IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Your views: Is the desktop dead?

Desktop sales are declining – but does that mean we’re all trading in for lighter laptops?

As sales of desktop computers slip, sales of laptops are growing, spurred by the success of Asus Eee PC and others, reports have shown.

Businesses aren't likely to swap desktop machines for low-cost laptops anytime soon, though some consumers seem to be making the switch. In our twice-weekly newsletter, we asked IT PRO readers if the death of the desktop is being overstated.

Ethan said for ordinary consumers, desktop computers are indeed on the way out. "The average consumer will prefer a more portable (though maybe though not necessarily as powerful processor) laptop because of the convenience it brings. Desktops will come to be used primarily by businesses and enthusiasts games, performance computing."

Stephen agreed, saying he isn't surprised that many consumers are opting for a laptop for their home computer, because they involve less hassle, space and wires. "Laptops give a far more flexible choice for your average family. Most computers in the home aren't used for work applications any further than a little bit of homework for the kids."

Alan suggested desktops are not on the wane, but that they're simply lasting longer than the five-year cycle most vendors expect. "It is just that people don't want to upgrade just yet. Money is tighter than normal and most modern PCs sold within the last five years are more than capable of doing what most users want."

And some people are holding off investing in a shiny new desktop because they're not looking forward to upgrading to Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows Vista. "I think that Window's Vista must be a big turn-off for future purchasers of PCs. I had to buy a new printer and scanner because my existing ones wouldn't work with Vista. They weren't even old ones I've had it up to the neck with Vista," said Jack.

Most readers wrote in to defend the desktop PC, saying size and power matters.

"Size matters.... that's why I love my big old desktop with its chunky 21in monitor. I love the way I can be gaming, emailing, printing, chatting and listening to music all at the same time," said Donna.

Teresa agreed: "I couldn't live without my laptop, although at home I prefer to have one desktop setup with a nice big LCD and loads of hard drive space."

Brendan said: "Until a laptop can provide enough computing and graphics power for serious gaming, desktop boxes will still be required."

"If I could get the same bus speeds and expansion options as a desktop, on my laptop, there would be no case for a desktop. But when I want more memory, faster bus speeds, expansion cards, extra optical or hard drives, I need a desktop," said Jeremy.

Mike noted that desktops are easier to fix and make better home entertainment systems, and added: "And when you go on holiday you don't feel the need to take them with you!"

Norman summed the argument for desktop PCs nicely: "I'll stick with my desktop, bigger and brighter monitor, much larger and faster hard drive, and far superior graphics card. No eye strain either when trying to read print and fonts that are not suited to the smaller screen format Laptops may be getting better, but so are desktops."

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Wired2Fire Ultima WS Home Office PC review: A promising future
Hardware

Wired2Fire Ultima WS Home Office PC review: A promising future

10 Aug 2022
Acer Aspire XC-1660 review: A clear winner for value
Hardware

Acer Aspire XC-1660 review: A clear winner for value

27 Jul 2022
Best business keyboards for 2022: Top choices for homeworkers and the office
Hardware

Best business keyboards for 2022: Top choices for homeworkers and the office

26 Jul 2022
Best Amazon Prime Day desktop PC and laptop deals
Laptops

Best Amazon Prime Day desktop PC and laptop deals

13 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS
cyber attacks

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS

8 Aug 2022
Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022