The end of an era – The Desktop PC

Back in the day, it was all about the desktop PC. Starting with the Altair in the 70s and accelerating with the IBM PC in 1981, the desktop PC was the focus of personal computing innovation.

Used to be all the good stuff started as an add on for the PC and found its way on to the motherboard. It was an all too predictable obsolesence curve. Remember the AST 6 Pack, Hercules Graphics Cards, 3com Network Cards, US Robotics Modems? When you bought a PC, you used to have to buy all these cards to make it get where you wanted it to go. How many slots the PC had was actually an issue because any power or corporate user expected to add features via cards. There was even a time when it seemed like a good idea to try to upgrade the CPU.

All those features migrated from seperate cards down to the motherboard. Hercules Graphics. Gone. AST. Gone. There is a long list of casualties over the years of companies who made good money for a short period of time selling products that soon would become part of the PC Motherboard.

The PC Desktop used to be a happening place. It was fun to read PC Week, PC Mag, Computer Reseller News, Infoworld and other publications that would speculate about the latest and greatest products coming to a PC near you.

Not any more. Could the PC desktop be any more boring these days? Could it be any more emblematic of a mature product?

Sure, HP, Dell, IBM, Gateway are trying to liven it up. The hard drives are bigger and faster. THere is more memory. The graphics cards can do more.The industry tried to juice the PC by coming up with afaster, better express slot on the motherboard, but next to nobody is even using it!

About the only thing even resembling anything fun is coming from Modders. Typically gamers who are putting flames on funky case designs and bumping processor speeds.The PC desktop has gotten to the point where kids turbocharge the old family PCrather than throw it away like kids used to turbocharge the old car in the garage.

The desktop is boring.

All the fun is happening with portable devices. Phones, Ipods, gaming consoles, PDAs, digital cameras, even hard drives and flash drives. All the good stuff is coming in small packages.

Remember the frustration of shopping fora PC in the 90s. Every couple months the PC would have something new and cool in it, and the price would drop. It was tough to know what to buy and whether you should do it now or wait.

That’s exactly what is happening in the portable.mobile device market. My Ipod, My Sidekick, my hard drives,my PSP, my Xboxeven my laptop all have overlapping features. Each is getting closer to each other in feature set every day.

Which means that the war for my pocket is on. Which is going to allow me to only fill one pocket rather than the 2, or 1 plus beltclip that I’m filling now.

It’s a fun time for portable.mobile devices. It’s the 80s and 90s for desktops all over again. Every timeI go into CompUSA or Best Buy to see what new stuff is on the shelves that I can play with, every phone has a new feature. Every hard drive is smaller, cheaper, faster. Every PDA has new features and software.

The implications of this transitionare huge. Particularly for the retail world. Right now most new technology is sold in big stores. Lots of room for monitors. Lots of room for desktops. But those are the stagnant products.

All the good stuff is small. All the traffic generators are small. Which means that we could see big changes in how retail stores are merchandised and in the size of future retail stores.

It won’t take much square footage to showevery possible cellphone, PDA, console, portable hard drive and attachable device. About the only”big” product that will need to be there are HDTVs.

Better yet, all of those devices, including the HDTVs are purely digital and consume and store or playback digital content. For under 20k dollars in storage (and falling in price every day),it’s feasible to store EVERY digital product and offer it for sale.

Even more interesting is the fact that we are used to buying service agreements with these devices. Our phones, our PDAs, we want phone service and more and more often, broadband service with it as well. We don’t buy them, we subscribe to them.

That can be a problem in a world where new features are appearing every 3 to 6 months, but we can’t trade out our devices for 12 to 24 months. Service Contracts will have to be more flexible, or they can impact the success of the very products and services they are trying to sell

We are enteringa golden age of features in portable devices that will far exceed the fun we had with desktop PCs. The quick rate of change in these products and how they are sold, will completelty alter both how the products are sold, and how we expect to buy them.

Finally, if you are expecting new and exciting features from your PC Desktop…forgettaboutit!

87 thoughts on “The end of an era – The Desktop PC

  1. […]I run 4 pcs and 2 laptops. One pc is dedicated strictly for a webcam that I run. One pc is my wifes and one is mine in our office. I have one i use in the basement to look up things for one of my hobbies. One laptop is the one i take on trips and
    use other places around home. One older laptop is used in garage for use with other hobbies to look up information.
    Plus have a wireless pda.[…]

    Comment by Sofiaa -

  2. I like how Mark Cuban speaks in absolute truths. Remember “Being Digital” by Nicholas Negropante? If you read this book in the early 90’s you would swear that there would be no such thing as a book and we would have a complete paperless society. CD’s and PC’s will be around for quite some time, perhaps not in the capacity they are now, but they simply won’t dissapear. A few things Mark should understand. . . most people in the US are not technophiles, many of them have tv’s with turn nobs, do you expect these people to buy the latest and greatest that technology has to offer?

    And besides I cannot see myself getting rid of my desktop and trying to use adobe photoshop on my cel phone (i can barely play galaga on the stinkin’ thing).

    Comment by Dave -

  3. I disagree with your thesis and supporting arguments. Maybe that’s a snooty way of saying “What the $%%^&^ were you thinking?” I really liked reading your thoughts on the demise of the CD, on the other hand. You brought up fresh points of view on that market. But PCs? Nothing fresh here that hasn’t been tried in the last 25 years.

    And the computer trade press just went wonky over a rumor that Microsoft might back a smaller “tablet PC and eBook” form factor. Wow! They’ve already forgotten that Microsoft partners debuted a mini-tablet based on Windows CE at the same time the tablet was unveiled. I think everyone has gotten hardware crazy, that’s all.

    I’ll be heading over to Gizmodo now for my own gadget fix…

    Comment by Walter Lounsbery -

  4. Laptops have a loooooooooooooong way to go before being even or superior to a desktop. Not sure how you can argue desktop is boring with the new SLI motherboards (I have one on the way!) out. I will grant you nothing is really using the PCI Express yet, but between that and the new dual GeForce card motherboards, I’d say the future is bright for the desktop.

    Laptops cannot even remotely keep up right now with the top-of-the-line desktop gaming demands. That day is a long way off, if ever in arrival. Just not enough room or battery power to create such a laptop, or it would set your lap on fire holding it!

    Games today for the PC are being designed with technology requirements 2 or 3 years down the road from the start! Sometimes when they come out the technology still is not available to play it as designers intended on a desktop, let alone a laptop. The laptop is great for what it is, and great for mobile use, but it will not be replacing the power of the desktop anytime soon methinks…

    Comment by Kyle Thompson -

  5. I have to say that I love my desktop PC. When I have to work on a laptop, etc. I don’t like it as much. So, I don’t view them as dead, if that’s what you meant. Could not live without it.

    Comment by Patrick -

  6. Mark,

    I mostly agree with your post, but would like to point out something about newer HDTVs. As a member at avsforum I’m sure you have read about some of the new projectors that are coming out that rival rear-projection HDTV sets in price and quality. These projectors are much more portable for some one like myself, who moves around a lot because of school. Also the price allows for a screen size much bigger than rear-projection for a comparable price. These were the main deciding factors for me when making my purchase. Now if “big-box” retail stores would setup and display these properly they could save a lot of floor space (you can display more than one projector on the same screen using a switcher) and also educate the public on this technology so prices will continue to fall. The projectors are still seen as an expensive alternative to rear-projection, but that is mainly because the general public isn’t educated about them.

    Comment by Dustin -

  7. I agree. Macs are where the excitement is in the desktop space. I was a PC (linux/win xp dual boot) user, before I bought my Mac Mini. I love my Mac Mini. My whole family loves my Mac Mini. I am going to have to buy another Mac Mini, so I can use the Mac Mini (that I love).

    Comment by Chris Nystrom -

  8. The desktop is not gone.

    More affordable than the laptop and frankly many of those other little items, the desktop is the only way some can afford a computer. Also, some do not want to carry around a PDA or a laptop. Too cumbersome to them. Too aggravating. But don’t get me wrong, I have a laptop, I have a phone with video capabilities and a 1 megapixel camera. OH almost forgot, most if not all business are not going to change to a laptop majority business. Why? Security. Granted there are thumb drives and easily attachable hard drives; taking a laptop home out of a office is just incomprehensible! So why not just have a PC at your desk? So a laptop is smaller. Sometimes smaller doesn’t equal better. In the same vien, wireless is a big deal with laptops and with wireless still working out the security problems having a laptop wireless at that in a business can be very dangerous for the company.
    And by the way, I have yet to see an SLI capable laptop. So that is definately one way desktops are staying alive. SLI is going to bring grpahics to an amazing new level. No more headaches!

    OH by the way (again), MACs are greats computers. They are awesome for big music and video production. But there are flaws. The price, I don’t have $2000 to shell out for a PC and don’t bring up the new mac features are missing for the little box; the market, when 90% of the market is influxed with PC/windows it is pointless to own a mac. For people like me seeking a IT security/admin. degree getting a mac when my career will not involve one is pointless. I didn’t say they were bad computers, they just have a damn good marketing professional.

    Comment by JD -

  9. Buy a Mac….it will change your mind. Come on Mark, be a real maverick. True desktop innovation is pouring out of Cupertino. The next rev of OS X (Tiger) is coming out in a few weeks, take a chance and drop a few thousand on a nice G5 and give it a spin. It’s all HD ready, so you should be all over it.

    BTW, I think PDAs are dying a slow death. As phones pull more features away from that market, companies like Palm are going to struggle. Why do you think they keep heaping features on their products?

    Comment by Charlie Jones -

  10. Buy a Mac….it will change your mind. Come on Mark, be a real maverick. True desktop innovation is pouring out of Cupertino. The next rev of OS X (Tiger) is coming out in a few weeks, take a chance and drop a few thousand on a nice G5 and give it a spin. It’s all HD ready, so you should be all over it.

    BTW, I think PDAs are dying a slow death. As phones pull more features away from that market, companies like Palm are going to struggle. Why do you think they keep heaping features on their products?

    Comment by Charlie Jones -

  11. Sofware is fun!
    Right now with linux and open source software, you can customize every features of your pc.
    Thousand of people are creating new software daily and internet enables the creation of a worldwide community. I’m telling you, that’s what’s fun🙂

    Ps: abul wahad is a good defensive player maybe he can help you during the playoffs as much as he helped me on nba live🙂.

    Comment by edudrake -

  12. I recently wrote a post on my financial blog concerning Tablet PC’s and making money. The post is in part text, part tablet writing.

    Check it out!
    http://www.nevblog.com/2005/04/rising-trend-tablet-pcs.html

    Comment by Neville Medhora -

  13. I recently wrote a post on my financial blog concerning Tablet PC’s and making money. The post is in part text, part tablet writing.

    Check it out!
    http://www.nevblog.com/2005/04/rising-trend-tablet-pcs.html

    Comment by Neville Medhora -

  14. I believe that Apple is headed in the right direction with the Mac-Mini.

    Apple is considering that the desktop may someday become a secondary device to our laptops, pdas, and ipods. Stripped down but functional, sleek, desktops the size of a cigar box? THAT’s innovative.

    My notebook is the work horse, and my Mac-Mini is the show pony.

    Comment by Michael -

  15. Personally, I have no use for portable devices as they are. I live in Houston, which is a car culture. I already have a 120g mp3 player hard wired into my car. Where else am I going to use portable computer or gaming devices, I don’t work out. I think that getting online on the go would be great. All the services are too slow except for the new Verizon service. I’m not going to spend $80 a month on service, to carry around a clunky laptop, or a tiny screened pda. All these new devices including the PSP are novelty. The real excitement of these gadgets, is that one day soon you’ll be able to pay a small all inclusive subscription fee, that will include Internet access, all movies, all mp3s, all software and everything else digital. And access it via high speed wireless on your roll up computer screen on the beach. Makes me feel warm inside. As far as the desktop, If there is something that can give me the sound, high definition, graphics power, and the use of a mouse for gaming I’m there, but until then. The Xbox is for kids.

    Comment by Dirty Muffin -

  16. PCs are certainly commoditized. PSPs are clearly not. Refrigerators aren’t exactly fun, either, but it doesn’t stop places from selling them. You can’t replace a PC with a combination of small devices, save the laptop, which is just a very small form factor desktop that costs more and underperforms its larger cousin.

    That said, the fact is, people like going places, and as long as they do, they’ll like stuff that can go with them.

    That said, my PCIX dual-Geforce SLI PC with an overclocked AMD64 says Top o’ the mornin’ to your laptop, and sorry for the dust😉

    Comment by MattW -

  17. The desktop PC isn’t dead. It’s just going to take a very different road.

    For one, professionals will still use desktops. As powerful as top laptops are, they still can’t get price-for-speed of the towers.

    And two, one thing Apple’s Mac mini has the potential to be is a entertainment center. It’s small enough to fit in a briefcase, and with a little tweaking, you could use it as a combination DVR/DVD player/juke box. You still can’t do the same with laptops for under $700 quite yet.

    Portables may take over eventually, but it’s stilltoo early to be writing eulogies.

    Comment by toyochin -

  18. Well, I must say, just read the article on digital cinema craze. (i like that a lot) But about this post. I think you are very much right. I think what we will see next, is all of the things coming into one, and them being about the size of a small book. You open it up, a nice lcd HD screen up top, and below, another high def screen. by then we will have the tech to make stylist writing an ease. Since most of America is becoming wifi enabled now a days, the devices will NOT HAVE A HARD DRIVE. instead you will access a server in some farm some where in the middle of Texas (that state could hold some huge server farms). All the programs will be fun over the wifi. When ever a new free or promo program is made, it is just put on the server. Every body gets it. Simple.

    Now, what would be really cool, is to see these divvies work as credit cards, or something simple like that.

    OH YEAH. Because we don’t want to have to worry about some punk kid taken ours, and then stealing all out data, the server ip has to do with a simple hash of your finger print, (or dna)

    And about the PC going away. I think that is very right. Aleinware (sorry bout the spelling) has a laptop that will out run most pc’s in the consumer market.

    Comment by M. Chase Whittemore -

  19. Mark,

    Love your advice and insight as always. You stay on the forefront of technology and take us along for the ride. I appreciate it.

    I have a $500 win ticket on the Mavs for the NBA Championship from Las Vegas in November. Go Mavs!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Glen Wilson -

  20. Mark,

    The desktop, especiall big, poerful models like the ones at our house, are going to be around for a long, long time. There is no laptop that will do what mine do, bar none.

    If you want to learn more about all hand held devices, click on my nake to go to one of our websites ( http://www.allhandhelds.com ).

    Peace, Mike

    Comment by Mike Sigers -

  21. Mr. Cuban,

    I don’t know if the desktop computer is going to be phased out or become an obselete piece of technology. If anything, I think it will stay, but consumers and companies alike will find other uses for it, thus making it more robust. We see it starting right now, with HTPC’s. So maybe not a phase out, but a transformation into a more multi-use technology.
    PDA’s, those are becoming obselete. PDA’s are just a transitional technology that will be phased out in the near future and pretty much replaced by the more powerful cellphones that contain pda-like functions, like the sony p900. The sales of pda’s are going down, and eventually, will be gone. An average person uses a PDA for about 6 months and usually stops using it. I know I did. PDA’s never became as powerful as they should have been. How have they been out for so many years, and we’re still punching away at a mini on screen keyboard or using graffiti, having to remember how to write in an odd manner? While convienent since we didn’t have a bunch of post it notes, sometimes the post it note was just easier.

    since i’m here making a comment, I’d just like to say that I’m a poor college student at UT Dallas, and did not get the chance to go to a mavs game all season. if there’s anyway I could get a ticket to a playoff game, that would be sweet🙂 hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask right?

    Comment by Anthony Baccam -

  22. If my friends and family are indication with easy self-installed wifi and broadband connections, networked printers and other devices, there is very little reason to buy a desktop these days. Instead we’re all migrating to better and better laptops, which we use wireless much of the time (now if only we could recharge wirelessly…)

    Frankly I don’t think I’ll buy a desktop for many years…

    thanks said, I very well might (as might many other people I know) buy a home server/appliance. Something like a Mirra (http://www.mirra.com) which provides simple, reliable backup services to networked devices. Low-cost, high utility network aware devices such as this would seem a likely way of the future for consumer (and small business) purchases.

    Comment by Shannon Clark -

  23. Mark – Couldn’t agree more with your comments about the really interesting things coming out in the mobile/wireless device space. I just bought a multi-room digital music system with a wireless, full-color LCD screen controller (with killer ipod-esque controls) from these guys at Sonos (www.sonos.com). I set the thing up in 5 minutes and have a high-quality music system that would have cost $10k just 5 years ago and would have taken weeks to wire my house for. Everywhere you look there are more cool things like this that are unrelated to the PC. Go Mavs.

    Comment by Brian Hunter -

  24. What about HTPC’s (home theater pc’s)? An HTPC could be used as a set top box that allows you to record/watch tv, stream internet radio through your home theater system, or use it like a jukebox, email & surf, watch dvds/avi/mpeg/dix/xvid, play games & emulators.

    Nothing exciting about that?

    Comment by grillcheese -

  25. Mark:
    From what I gather after reading your article, you are saying everything is getting smaller?!? Would then agree that Nanotechnology will be the next best thing to sliced bread? Not only will the bread maker be getting smaller, but the sandwich as well . . . and ultimately we will all be like Lilly T, but instead of The Incredible Shrinking Woman, it will be The Incredible Shrinking World, right? I guess I better buy some Nano stock, the one that’s making parts for that bread maker!
    SM

    Comment by Shawn MacMeekin -

  26. Mark,

    While your point is that the PC market is no longer “fun” and “inovative”, your title is quite misleading.

    The PC is not going ot go away any time, it will continue to get faster, more powerfull, and smaller, then eventually when we’re all on boradband, I think we will go back to the days of dumb PCs that run applications that are hosted online.
    Want to write a document, a “web browser” opens that enables you to do your word processing, and stores the document in your personal web space on some server farm in cyberspace.
    Want to play a game, another “browser” opens and loads the game from a server, for you to play.
    Corportate application are already going heavily towards web based, and more and more home applications will continue to as well.

    For those of us in the software world, desktop applications may be dying, but the role of desktops in accessing our applications is still alive and well.

    Comment by Jeff -

  27. Multimedia PCs are a fun new product. Eliminates the need to buy a TiVO or DVR. Just record onto your computer. You can do more with that, convert to other formats, write to DVD, etc.

    Comment by Matthew -

  28. I think you underestimate the usefulness of a desktop computer. Not everyone travels to a different city every night. The majority of us slave away 9-5 then go home to our families. I own a laptop a cell phone and a pda but spend far more time on my desktop in my study at home. Portable gadgets are fun and invoke the ‘wow’ factor but the fact of the matter is that far too many people use and enjoy using desktop pcs for them to ever be replaced.

    Besides, we all know the real use of a desktop is power gaming! Dual-Core cpus and SLI tech can’t be put inside a little gadget!

    Comment by Ryan -

  29. Yeah I just bought an ipaq that has a camera, 802.11, two gbs for mp3 storage, a pda and a phone all in one device the same size as a deck of cards.

    Comment by Andrew -

  30. The only real fun Desktop to come along in a while is Apple’s iMac. You can’t tell me that doesn’t peak a little interest.

    http://www.apple.com/imac/

    Comment by Brian -

  31. Big fan Mark… keep up the great blog.

    You’re absolutely right about the “fun” stages of technology. I thrived on the whole desktop PC beginnings, but it’s too mature now. But I think you forgot the software. Not quite as exciting, and much too sophisticated for the average hobby person, but still growing in leaps and bounds. Both in commercial products and open source.

    But that exact same feeling is back with PDAs and mobile devices. I love it and thrive on it.

    Thanks for pointing out the parallels. It really helps explain a lot of what I love about these times for mobile devices. It’s the best of times and the perfect time to enjoy the ride!

    Can’t say “Beat LA” this year in the playoffs, but I still say “Go Mavs!!!!”

    Comment by BobR -

  32. great site with very good look and perfect information…i like it

    Comment by Litfaßsäule -

  33. As for displays on handhelds, this is where there will be a huge explosion of alternatives, glasses that project images in front of our eyes and wearable computers are not as far off as you think.

    Comment by runescape money -

  34. So ya, if by boring you mean you have 3-4 less boxes to open, cards to install, and 3-4 fewer drivers to update then ya the desktop has become boring. I feel you aren’t looking deep enough.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  35. World is going nano big time. Soon we are goingt o have an ipod the size of a coin or something. To explore the world of hidden smileys and emoticons
    http://www.hidden-smileys.com

    Comment by Hidden Smileys -

  36. Very soon its going to be the end of the laptop and then the palmtop. The world is going nano. The only thing increasing is population. For the best stainless steel kitchen utensil manufacturer and exporter.
    http://www.kingmetal.com

    Comment by Stainless steel kitchen utensil -

  37. Very soon its going to be the end of the laptop and then the palmtop. The world is going nano. The only thing increasing is population. For the best stainless steel kitchen utensil manufacturer and exporter.
    http://www.kingmetal.com

    Comment by Stainless steel kitchen utensil -

  38. It was inevitable. Just as PC took over in the 70s, its now the turn of Wireless devices. Cant wait for the next technological breakthrough.
    Laptops rule!!!

    Comment by Call Center India -

  39. Personally, I was waiting for this and am not a single bit surprised. This change has been quite gradual and not sudden. Graduality increases expectancy. Always be ahead of your times. Helps you predict and prevent. For outsourcing voice, chat, email or back-office support, visit the website http://callcenter.ramshyam.com

    Comment by Call Center -

  40. It was inevitable. Just as PC took over in the 70s, its now the turn of Wireless devices. Cant wait for the next technological breakthrough. For outsourcing voice, chat, email or back-office support, visit the website of Aumenta Call Center, India.
    http://www.aumenta.cc

    Comment by Live Chat Support -

  41. Desktops rule.

    Cheers,
    JR

    Comment by John Rizos -

  42. good!

    Comment by 11nong -

  43. sharp zaurus c3100 is the best pda in the world, which comes with 4gb hard drive (the first pda embeded with hard drive)!

    Comment by China E Guide -

  44. laptop pc can’t replace desktop pc, this will not happen in this century.

    Comment by Oneandhalf Web Server -

  45. yeh i had a laptop and got rid of it as i love my desktop

    Comment by alienware uk -

  46. I want to extend you a very heart felt thank you..

    Comment by Lindsay Lohan -

  47. This is so true, I remember the days when you browse the computer stores (Computer City, CompUSA) checking to see whats new and playing with new toys.

    When Tomb Raider was the most amazing game played and don’t forget when Doom was on diskette. (Still have em)

    Your blog brought back alot of fun memories and you are so right, everything with computers has gone stale.

    Comment by William Ayala -

  48. It took me a time to read all the comments. In the end I take the view of “Ed D”.
    My brother used those codes required for progs years ago.

    cheers,
    greg o’ankle

    Comment by Goa-Trance -

  49. Betty, I can only support your comment. This is a great Blog and I will visit yous too. Go on!

    Comment by Teléfonos moviles -

  50. I don’t totally agree. Sure, portable devices are getting better, but the things that you really want a video screen for, aren’t things that you really *want* to do all the time on a 2″ screen.

    They also need a better navigation system on small devices in general. I purchased a music player with an audio recorder because I don’t have a good way to take notes in my PDA. A few seconds I can get in a whole lot of data with voice that you just can’t accomplish that fast with any other method. Even though I type relatively fast, even that method is slower than voice, and voice control on all your devices is probably a little ways off, yet.

    For more:
    http://quillian.blogspot.com/2005/04/gadgets-and-gear.html

    Comment by Quillian Rutherford -

  51. You are so right. What are folks thinking? Smaller *is* better. Great blog BTW. – http://thelastnerve.blogspot.com.

    Comment by Black Betty -

  52. No.

    Just take a look at the history of software. Back when it was AST and Hercules (btw Paradise was the best w/ Tongue of the Fatman!) We were at Windows 3.1. Now, XP is a widely available, pre-emptive multitasking multi-user anti-aliased graphical user interface. Sound cards are multi-channel and not FM synthesis any more. And there are still computer shows. Office is peaking in applications software and Visual Studio .NET is coming out with a major new version soon. No more watcom and DOS/4GW games. Yes, this is much better. 386’s once cost $2500 and now the Pentium 4 can be had complete and new for $400. And in 1992 Linux and Open Source were just beginning, now there is so much out there it’s impossible to try it all.

    Anyway we had a collective back in those days, called the ‘warez’ scene, but now, with the vastness of the Internet there is plenty to do without that trouble.

    Comment by Ed D -

  53. No.

    Just take a look at the history of software. Back when it was AST and Hercules (btw Paradise was the best w/ Tongue of the Fatman!) We were at Windows 3.1. Now, XP is a widely available, pre-emptive multitasking multi-user anti-aliased graphical user interface. Sound cards are multi-channel and not FM synthesis any more. And there are still computer shows. Office is peaking in applications software and Visual Studio .NET is coming out with a major new version soon. No more watcom and DOS/4GW games. Yes, this is much better. 386’s once cost $2500 and now the Pentium 4 can be had complete and new for $400. And in 1992 Linux and Open Source were just beginning, now there is so much out there it’s impossible to try it all.

    Anyway we had a collective back in those days, called the ‘warez’ scene, but now, with the vastness of the Internet there is plenty to do without that trouble.

    Comment by Ed D -

  54. As mobile devices get smaller and smaller, they have more and more information content to relay to their owners. The physical screen is becoming a bottleneck to mobile devices attaining improved form factors. It needs to be big enough for web functions and multimedia, and small enough to fit in your pocket.

    Microvision, Inc. in Bothell, WA has developed a ‘scanned beam display’ that creates a virtual image on your retina that only you can see. These displays are high-resolution, see-through with rich, deep colors. And they can be worn as a pair of eyeglasses or embedded into a cell phone or digital camera.

    The way to make devices smaller and still have all the information content is to abandon the current ‘fixed-pixel’ display paradigm and move to virtual displays. These will open up new realms for application developers and potential huge new revenue streams for service providers and device manufacturers.

    Disclosure, I own shares in Microvision (MVIS) and write MVIS Blog, the #1 Independent Resource for MVIS Investors:
    http://microvision.blogspot.com

    Comment by BJ McWild -

  55. I agree with the general premise here: Even if desktops are more powerful than mobile devices, they’ve become boring. Moore’s law has been proven, but the fact is that hardware has been “good enough” for a couple of years now, and except for a couple of games, today’s hardware is all any of the Internet surfing and word processing crowd will need for a while. The digital entertainment group, which wants to rip CD’s and DVD’s as well have PVR and video editing functions can do all of that with last years models pretty well.

    I’ve built my own machines since a 4gig Hard Drive seemed huge, but I’m considering buying off the rack for the first time. I just don’t get excited any more from specing out and building a screamer, since the time wasted getting it just right isn’t rewarded with a better end product than I could buy from a local big box. Let’s not forget the money saved, or even the bundled extras that come from the larger retailers.

    I think that Mark was going in the right direction, but I’d like to take it one step further: portable personal information – without the device. I want to have my own information (contacts, calendar, email, documents, media files, programs) where ever I go, on whatever device I happen to be in front of at the time. My Treo can handle most of this, but there are still problems with sync, and it’s still a mostly wired affair. I want it to automagically connect to any screen and input device that is within range and then grant me access to all of my files – wirelessly of course. Now this is a software issue, not a hardware one. Sure there are infrastructure issues and security concerns, but overall I think this is the ultimate extension of the “I” in “IT”. A few programs are making this happen like Migo (http://www.engadget.com/entry/7817248725869125/) Orb Networks (http://www.orbnetworks.com/) and even MS Remote Desktop, although the hardware guy in me wants to increase the integration by a generation or two.

    Comment by Marc Nathan -

  56. Mark,

    I have to say I can not disagree with your post more. PCs are not becoming less fun. I am one of those “kids” you talk about that likes to build his own computer and hop it up. While I do enjoy overclocking my computer and changing the windows options to make it faster, the industry is not stagnant. You talk about the new express slots that no one uses on their motherboards, well just take a look at Newegg.com, every new video card that comes out uses the PCI Express slot. AGP is slowly being phased out and newer, faster slots, cards, and memory types are always being produced. And it is not just upgrading part that already exist, the industry is also coming out with digital products that I can see even you falling in love with. My father just took me over to his house to see his new PCI video card that lets you watch TV on the computer and record it all in DVD format so that you can burn copies of it onto DVDs. You can even go to a website that has the TV schedual for your local area so that you can pick out a show that you want to see and record it. He is doing so in order to send copies of popular TV shows and movies to my brother in Uzbekistan. This is basically like a TiVO for your computer at a third of the cost. Try doing that with a PDA or cell phone. These cards are now being intigrated into graphics cards known as All-in-Wonder cards by ATI. Both Intel and AMD, with Apple being first, are moving to 64-bit processing, which will increase the speed of newer software by amazing amounts. I think that by saying PCs are becoming obsolete you are mistaken. PCs are not becoming obsolete, they are turning into supercomputers, and when less power is needed the portable devices are there for use. Try running any of todays 3D rendoring or running any of the top-of-the-line games on a portable computer. PCs will always have their place in the computing world, and, at least to me, will always remain fun. They only become less fun when you buy pre-packaged Dell or HP computers.

    Comment by Chris Salisbury -

  57. Mark, you’re right about the desktop innovations slowing down. Here is a great example:

    I purchased my Dell PC in November of 2002. specs are 2.4GHz, 1GB of DDR, 180GB HDD, and creative labs platinum sound card, and DVD-R…

    This PC has served me well since 2002. It runs fine, granted it can’t play games since I never bothered to buy a video card, since I’ve always been a fan of consoles; IE my Xbox rules for games.

    The only things that have caught my eye, as a young consumer are the little things, my 40GB iPod, my bose noise canceling headphones, my etymotic ER-4P in-earphones, my digital camera, my cell phones(Thanks to tmobile I can buy countless cell phones and use whichever I feel like using. Slide in the card and its activated) I’ve purchased over 20 in the last 5 years. The last being the nokia 6300…it was a smart phone, too smart for me. I sold it, and went back to a standard flip phone.

    Anyway the point is, there is nothing really eye catching in the PC world. Hence the reason I cancelled my “Maximum PC” subscription, which was a fantastic magazine back in the day. Now the top specs barely move. The old saying about buying a computer today and it being obsolete tomorrow is out the window.

    And briefly, I saw screens for the new Windows code name Longhorn, and I’m very unimpressed by it, almost enough to switch to a Mac. Mac’s OS is beautiful, it’s different, and its sturdy…the only draw back is the price of the software.

    Be well.

    roy

    Comment by Roy Arguello -

  58. Mark, you’re right about the desktop innovations slowing down. Here is a great example:

    I purchased my Dell PC in November of 2002. specs are 2.4GHz, 1GB of DDR, 180GB HDD, and creative labs platinum sound card, and DVD-R…

    This PC has served me well since 2002. It runs fine, granted it can’t play games since I never bothered to buy a video card, since I’ve always been a fan of consoles; IE my Xbox rules for games.

    The only things that have caught my eye, as a young consumer are the little things, my 40GB iPod, my bose noise canceling headphones, my etymotic ER-4P in-earphones, my digital camera, my cell phones(Thanks to tmobile I can buy countless cell phones and use whichever I feel like using. Slide in the card and its activated) I’ve purchased over 20 in the last 5 years. The last being the nokia 6300…it was a smart phone, too smart for me. I sold it, and went back to a standard flip phone.

    Anyway the point is, there is nothing really eye catching in the PC world. Hence the reason I cancelled my “Maximum PC” subscription, which was a fantastic magazine back in the day. Now the top specs barely move. The old saying about buying a computer today and it being obsolete tomorrow is out the window.

    And briefly, I saw screens for the new Windows code name Longhorn, and I’m very unimpressed by it, almost enough to switch to a Mac. Mac’s OS is beautiful, it’s different, and its sturdy…the only draw back is the price of the software.

    Be well.

    roy

    Comment by Roy Arguello -

  59. There will always be a place for desktops, but for me personally, I’ll never go back to using one. The business laptop that I just bought has more stuff than my desktop has–lots of memory and storage, long battery life, wireless technology, a DVD burner, all kinds of business software, a powerful graphics card, and, of course, portability.

    I also have a PDA, which is great, but PDAs will never replace laptops. Rather, it compliments the laptop (especially since both have IR capability so files can be beamed from one to another).

    But a lot of people don’t care about portability, so I don’t think it’s quite the end of an era yet.

    Comment by Boston's Hidden Restaurants -

  60. Brilliant observations by all.

    I especially appreciated Kerry Kobashi’s comment about digital visualizations and a 3D desktop. I tend to hold the view that with GPUs drastically increasing in performance and cost on the decline, implementation of a new metaphor is in the cards.

    Mark, by no means is the desktop dead.

    Comment by Ian Thomas -

  61. Mark:
    I know you might be busy with your little basketball thing… but if not… Come to Taipei May 31-June 3 for a GREAT IT SHOW… 2nd largest in the world.
    I’d be happy to show you around the city…

    Comment by SQJTaipei -

  62. Very close, you’re dead on that the future is in these smaller devices, I do think you’re underestimating the market for small desktop/custom PCs.

    Desktop PCs are getting smaller, “breadbox PC” cases are growing in popularity, wireless accessories are readily available, monitors are getting thinner and thinner. We’re starting to see the birth of portable gaming desktops, light and small enough to fit in a backpack (monitor and all) with enough power to play the latest games. Better yet, the price point is far below a comparable laptop.

    I’m starting to wonder if it’s perhaps the laptop that will begin to feel the squeeze, unable to handle the high end apps and games that a desktop does, but too large to compete with PDAs/cell phones for most portable computing. As a consumer I keep looking at “desktop replacement” laptops that would be able to run the things my desktop handles easily, they weigh like a ton of bricks and cost over three times as much for lesser performance.

    Eventually yes, the desktop will become obsolete. However, I suspect it will take a little longer than most “experts” expect. Between shrinking case sizes allowing them to fit into a consumer’s home rather than dominate and an unbeatable price vs performance ratio the other devices have a long way to go to beat out the desktop.

    Comment by Jeff Gaudry -

  63. Mark,

    The Mavs are in big trouble and you’re blabbing on about desktop PCs? 😛

    I think you’re missing one important piece that is causing the death of desktop PC’s — my (our?) generation. *I* still want to rebuild my computer, I still want to upgrade and overclock my cpu, I still want to plug in more ram and juice up my video card. Meanwhile my younger brother just wants my dad to buy him the latest and greatest console so he can play games.

    Whereas I want to try to decompile a game so I can mod it myself, my younger brother just want to “pwn” his buddies online.

    That’s the main difference. Kids (including myself at this point) are too lazy to fish through the junk and find the ultimate set-up.

    Geeks are a minority😛

    Comment by eBrian -

  64. I enjoy my desktop. Of course I am an avid gamer and overclocker. I wouldn’t have a mobo with integrated graphics. Except for Soundstorm, all onboard sound stinks too. I have an excellent soundcard and great speakers that sound better than my more expensive home theater set up. I can watch dvds, listen to music, digital photograpy,internet, email, and research. The desk top computer is a virtual entertainment center. I am always looking to upgrade my memory, cpu, and video card. I love to push my desktop components to their absolute limit. Now, if you purchase a computer from Dell, Gateway, etc, you cannot overclock anything. I can see how that would be very boring. It all depends on what you are into. GO ROCKETS!!!!!

    Comment by jon5 -

  65. very interesting article,
    And you do brush on many good points. how ever your blog is clearly written by someone who is not in the computer business. I work as a professional programmer and database admin. and there are some new and exciting things your computer can do that many are not aware of.
    1) there are technologies that allow you to wirelessly send music from your PC to a hard drive on your car. and you can swap out the mp3s held in your car.
    2) house hold automatition. you can set up your house to automically control the lights , windows, and many other cool things with the X10 home automation kit.
    3) if you are savey enough you can rip any/all cds to mp3 format . if you buy these little special applicances you won’t be able to.
    4) TV / radio / all on my computer.
    that’s right i don’t have a TV set i use my computer. with a rezolution and DPI that only $10,000 HDTV sets have my standerd cable feed looks as good as your HDTV feed. how ? anti-aliasing for tv single but don’t try to find this feature on a tv .
    home computers are going to stay for a long time. for a few casual users who primarly only use a computer to write email, or surf the web, Yes their PDA’s may take over. but those users really never tap into the power of their desktops to begin with. Real computer users
    the gamers, the coders, the digital aided designers, the artists, etc
    they will always have a computer.
    besides how do you write software for those pdas and cellphones? typically on a desktop.
    and some of us still get excited about new graphic cards btw.
    and to use your own anology . how many people have really stop using cars simple becuae they are boring? basically as people get older they don’t care as much about having the best car out there, and rarely do you see a middle to old age man attaching a turbo , but they still drive their cars.

    Comment by Alex -

  66. You’re a joke. You are severely misinformed on what PCs are exactly used for these days. How do you suppose you connect and get data onto your beloved iPods and PDAs and hard drives? I own a device that fits into all three of those categories, and none of them would be functional without a Desktop PC

    Comment by Shinnokxz -

  67. Mark,

    Modding is fun. Don’t tell me you overclock though =P. Heh, well I wouldn’t be too surprised.

    Comment by dmo -

  68. I have to say that I love my desktop PC. When I have to work on a laptop, I don’t like it as much.

    Comment by Dan Abo -

  69. Mark,

    Agree with your premise and general assessment. Your relections on the demise of value of the desktop relate to 2 important trends in communications: personalization (demand) and bandwidth (supply). They are often interrelated and easily confused. That is why your conclusion is one of marginal value, and you miss the bigger opportunity(s) for money to be made. But you are not alone, only 2 or 3 of the responses hinted at the bigger opportunity(s) around connectivity.

    On the personalization front, the mobile device rules. There is no OS monopoly to contend with, just the two-edged sword of the myriad of devices, menu formats, etc… Consumers like choice and they certainly have plenty of it (good and bad). The real, hidden problem for mobility solutions going forward is bandwidth. Nobody is addressing that, because it’s the wireless industry’s and capital markets’ dirty little secret. Wireless’ virtue is that it can reach everyone; and that’s its achilles heel, especially on the back (or upstream) channel. In fact, much of the choice you claim as a virtue is being driven by the need to address this constraint. Data and multimedia solutions eat up gobs of bandwidth on networks that are used to 4-8kbps compressed voice.

    Turning to the wireline front/issue, physical and virtual bandwidth bottlenecks adversely impact desktop PC demand/functionality. This limits additional choice on top of the 15 years of developing edge complexity. (In IVP’s model, the two worlds–desktop and mobile–converge. The edge is a highly personalized device/OS that is thinned out with respect to getting rid of superfluous software and components, with both mobile and fixed connectivity solutions. The desktop becomes a super docking station, or controller for the house, which is typically fixed; excepting your quarter million $ RV.)

    The physical bottleneck is a result of carrier mon(du)opolies in the MAN. As these carriers SLOWLY roll out broadband, they are setting the stage for their own final disintermediation. We are working on approaches that dramatically speed this process up.

    The virtual bottleneck is the OS monopoly. Everyone is reticent in ceding any more control/value to the Rulers of the Northwest. Hence the catharsis on the desktop.

    There is a fourth wave of digitization happening in the MAN. It is a Tsunami fed by the previous 3 waves over 20 years; the second of which lead to your fortune. The third wave was the digitization of mobility networks which, 10 years on, has lead to the dramatic scaling of mobility devices; connected or not. The areas in the 4th wave to make money are in the transport layers, control layers and application layers. Retail distribution will play an important, albeit bit, part in all this.

    ME

    Comment by Michael -

  70. Mark,

    You are right on the button. My Palm and my Cellphone have merged to become my Blackberry. Although a little less powerful than my Palm, I never needed a heck of a lot of computing power from my Palm. With the calendar feature on my Blackberry, I just sync all my information from Infuzer with my Outlook and I have all pertinent information to run my business and social life.

    Comment by John Jocke -

  71. I am ready for the new smaller….easier items.
    http://www.greenzap.com/groovus

    Comment by Eric Engen -

  72. Mark, you’re crazy! So called “experts” have been saying that the desktop PC is dead for a good 5 years now but sales are stronger than ever. If anything, the desktop PC will become even more powerful.

    I’m in an indie rock band and all of the members of the band use computers, in one form or another, to create music.

    Regards,
    Sue

    http://www.pdmos.tk

    Comment by Sue -

  73. Ah the good ‘ole days. AST 6 pack plus, Hercules Graphics Cards, Hayes modem. All companies that ended up in the toilet and eaten alive by ongoing innovation.

    Yep, desktop computing has hit a wall. Boring, I agree. The landscape has always been dull in that perspective even before the turn of the new century. Let’s face it. Application software never really did keep up with hardware advances. With the UI, there’s only so much razzle dazzle you can add. Voice, video, and sound… but how about visualizations?

    You can blame it on the browser. Now the world has become accustomed to peering into a window whose world is document centric and static. HTTP GET. HTTP RESPONSE. Yawn.

    64-bit chips and parallelism. Necessary? Hardly. Like I really need to run Microsoft Office or Firefox with a Quad Pentium V at teraflop speeds. Can you say, “overkill”? Unless AMD or Intel can find a way to beam me to another part of the world, I’d say I could give a hoot about having a machine that gives off so much heat and sucks up so much energy to make the electric company want me to become their best friend.

    However, just maybe Mark, your missing something. The desktop can change as hardware becomes cheaper and processing gets faster. Think vectors, not bitmaps and a world of opportunities arise.

    Desktops rendered in 3D will make it onto your desktop someday using totally different user metaphors, gestures, and data visualizations. The users experience and perception of the desktop will change to be more enriching, engaging, and intuitive. That’s my dream and I’m sticking to it. Wake me up when its a reality.

    The computer is like your car. You service it and treat it good in the early years. Parts fail and you toss it and replace them for cheap. When it becomes so painful, you throw it out the window and on average its like every 4-6 years or when Doom XXIII comes out.

    It’s time for the return of thick client application software to innovate, rather than follow.

    Comment by Kerry Kobashi -

  74. The desktop as it is today will go away, sure… On the corporate side, desktops will become thin client interfaces with software being server or even web based (software as a service). At home desktops will become laptops and laptops will become handhelds… There will be a shift of technolgy from stand alone to a more centralized situation. New houses will be networked and soon have built in servers to run all of the built in home automation. Interconnectivity grows as the desktop shrinks.

    As for displays on handhelds, this is where there will be a huge explosion of alternatives, glasses that project images in front of our eyes and wearable computers are not as far off as you think. Take my PDA/Phone that I use to listen to music and stream live radio and tv to…give me a virtual screen and imporoved voice commands and it is exactly that.

    Mark, keep up the thought provoking posts…

    Comment by Staceman -

  75. Wonder what BBY will do with all of that extra real estate. They even own a decent amount of their stores.

    Comment by ha ha -

  76. Use your leverage to convince LGF that buying a used up purple dinosaur company will be dilutive to earnings and make no money for shareholders!

    Comment by ha_ha -

  77. Mark,

    You’re a smart feller. The problem with small devices is the display is small too. Reading this blog on a 2″ screen makes my eyes hurt. When is starbucks (and everybody else that has customers standing/sitting around) gonna add bluetooth (or other) screens that will display my portable.mobile? I wanna buy a cup of coffee and go sit down somewhere and when I put my portable.mobile on the table, a full size screen comes to life. That way, I can buy coffee from starbucks, access from access providers, and content from you…

    Keep up the good work!

    BTW, do you read these posts?

    Comment by Steve Ashley -

  78. PS:

    LAPTOP:
    3000+ AMD 64, 512MB DDR400 Ram, 40GB ATA133 HardDrive, 24x CDRW drive, 15.4″ screen, ATI 9700 Mobile

    This laptop will run DOOM 3 at very high quality.

    I built it for $1400 around December.

    DESKTOP:
    3000+ AMD 64, 512MB DDR400, 80GB SATA, MSI Mobo with 7.1 audio, ATI PCIe video card.

    Runs DOOM 3 even faster, higher quality, and for $400 less. The harddrive is faster, the video card is faster, and the motherboard has a significantly higher throughput.

    Laptops are starting to get almost “good enough” for high end games, software development, and other demanding tasks without spending more than $1500, but they aren’t there yet. Heat, battery life, cd burner, harddrive and other components have a long way to go.

    Comment by Tor -

  79. I completely agree with you on the portables becoming newer, more exciting, and “where its at” for bleeding edge technology vying for pocketspace.

    I completely disagree about desktops becoming more boring. They have become easier to build requiring fewer connections and fewer device driver problems, however the technology has been definately evolving in a way that is very exciting.

    The paradigm has shifted from the massive number of cards required to make a system perform down to the evolved and specialized cards required to blow us away by the multimedia, processing, and storage capabilities coming down the road.

    1. GPUs. Wasn’t it just 1999 when GPUs (GeForce-2) started picking up steam. Imagine a built-in mini-computer that rocks and rolls your graphics needs. My ATI 9700 AIW is still a very entertaining card to work with.

    Graphics has never been the same. It has been 10x or 100x better.

    2. Processors built for multi-tasking with dual core, hyperthreading, or other capabilities. Have something akin to a dual processor system without the expensive motherboard and double the cost in processors.

    3. Ram has gotten fast and cheap. I smile every time I install a heatsink on a DDR400 module and pop that thing into the motherboard. Motherboards have gotten better regarding compatibility and performance.

    4. Motherboard performace: Sure you can get the $30-50 motherboard special of the week or you can get a system with a much higher overall throughput across the various busses. == Performance

    5. SATA is very exciting. RAID sets built of cheap, huge, and fast harddrives. $60 for an 80gb drive.

    6. CD Burners spinning so fast the discs might warp. Now that is fast. Burning a full CD in under 2 minutes. Full DVDs in 7-8 minutes.

    7. Multimedia Center: Computers that can pipe music, video, and other content on demand to any room in your house with the touch of a button. These systems are getting more feature-rich and lower cost all the time.

    The XBOX you mentioned is just a small form-factor desktop computer. You can slap a GUI and some software in front of it and pretend like it is just a gaming machine, or you (a hobbyist) can modify their xbox and unleash the web browser, game management, mp3 music capabilities, music videos, movies, internet radio, and so much more. The xbox is a full-fledged computer hiding behind some software.

    So ya, if by boring you mean you have 3-4 less boxes to open, cards to install, and 3-4 fewer drivers to update then ya the desktop has become boring. I feel you aren’t looking deep enough.

    On the surface, case modders, gaming modders, and overclockers are all interesting uses of a desktop, however enhancing your 3D visualization plugin for winamp by installing a better video card, maximizing your processing power, memory, and building a quality system is just as rewarding, challinging, and fun as it has ever been. For me, more so since I get a lot more power for a lot less money.

    Laptops, and other smaller, more portable devices are coming along nicely and I look forward to them. Desktops still have more power with fewer dollars. Case manufacturers like Shuttle with their super-mini computers are starting to create some of the first portable desktops.

    Desktops is where the high-end power is at. It’s where some of the most fun is at too. Portables are fun too, but they hardly replace a desktop.

    Comment by Tor -

  80. The PC has essentially plateaued. Especially for someone who does not play videogames. It will be the ultimate tool for developers for a long time, but I believe the entertainment potential is low. People won’t watch TV on a computer, nor should any intelligent person believe that you can watch TV off Windows servers or a Windows OS ‘media center’. It’s overkill, too costly, and not designed for that. People are completely missing the opportunity and the point with IPTV and the infrastructure it needs to thrive. Incidentally, it is that infrastructure that would enable the retail stores to effectively operate how Mark suggests.

    Comment by Ryan -

  81. The idea of instantly (or mixed down
    quickly) available shows in digital format is not new. The price factor has been a challenge. Bonnaroo is doing it as are other acts both classical and rock. The prices are still seemingly high as audients , fanatics(fans), and others can still trade or download at a near zero price point. I still like the idea of a cd with the artwork, liner notes, and track listings in my hand. I , as Mr. Cuban says He does, like to download to sample music . I believe in supporting musicians by purchasing even if the evil record companies take an innordinate profit on every dollar I spend. Aloha, Jack

    Comment by jack -

  82. Here is my ideal laptop:

    Tablet PC
    AMD64
    7200 rpm 8mb 80GB disk
    2GB RAM
    802.11a/b/g nic
    15″ screen

    Comment by Marc Dencker -

  83. I do think that the desktop will remain, just as a fixture for those not willing or ready to make the leap to a laptop. I find myself fortunate to be married to an engineer from Intel, so I get to glean lots of useful information from him on what is necessary in portable equipment and what is essentially window dressing. Some I personally find pretentious are those that have to have and show off every single piece of portable equipment one has. My equipment is for my personal use and business use. Not a status symbol. Times change, things evolve. It is the nature of the beast that is innovative computer sciences.

    Comment by Rebecca -

  84. the pc is nowhere near dead. you can get a pc for a fraction of the price of a laptop or mac that is faster and, more importantly, easy and cheap to upgrade. how much does a 3.2 ghz laptop run these days? i paid less than $700 for my new 3.2 ghz pc with a pretty nice vid card and 1 gig of ddr ram…

    Comment by lee majors -

  85. FREE IPODS NOT A SCAM
    heydo u guys wnt 2 get a FREE IPOD???go on dis link http://www.freeiPods.com/?r=17252415!!!it is NOT A SCAM!!!heres the proof http://www.gratisnetwork.com/PressRoom.html!!!its has been in loads of major news saying it is a genuine offer!!!

    Comment by dookie -

  86. I think some people may have misinterpreted Mark’s comments. That or the comments took on their own narrative at some point. Anyway, what I think he was saying was that the R&D for desktops is on the way down due to the ease of selling, hence profitability of portable digital media. My opinion is that the things that people use desktops for now will continue to be developed and enhanced.

    Whether it’s making sure my MMORPG Character looks cooler as he kicks ass or making sure every department in my company remains linked and secure, that is where the innovations will come.

    I see the shift to what I’ve always felt was just a matter of time. Clutterless technology. Something like all my computers/connectivity are located next to the water heater in a closet somewhere and my LCD monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, (insert portable device here) are anywhere I want.

    Simply, it just depends on who you are as to whether the new PC features will be to your benefit. But they will keep coming.

    Comment by Ken Mendonca -

  87. The fun on desktop pcs is for grandsons like mine. I am now 74 years young and am taking all the computer courses that are free that I can to set up a business for myself to supplement my retirement income. I have finished one at Grand Prairie, and starting the intermiant one next week. I have been collecting sports cards since my wife passed away in 1992 and now have a domain on yahoo and selling on ebay and still have not learned to set up links to the other sites without costing me a fortune to get started but I will eventully get there.

    Comment by Bill Taylor -

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