April 28, 2013
Write an article about something poplar becoming passe and you are guaranteed someone will listen. Pundits can be heard declaring what is alive and what is on life support and ears open. Such pronouncements grabs attention from things that would pass notice.
In tech circles the big thing is to declare the obsolescence of the desktop computer. The public has shifted attention to mobile phones, which in reality are micro sized computers, and tablet p.c’s. Microsoft’s dream of a desktop on every desk is officially finished.
Long live the smart phone and the tablet.
Such devices like the point and shoot camera, the voice recorder and mp3 player have become part of the cell phone world. Laptops and notebook computers have been usurped by tablets, smartphones and assorted multi function ebooks.
The advance of progress in mobile computing is a good thing. Lugging around a slew of devices is not as convenient as a four inch wonder that does it all. The weight has been lifted from laptops with the advent of the tablet pc. The lower priced netbook has been totally eclipsed by the tablet revolution.
Again, all of this is good, but there is a caveat.
What do you do if you need more power than a device minus a keyboard can handle?
Increasingly the world of computing is being crudely divided into content creators and content consumers.
To some degree everyone is a bit of both. Send an email, write a blog, or post to a social network, and you are officially a content creator. However, if you do such things as create web sites, maintain an ongoing blog, create pod casts, edit video and write professionally, that makes and create software and assorted apps, then you a content creator.
Those who use their devices for email, post to something like pinterest or facebook, take photographs for the web or buy online, a tablet, an ereader or a smart phone maybe all they ever need. Why would you want a desktop with its size, weight and cost if you need mobility and all the storage, bells and whistles that a desktop can allow are just too much.
The rise of technology means lower cost and a more customized experience. There are positives all the way around.
The downside that is here has to do with those that need the potency of a more muscular system. What do you do when you need more not less?
That does not seem like an issue. Just buy a desktop. Easy enough to do. But there is a problem emerging here that few are looking at closely.
As more and more companies focus attention on smaller more light weight devices, the desktop market is fading. Desktops are no longer being replaced at a feverish pitch. Advances in technology have stalled for the CPU. A full size computer from last year is not that much faster than this year’s model. Profit margins on desktops are not huge. To make a profit bloatware is a fact of life. Companies in the desktop business are clamoring for mobile solutions to go to the black and stay out of the red.
The move to mobile means that desktop options maybe reduced. Lower priced systems with modest specs are what maybe left.
One major pc maker has stopped making their more powerful systems. The venerable Mac Pro has not seen a major upgrade in a long time by computer stadards. A visit to the Apple web site and you have to dig to find a pro. Pundits have noticed that loyal power users are anxious about the next iteration.
The focus on smaller has picked up that now desktops are sporting fewer features. Probably as a cost measure more than convenience, the once common dual optical drive is vanishing. Something that you could count on, an optical reader and a second reader/writer, is no longer a given. For Apple the optical drive is a has been. The new iMac does not have an optical driver. The rational is that everyone is working online.
Conspicuously absent in many desktops are Blue Ray readers or writers, usb 3 ports are not as plentiful as they once were, legacy support for keyboards and mice are almost extinct. Larger metal cases are being replaced by smaller ones. The interest in elaborate design is going. When the big companies purchased batik makers, those companies that make custom systems with a wild assortment of power parts is vanishing as well. Mainstream computer design is just not moving forward.
The move toward mobile is omni present. What that means for those that need more horsepower is that the options are fading.
As more and more companies devote more and more attention to consumer based systems designed for shopping and content consumption and web services, the cost of desktops due to their low profit margins and manufacturing could go up, or features will be missing.
Shop for any computer and there are plethora of options. You can start with the base price, lets say $ 950.00 for begin. If you need more horsepower, additional drives, peripherals,