have wheels for safety. The AC adapter alone weighs about 3 pounds.

I defy anyone to pull that thing out on a plane without seriously pissing off the person next to you, and then burning your lap due to the heat. Luckily for them, the battery lasts less than an hour, so the discomfort will end quickly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No.
by neticspace on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:49 UTC in reply to "No."
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

There's also the "desktop replacement" category of laptops. Strangely few desktop replacements do not have any battery.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No.
by righard on Wed 7th Apr 2010 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE: No."
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

That because there not laptops but portable desktops, or are people putting those things on there lap?

Reply Score: 2

RE: No.
by izomiac on Wed 7th Apr 2010 00:50 UTC in reply to "No."
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

If they've got the same specs then the laptop form factor will usually win. Laptops generally lag slightly in the specs for a given price range, but that gap isn't huge and it seems to be narrowing. Plus laptops are quite diverse. Some have insane portability and battery life, others are massive desktop replacements with really poor batter life.

Desktops will always be around for gamers, artists, and business people. For everyone else, the laptop has been show to be far preferable (look at sales after excluding those groups). Tablets and smaller devices will certainly cut into laptop sales, but I don't think full sized physical keyboards are going anywhere, and I doubt they'll be replaced by external keyboards either.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No.
by Oliver on Thu 8th Apr 2010 09:29 UTC in reply to "No."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

GreenIT doesn't stop anymore in front of the so-called desktop. We see more and more aspects of the mobile world on the desktop. And who cares about some gamers using PSUs of 1000W or more just to play their newest game? The world is changing ...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by asdf
by asdf on Wed 7th Apr 2010 01:15 UTC
asdf
Member since:
2009-09-23

Well, the real question is.... has segway replaced cars yet?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by asdf
by spikeb on Wed 7th Apr 2010 03:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by asdf"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

Well, the real question is.... has segway replaced cars yet?

hahahaha

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by asdf
by righard on Wed 7th Apr 2010 08:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by asdf"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Those will never replace cars as cars have already bin made obsolete by the Sinclair C5.

Just as you don't see any cars anymore will the desktop be replaced by overhyped enlarged phones that can't actually call.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by asdf
by pns.sri on Wed 7th Apr 2010 09:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by asdf"
pns.sri Member since:
2009-06-20

Did weak, slow bi-pedal humans made powerful, fast four legged Lions/Tigers extinct?

In an evolution some features get added and some are lost. Extinction of a species/device is dependent on which features are beneficial for survival in a given environment.

Example: An Andriod phone with google voice is better than any voice recognition software running on a workstation even though workstation has higher performance.

Current cloud based environment is very different from good old days of workstations.

Reply Score: 1

Not anytime soon
by Finalzone on Wed 7th Apr 2010 01:21 UTC
Finalzone
Member since:
2005-07-06

While laptop has the benefit to be used anywhere, destkop will not be dead especially with the use of multiple screens display for design, animation and 3D field that requires more power.

Reply Score: 3

Compiling on a netbook isn't so bad
by earksiinni on Wed 7th Apr 2010 01:30 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

I have an unusual netbook, one of those Gateway LT3110's that briefly made a splash before Ion came out for having ATI graphics. It has a weird little processor called an Athlon 64 L110, which I've read is something close to a Semperon, so definitely low end. I use it for everything, even compiling. I'm in the midst of creating a custom Linux distro from scratch (not LFS, lol), and to give you an idea, GTK+ takes about 20 minutes, hardly anything to complain about. Moreover, with ccache, recompilations are practically instant. Last time I had a desktop it was an Athlon XP, and you wouldn't believe how insanely long it took to bootstrap Gentoo from stage 0, definitely around two days. I feel like it wouldn't take nearly that long even with my puny netbook.

That said, would I ever "turn back"? I definitely would, mostly because I've learned the hard way that mobile components fail far more often and mobility in general only appears necessary. More often than not, being able to carry my work into the living room gets in the way of my personal relationships and decreases my quality of life. We cook in a kitchen and we shower in a bathroom, so why not keep our desktops (that is, the software paradigm) on our desks? My main concern with desktops (the hardware) used to be power consumption, but low power offerings are available. In terms of pure joy of use, however, my favorite has always been my Nokia N800 Internet tablet, and I'd be satisfied using that for my daily usage while keeping a beefy workstation for my coding needs.

On an interesting side note, OpenOffice.org is actually not cross compiled. I found this out when I was trying to make a custom port to ARM and the devs informed me that distro maintainers just compile it natively because of its awful build system. Goes to show you that iPads and the like not only do a fraction of what desktops do and do it poorly, as one commenter wrote, but also that they *have* to do it ;-)

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Try compiling Openoffice, how long did that take on your netbook? If it takes any less than several hours, that netbook is much more powerful than you believe or you've got a really fast SSD in there. GTK+ doesn't typically take that long to compile, so isn't a worthy test. That being said, I've got an Eee 1005PE and compiling most software doesn't take very long. Haven't tried compiling OO.o on it yet though.

Reply Score: 2

fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

Bullshit, even my state-of-the-art 13" CULV from ASUS feels slow when compiling. More importantly: it is a real pain to type your code on a laptop all days long.

If I could make room for a desktop computer, I would switch right away. The small screen and keyboard of laptops/netbooks will lead to back and neck injuries after just 1-2 years of heavy use!

Reply Score: 2

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Bullshit, even my state-of-the-art 13" CULV from ASUS feels slow when compiling. More importantly: it is a real pain to type your code on a laptop all days long.

If I could make room for a desktop computer, I would switch right away. The small screen and keyboard of laptops/netbooks will lead to back and neck injuries after just 1-2 years of heavy use!


Coding hours and hours on a laptop is at least very tiresome: smaller screen, no dual screen, small keyboard. I tried doing some work on my laptop, but beside being tiresome if you have to compile and profile large chunks of code it will take more.

I don't know why somebody would prefer to work on a laptop. If you are going to do some work, you are going to do it at a desk, or at least a table, not in bed, on the couch or on toilet. So you can use a desktop.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Once notebooks came out with dual core cpus the desktop was in trouble.

My typical workload this month consists of 2-3 instances of Visual Studio, an instance of VirtualBox running Windows and a few open utilities and my Core 2 Duo notebook handles everything just fine.

Desktops won't go away but they reached their peak years ago.

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Agreed.

But then again, the machine you work with is probably not some "gadget" the article was after.

The difference between a "PC desktop" and a "PC laptop" is not that clear. The other is portable, yes, but at the end of the day it is just a conventional PC.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yea well my response was more towards the other comments here.

I actually found the article's premise to be absurd. People do not want to edit photos or spreadsheets inside iPhones or iPads. Tablet computers will be purchased as secondary devices. They'd have to get to ~200 dollars to even have widespread adoption. Most people would still be willing to pay a little more for a netbook with a keyboard.

Reply Score: 2

fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

Just a dumb question:

how much did you pay for your laptop and how many desktops with equal or better performance can you get for that?

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Doesn't matter because I need a notebook for mobility and since my current notebook has ample performance there is no point in me keeping multiple workspaces.

Desktops are good if you need a quad core but it's a very tiny percentage of the population that can actually make use of one. Gamers and modelers mostly.

Reply Score: 2

Only desktop...
by mfaudzinr on Wed 7th Apr 2010 05:45 UTC
mfaudzinr
Member since:
2008-02-13

For serious work I use my desktop. I do plan to buy a netbook. But to say the desktop would become irrelevant in the near future is too soon. However as technology advances we never know what the future holds. We shall live in a more connected world in the future, how we connect and do things may probably be through other medium none specific to the desktop. The desktop shall evolve and most probably become transparent to the users, focus is more on the task at hand not what machine the task is to be achieved on. Makes sense?

Reply Score: 1

Desktops are here to stay
by mikeinohio on Wed 7th Apr 2010 06:15 UTC
mikeinohio
Member since:
2010-02-21

The big appeal of desktops is the fact that the parts are interchangeable. The sales figures probably do not represent the popularity of desktop computers. I have not purchased a new desktop computer since 1997, however I still use my desktop most of the time. Once a person owns a desktop, they can keep upgrading it piece by piece. That can't be done with a netbook or a tablet computer. I started out with a Pentium II 300 mhz and now I have an Amd Phenom II quad core and I never had a purchase a whole new computer to get to that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktops are here to stay
by biffuz on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:38 UTC in reply to "Desktops are here to stay"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Mine was born as a Pentium 60 - an assembled machine with a brand on it - and grown up to a Q9650, but I know people who started with an 8086.

Reply Score: 1

Spot on
by bloodline on Wed 7th Apr 2010 07:37 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

This article is exactly right. +1

Reply Score: 0

I'm holding out hope for...
by Tuishimi on Wed 7th Apr 2010 08:57 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...those glass wall-computers from minority report. ;) Turn them into art, baby!

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

...those glass wall-computers from minority report. ;) Turn them into art, baby!


I've always wanted one of those retro-futuristic computers from Brazil, with the typewriter/teletype keyboard and the translucent glass display.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I'm holding out hope for...
by cerbie on Sun 11th Apr 2010 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm holding out hope for..."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

That would be awesome. I'd mod you up, if I hadn't already been in a ranty/flamebaity mood ;) .

Reply Score: 2

Workstations are gone?
by makkus on Wed 7th Apr 2010 09:37 UTC
makkus
Member since:
2006-01-11

I just received 2 Z800 and 4 Z600 from HP. I'm pretty sure they can be labelled as workstation... Edit: It's even on the case: Z600 Workstation

Edited 2010-04-07 09:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Workstations are gone?
by Lennie on Wed 7th Apr 2010 12:27 UTC in reply to "Workstations are gone?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

My PC has a label on it which says Workstation as well, but it's really nothing more than a fancy PC.

It is a quad Opteron from a few years back.

Edited 2010-04-07 12:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabjoe
Member since:
2009-05-06

The Sheevaplug is your friend!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SheevaPlug

There is of course the raw Sheevaplug, but there is also user friendly products based on the SheevaPlug.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=cloud_pogoplug

http://www.tonidoplug.com/

There is no need to give up control and go back to thin clients and mainframes. How is it a good idea of all of us upload everything about our lives to the same few walled gardens? Social networks can be decentralized, by their very nature. How is it a good idea that we can't run what we need without sufficient access to site hosting the app we need? Far better have a local copy of the app, compiled for the chips you using, kept up to date from repositories we choose. Decentralized scales better, is more robust, keeps our freedoms, etc etc. Like GIT instead of SVN. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

v Great!!!!
by kiki86 on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:08 UTC
RE: Great!!!!
by earksiinni on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:59 UTC in reply to "Great!!!!"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Great! Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Writing this from a brand new HP dual socket quad core (8 total) Xeon machine with 24Gb RAM.

Maybe end users can't purchase these themselves but they are definitely available to corporations.

Reply Score: 2

PC versus console war
by biffuz on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:27 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

This sounds like the 2010s version of the '90s "PC versus console" war, doesn't it?

We all know how that war ended: a lot of people buy consoles, but the PC gaming market is still huge. A lot of people actually owns both a console AND a gaming PC. Or even more than one of both categories: I own a PS3, a gaming PC/workstation/server, and my notebook is a decent gaming machine as well.

This will happen again: we will end up with a lot of consumer devices, undoubtly, but this will not kill the PC.

Reply Score: 2

RE: PC versus console war
by WereCatf on Wed 7th Apr 2010 16:51 UTC in reply to "PC versus console war"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I too belong in the crowd that plays on both consoles and PCs: some games work excellently well with a pad and a large screen, and some games are almost unplayable with a pad. There's lots of games that I'd never be able to play on a console, like f.ex. any player-versus-player shooter; you need fast and precise controls and a pad just doesn't cut it for those situations. Or RTS games, MMOs: RTS games again often require fast and precise controls unless you play on a very easy difficulty, and MMOs lose their whole point if you can't type text or you have to resort to the incredibly slow and annoying on-screen keyboard method.

But then again, all these are merely restrictions created by the industry. Nothing is stopping them from adding a keyboard and mouse to a console, nor is anything stopping them from creating their console games on PCs and listing a game pad as a requirement. It is easier to control separate crowds, as the ancient Romans so well understood: "divide and conquer" works always.

Reply Score: 3

RE: PC versus console war
by nt_jerkface on Wed 7th Apr 2010 19:36 UTC in reply to "PC versus console war"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yea but this time the pc is really getting slapped around. Last gen the pc was able to attract more developers by having significantly better graphics and network play. Now that consoles are in HD and have network access the difference isn't as significant. Developers are fine with current tech and like how console owners are far less likely to pirate.

NVIDIA and ATI keep adding advancements to their cards but game developers don't care. The gamer with the $300 video card just isn't worth targeting.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PC versus console war
by biffuz on Thu 8th Apr 2010 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE: PC versus console war"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

This was true three years ago, when the actual console generation was new; today any PC which is just a little above average can do the same. This year we will see a lot of new, interesting games on the PC, that have been already announced.

And this was true for the previous console generation, when it was new.

And this was true for the previous generation of the previous generation.

And so on...

Reply Score: 1

the end of the laptop
by defdog99 on Wed 7th Apr 2010 14:31 UTC
defdog99
Member since:
2006-09-06

Maybe it's the end of the laptop...

The real work is done on Desktops...
The real gaming is done on a Console...
and the wireless web surfing will be done on these iPads.

Reply Score: 2

RE: the end of the laptop
by FunkyELF on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "the end of the laptop"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

Maybe it's the end of the laptop...

The real work is done on Desktops...
The real gaming is done on a Console...
and the wireless web surfing will be done on these iPads.


Doubtfull. Switch laptop with desktop and you may have something there.

I could see Apple dropping iMac and mac mini because their Macbooks are just about as powerful but keeping the Mac Pro workstations for power users.

I can see Dell doing this somewhat already. Most of their desktops are small little things with TV hookups.

In reality though, most everything will stay. There is a big enough market for computers of all capabilities and sizes. Compare this to what has been happening in the DSLR realm. You got medium format vs. full frame vs. APS-C vs. Micro-Four-Thirds. People have been saying for a while that the middle will disappear and it will be full frame vs. Micro-Four-Thirds. But you have Canon with the middle 2 acting like medium format and micro-four thirds don't exist. Then you have Pentax with just the extremities. In reality they will all stick around for a while.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: the end of the laptop
by RippStudwell on Wed 7th Apr 2010 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: the end of the laptop"
RippStudwell Member since:
2009-07-16

[q]

I could see Apple dropping iMac and mac mini because their Macbooks are just about as powerful but keeping the Mac Pro workstations for power users.



Since we're dealing with speculation anyway, here's twist on that thought. It would seem just as likely that "regular" laptops could fade away and be replaced with iPad type devices and that for desktops the iMac form factor would replace the tower. I don't know how well that would work, but it makes sense.

Reply Score: 1

Not a chance
by cutterjohn on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:27 UTC
cutterjohn
Member since:
2006-01-28

Most reasonably priced notebooks aren't even close to what you can build in a desktop at the same pricepoint.

Gadgets just simply lack processing and graphics power.

Both are MUCH more expensive to upgrade.

Workstations: they haven't really gone away, but they're not what you'd likely consider to be a "classical" workstation any longer. They're more of specifically built generic x86 PCs, and they're likely to be running all sorts of OSes but likely not any that were on the "classical" workstations, e.g. IRIX, Solaris, AIX, etc.

Reply Score: 3

Everything has it's place
by deathshadow on Wed 7th Apr 2010 15:47 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

and these mobile devices are NOT up to the job of doing MY work...

But then, I've yet to see a portable device with four displays and a full size full travel keyboard instead of these unusable art *** form factor chiclets that seem to be the new trend.

Just got a Acer revo for use as my media center, and the keyboard it came with is a great example of why I'm still hording Model M's. Christmas on a cracker I though those stupid apple ones were like a trip in the wayback machine to the sinclair spectrum... This is more like a first generation trash-80 coco - (actually, not fair, it's more like the MC-10) How the *** do people even TYPE on these... Good thing all that machine is slated for is video playback.

But then, with the increase in people for whom l33t is 'too much typing' I suppose it was inevitable. See the iPad's filesystem access which makes true the macbook wheel joke "everything is just several hundred clicks away" - we're seeing some NASTY technological regression here.

Real keyboard, large displays, multiple displays, room for faster/larger/cheaper components... I don't see desktops going anywhere for people that use them for WORK. As in real work, not just dicking around on teh intartubes.

Edited 2010-04-07 16:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Everything has it's place
by Soulbender on Wed 7th Apr 2010 16:56 UTC in reply to "Everything has it's place"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't see desktops going anywhere for people that use them for WORK


Right, because only people with desktops do real work on their computer. Nonsense. I havent owned a desktop since 2005 and i've been doing all my "real work" on laptops since.
The desktop is going away, or will at least be marginalized, as portable computers become more powerfull and flexible.

Edited 2010-04-07 16:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lex25288
Member since:
2010-04-07

They will never become obsolete.. don't just think about gamers let's just think about ourselves for once..let's think about geeks..
Think of akk the stuff you can add if you build your own PC: firewire, wireless card, TV card, tons of different graphics cards (each to satisfy that very unique need), whatever you name it can be done!
I don't really get people who buy 17-inch-screen laptops for home use, why deprive yourself of a good screen? Hey guess what get a desktop!
It's not just 'cause they are cheaper, it's because desktop computer are just better! Don't just think of the typical gamer who spends tons of time in front if his screen, think also of the average person who probably also spends tons of time in front of a PC let's say for work, I don't really think he is gonna wanna spend all that time in front of tiny screen so he can say goodbye eyesight!

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Good thing it's not possible to connect an external monitor to laptops. Oh wait...

Reply Score: 2

lex25288 Member since:
2010-04-07

Can you build your own powerful and low-cost laptop from scratch and customize it anyway you want? Didn't think so...

Reply Score: 1

definition of a desktop computer
by wigry on Thu 8th Apr 2010 07:53 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

If we are talking about desktop computer, then what everybody think, is a big screen or two or even more, full-size keyboard and comfortable mouse. Thats it. Well, that definition does not include the box, where the power is coming from.

That powerhouse used to be noisy ugly beige box made of cheap plastic and what all. That is changing and morphying all the time.

I for example us IBM T-series laptop as a source for computing power. I've attached big external screen and keyboard/mouse to it nad Im happy.

But what if we could get full-size picture out from our cellphones? Imagine a pad-like dock where you put your cellphone (or iPad if you wish) and instantly you have full desktop experience with your screen and keyboard/mouse attached to the dock. The desktop (experience) is still there, but now the computer is your cellphone and thats what is probably meant by desktop computer dissappearing.

The phone is just placed on that pad-like dock and communicates wirelessly. Or push it even further, the cellphone can remain to your pocket, like car does not need keys anymore. Currently we simply do not have good-enough mobile graphics chip and fast-enough wireless technology but that changes every year.

Reply Score: 1

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

For many years, we will still not have fast enough technology in such small devices for that kind of use. For the foreseeable future, it will still need to be much larger, to dissipate more peak power.

But...the desktop is most certainly becoming a kind of legacy device.

In the old days, you added a card for storage. You added a card for serial ports. You added a card for video--or maybe two. You added a card for sound--or maybe two. You added a card for a network interface, and/or a modem. You added a card for freaking CPU cache memory. By the time a PC could do cool stuff, the inside was a nest of ribbon cables.

Then, you added a card for video and sound, because integrated sucked. Everything else was in there by default, and worked (say, Intel 440 series, and AMD 750 series chipsets and newer, for the 'works' part). Now you add a card for sound if you're out for high quality, and a video card for high performance. But, many games today do just fine with AMD and nVidia IGP...it's already happening...

I don't see how the desktop will disappear w/o us becoming far more inefficient, and generally making medical and chiropractic doctors tons more money to deal with our problems caused by these poorly-laid-out devices. I like my notebook and all, but even as an old Thinkpad, its keyboard pales to a real one, a real mouse is better, and a bigger display is better. It's also nice not having the main portion of the computer right where it is easy to spill things on.

But, a nettop-like everything-soldered-in device, with plenty of power, at a decent price, with multiple display outputs (and/or the ability to have many GB/s links outside of it, for added video capability), and plenty of ports to hook other things up to...well, big vendors are already this close || to selling those boxes en masse (look at the low-end PCs, low-end corporate workstations, and HTPCs). With powerful x86 SoCs already on the horizon, I don't see how we can't be going in that direction.

The thing about portable devices is that they are just not ergonomic. They fit niches, and work well, because you can't take a desk, chair, mouse and keyboard with you, and since they to have it work with a battery, it either becomes oddly shaped like a laptop, or reduces multitaking ability like a cell phone, and still doesn't have the necessary processing power for some of us (and the needed processing power grows, you know).

Just like how computers were going to replace paper, mobile devices will not replace a good place to sit down and use a keyboard, with a display a few feet away from it, and a mouse/trackball/whatever a few feet away from a display, yet without the main body of the machine being in the way of either, as will be the case when trying that on any notebook with a big display.

The desktop as a highly-customizable box I think will go away as soon as what are typically added today can be integrated, as has been happening for ages. The desktop as a station to sit down at to use it, though, hit a good compromise many years ago, taking over the centuries-old desk, that took over the millenia-old desk-like tables, and is only going away for people that don't like using desks to begin with.

Those of us that like desks will continue to add functionality to our desktop computers with all of this newfangled network-enabled technology, not replace them. But, they are already not at the forefront of computer technology; merely a good place to dump performance-related R&D improvements by x86 chip companies. Us power users have been doing most of the things that are supposed to kill off desktops...with desktops, years before most people start doing them with notebooks and phones (or, some people did, and annoyed the mobile communications companies in doing so...). We'll keep on using them, as will many many others.

People for whom it would have previously been too much work for, is where the appliances and mobiles really come into play. Those who would have loved to get rid of their desktop computers prior to notebooks being good enough, and for whom a media center was a great idea that never worked for them, and so on.

Edited 2010-04-11 08:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

there's an app for that?
by sPAZbEAT on Sat 10th Apr 2010 04:55 UTC
sPAZbEAT
Member since:
2009-07-17

what (was?) a "workstation? i thought it was just an expensive desktop.

is it true you can render cg animation on an iphone? no wonder they were so popular..

Reply Score: 1