As I sit at my desktop computer today, I am thinking of how computers have changed over the course which I have been using them, which is probably almost twenty years. For a start, there is now a lot more space on my desk, as monitors now are mostly LCD flat screens, rather than the big CRT monitors of yesteryear. Another big difference is the lack of wires connected to the mouse and keyboard as these have been replaced with infra-red. Yes, desktops have changed a lot over the years and the one thing which is certain is that whatever you are sitting in front of today will have little resemblance to the machine you will be at tomorrow.
In recent years, mobile computing has taken off like there is no tomorrow. The laptop dominated the market in this area for years, but more recently we have had several other portable computing devices which have come onto the market. There is the netbook, which is like a miniature laptop, the smartphone and most recently, the tablet which was introduced in the form on Apple’s iPad in 2010. Since the iPad, other manufacturers have followed suit with their own versions.
Some think that this recent influx of mobile computing gadgets will sound the death knell for the desktop. The proponents of this view, point to the fact that many who have bought tablets, report using their desktops a lot less, and that things getting smaller is the natural progression which technology will take. People with tablet computers are likely to use their desktops less frequently as there is the novelty factor to consider. I think it is unlikely that desktops will disappear forever. They have always been the more powerful cousin of portable computers so are likely to remain so which will secure their place in the future. Also offices will always have a place for desktop computers because of their lower price.
The desktop of the future will still exist and will probably rely a lot more on the cloud. Users today often work across several different devices meaning they have to access their data and work on the go. This is where cloud computing provides the solution as data and applications can be installed on the Internet and accessed on the go.
Although cloud computing will become more popular, it is unlikely that we will get to a time when all the functionality of a desktop will be transferred to the Web. People won’t want to manage all their data online as there will always be a greater chance of a security breach in the minds of users. This will ensure the longevity of the humble desktop for years to come.