The Desktop Isn't Dead, Say People Who Really Hope the Desktop Isn't Dead

Illustration for article titled The Desktop Isnt Dead, Say People Who Really Hope the Desktop Isnt Dead

If you trust abstract concepts like "trends" and "evidence," it's clear that the desktop is heading for extinction. But wait! There may be an upward spike in the PC's downward trajectory, according to dutifully optimistic desktop chipmakers! They're probably right.

The arguments fall into two categories, which I'll call "the American Renaissance" and "Asia is HUGE." First, America. Says AMD VP Patrick Moorehead, via NYT Bits:

I think you will see the resurgence of the small form-factor desktop.

The reasons? They've gotten very small, very cheap, and to people "in the middle of America," where desktop PCs are more popular than on the coasts, tiny, powerful, and extremely cheap desktops represent a decent value proposition. But more than consumers, enterprise buyers, who had a five-year tryst with laptops during more plentiful times, are looking back to desktops as an austerity plan:

Desktops offer better value, they're harder to lose and they're harder to steal.

"Companies are tending to go back to desktops," said Richard Brown, a vice president with Via. "That's certainly what we're seeing."


Not to resort to another but, but but: neither of these factors really matter. The real source of the possible desktop resurgence, and pretty much every other movement in anyone's economy anywhere, if I've been watching my cable news right, is the Asian market. China's upwards development curve is going to plow straight into the desktop PC's death spiral, at least for next year:

In China and elsewhere, those people have started to desire a real computer when they get home," Mr. Brown said. "They want a bigger screen and more power. The desktop offers that.

Milk it while you can, guys. [NYT Bits]

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Believing that desktop PCs will go extinct is patently ridiculous. It's a classic example of over extrapolating a trend, a favorite method for creating a story out of nothing and the cornerstone of lazy, useless "trend" pieces. One of the worst assumptions analysts make is that a trend will continue to its logical extreme. It drives me crazy.