A charming young buck by the name of John Herlihy of Google Europe believes, like most people in the Western World that desktop PCs will be dead in the next few years. However, he believes they’ll become irrelevant by the year 2013, which may put a damper on some PC makers’ sales forecasts.
Smiling John, shown here, said:
“In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” Herlihy told a baffled audience, echoing comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent GSM Association Mobile World Congress 2010 that everything the company will do going forward will be via a mobile lens, centring on the cloud, computing and connectivity.
Now I’m of two minds here. Yes, I agree the desktop is going the way of the dodo. Laptops are strong enough to stand in for desktops these days and a nice docking system can go a long way to let the average Joe become desktop independent.
However, I have a constellation of devices connected to my always-on PC that I wouldn’t have connected to my iPad. Even simple backup hardware is hard to connect over the cloud. Granted, he did say “research” and not “fragging zombies and rendering DVD menus for your own rip of What About Bob,” so there’s a good chance he meant that the general populace will use mobile devices for most Google -related activity and desktops for the things at which desktops excel.
Desktops still have a place, but its shrinking. I could see a thin client sitting on an office desk sooner than later, with email, storage, and office apps in a cloud. But for uber-nerds heavy iron is what we crave and what we’ll buy. You can’t stick two water cooled graphics cards into a laptop and still call it a laptop.
What think you? Will PCs die out?