Death of the Desktop?

I recently attended a social media seminar where the speaker proudly trumpeted (although it had nothing to do with his topic ) the desktop is dead. It was all I could do not to pipe up a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail “I’m not dead, really I’m not”.

Since I got into the tech world in 1999, I’ve been hearing about the impending demise of the desktop and it still hasn’t happened yet for business and here’s why.

The total cost of ownership (or TCO) is less for a desktop than a laptop. A desktop with 4gb of RAM, 500 GB hard drive and i5 Intel processor is cheaper than a laptop with the same specifications. Upgrading the desktop is also cheaper: adding 4GB of RAM costs $30 versus $40 for the laptop,  assuming the laptop can handle that big an upgrade. Upgrade the desktop to a 1TB hard drive $129, the closest you can get for a laptop is a 750GB drive for $135.

Repairs are cheaper for the desktop as well. If the display gets damaged on the desktop you’re looking at $135 versus over a $1000 for a laptop.  Almost all the parts such as sound, networking, graphics card are soldered on to the laptop motherboard and can’t be changed or upgraded as easily as with a desktop. You might have to send your laptop to a service depot for several weeks versus overnight repair for desktop.

And there are some line of business applications that require specific hardware such as a particular graphics card or memory so if you upgrade to that application will you have to get a new laptop or just upgrade your desktop?

Then there is the life of the machine. A property maintained desktop will outlast a laptop.

The desktop is not dead yet, really it’s not.