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How to prepare for the end of the PC era

The change in market share of core components, like computer memory, should serve as a leading indicator that changes to the traditional IT model are coming, and change always favors the prepared.

I read recently that, for the first time in history, orders for common DRAM memory chips destined for PCs slipped behind orders for mobile devices. This has little immediate impact for CIOs and end users, but it does signify the end of an era when PCs and their manufacturers essentially controlled the market for components like memory chips and processors.

This change also lends observable credence to the concept of a post-PC era, when the once ubiquitous laptop and desktop are no longer the primary computing devices for most users. It's been easy to laugh off this suggestion from inside the walls of a corporate IT department, but it's noteworthy that control of the component markets is already shifting away from PC stalwarts like HP and toward a new generation of mobile players, many of whom have a small presence in corporate IT. Apple and Samsung have dominated the mobile phone and tablet markets and tend to have a very small presence in corporate IT, compared to familiar brands like HP, Dell, and Lenovo.

Preparing for the end

One of the major hallmarks of the post-PC era, and the one most likely to give the average CIO fits, is that mobile devices are far more personal than the average corporate desktop. Whereas the average worker just a few years ago was quite happy to receive a generic grey laptop and BlackBerry, many now expect their iPhone, Android, iPad, and perhaps even a personal laptop to readily connect to corporate resources. Even if your company forbids access to these resources, employees are showing up with tablets to use as electronic notebooks, forwarding corporate files to cloud-based tools, and the most tech savvy are actively circumventing policies to make their devices work on the corporate network.

This is nothing new to the average CIO, but what is interesting is the growing expectation that corporate IT acts as the dreaded "dumb pipe" -- they provide the infrastructure and resources but get out of the way on device selection, configuration, and restriction.

The best initial approach to dealing with this shift is gaining a deeper understanding of how your workforce expects to use its devices. Look to the newest entrants to your company for guidance, spending some time with hires straight out of school as well as hires from other companies. These people are the least familiar with your policies, and in many cases, they've come from organizations of different sizes or shapes than your own. Ask these people what they expect in terms of computing resources, and what they experienced at other organizations. You don't need to adapt to every whim of this community, but their feedback will provide a good gauge of where your company stands in relation to the larger industry, and it may give you an early warning of an end user "revolt" if you have an overly restrictive policy.

For the longer term, consider what it means for your IT organization to get out of the end-user device business. For example, it may be liberating to no longer spend resources provisioning and tracking a giant pool of equipment. On the negative side of the ledger, the problems are well known -- like supporting devices not controlled by IT and being deluged with questions related to everything from a bleeding-edge consumer platform to an ancient device that a misguided user wants to connect to the network.

It's easy to focus on the negatives and dismiss the notion of an era when corporate IT becomes what amounts to a cloud service provider, rather than a one-stop hardware and application provider. The change in market share of core components, like computer memory, should serve as a leading indicator that changes to the traditional IT model are coming, and change always favors the prepared.

About

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company, and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology, as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. Patrick has...

107 comments
jflynn88
jflynn88

Think about what this topic is asking when it says "prepare" for the end of the pc era. I believe it is coming. I am an IT professional. I am a gamer(console and pc). I build my own systems and I service computers, networks, IP phones, servers and applications DAILY. The end of the PC era is not here but it is on the horizon. Everyone here saying the end is not coming are reinforcing their belief based on screen size, and ease of performing tasks - more specifically things such as keyboards, mice, etc. These devices are not systems but peripherals. What the hell are you thinking? Docks exists right now for things such as Ipads, that allow use of keyboard and mice. Mobile devices are both peripherals AND systems. I can change the channels on my tv with an android phone, remote control my pc at work, and do many many tasks. I agree it is not the end of the PC era, but I do believe this is a valid thing to consider. Sure a 10 inch device is not suited for spreadsheets, AutoCad, or gaming for that matter. But if....no, WHEN these mobile devices contain the same power, then its over. What the hell is the difference between a tablet plugged into a keyboard dock with video output into a 27 inch monitor and someone who brings a laptop to work everyday sticks it into one of those docks and basically uses it as a desktop then when the day is over just rips it out shoves it in their bag and off they go. The bottom line is this is coming into the picture because we can visibly see the transition happening. Laptops -> Netbooks -> Tablets. Look at anything and you can see this kind of transition. You think it went from vhs to dvd...nope. There is a transition that can easily identify a forward momentum or evolutionary change within any industry especially technology. It is always becoming smaller and faster. In a sense it is and isnt the end of the PC era. Sure Pc's will die, but in reality all that will happen is tablets will be the new PC. Again if I can hold in my hand a 10 inch device that can easily perform the task of a PC and screw around with it while at home, then walk into work plop it into a physical keyboard dock and click on things with my finger, while typing on a physical keyboard, and doing this on a 27" inch monitor, then Ill take it. I mean in that regard the tablet is a second screen, the system itself and a mouse all in one. In the dock and BAM dual monitors and physical keyboard. IT will exist, it is just going to be supporting mobile devices - security will change, devices will change but we will always be running around with some kind of "personal computing" device :)

remanuel
remanuel

Having used smart phones, tablets and the "new and improved" 13" laptops I am convinced that productivity, much less a users learning curve and security, has taken a back seat to marketing hype. It is amazing how the ubiquitous "must have" marketing has made otherwise intelligent people attempt to do serious corporate business on these miniscule screens and keypads. But, I do believe that the cloud concept will take hold and grow primarily because the companies that create software will finally have a real deterrent to the piracy of their software. This in turn will be the driving force that will bring back a modifed version of the old term "dumb terminals" which will significantly reduce the cost of desktop devices.

TopoChris007
TopoChris007

I have to agree with the others saying try doing spreadsheets on a small screen, and would like to say try doing CAD and Design work on a small screen and under powered device. I just don't see it happening. What I do see is a possible shift of "home" users slowly migrating more to the cloud and using mobile devices/tablets and such. Even that is a bit far fetched, at least at this time.

Trick-Starr
Trick-Starr

We should not forget that PC's are getting thinner and more energy efficient as well. It's only a mater of time that the power of a PC will quizzed into a divide the size of your iPad/Adroid Tablet. Now you tell me, which will you prefer to own, you extra lite PC or an equal sized Android Tablet? Watch out for Microsoft's Surface, give it a year and let's have this discussion again.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. We've had four old networks close down and all those millions of phones trashed, 2. We have millions stolen each year, 3. There are millions lost each year in places where they can't be recovered, like over the side of a ship etc; 4. There are millions thrown away as no longer wanted when people buy the latest fad phone; 5. Some people have multiple phones because they have a different one for each business they run plus a personal one. That's why there are so many phones out there.

Centman
Centman

PC is PC! Tablet is Tablet. I love tablets, but my pc is still far much superior to any type of tablet in all ramifications.

BaruchAtta
BaruchAtta

That just means that there are more teenagers than professional IT workers. Not a great leap. And teenagers buy a new phone every year. I get a new Desktop/laptop every five years, maybe.

kirk_augustin
kirk_augustin

The author is wrong. The use and need for the PC has not changed, gone, or been improved upon. Tablets do not replace the PC because they are too small, fragile, slow, don't have a good keyboard, can't be used for long periods, have worse screens, hard to upgrade, etc. They don't do what a PC does at all. They are for an entirely new niche, that did not exist before, and have nothing at all to do with the PC.

morg
morg

I agree with Deadly Earnest. I don't even like notebooks because I frequently kit two keys when typing and hate the small displays. My next one will be 17 inch and I consider hauling a keyboard around. I admit that I go back to the IBM 1130, 1800 and 360/25 so am too old to become mobile.

rgeiken
rgeiken

Obviously PCs may come in a smaller form factor in the future, but the need for power and speed is still there, and I think that PCs meet that requirement better than Tablets. Obviously Tablets are a form factor preferred by young people because of their portability. They get done the things that they need doing, but wonder how many college students get by with only a tablet. I have 2 Lenovo i7 computers with large amounts of ram, and they are really enjoyable to use and you can easily multitask since ram is so readily available. I am using my desktop right now and ram usage is over 3 Gig with 8 Gig total. Most tablets come with 1 gig of ram and a few with 2. Also their storage is significantly less than most desktops. One of my computers is a Lenovo Laptop, and I now use that in place of a newspaper to keep up on things. If you want to talk about the end of something, focus on Newspapers!!! My future computers will likely be Notebooks since they are more portable. We can only guess what computers will look like 20 years from now. Remember what they were like 20 years ago in 1992? Not nearly as elegant as they are today. The future always brings change!!! Thank god for Tablets since they are allowing such a large percentage of people in the USA and the World to remain in touch with so many Positive things. I don't think that any of us would want to go back to 1912!!!!

DJMorais
DJMorais

Don't you guys have anything better to write about than this tired, old and WRONG prognostication? Pretty ignorant, guys. No one that does any kind of meaningful work on a system will ever dump their PC for a phone/tab. Are you kidding me? I see the powers that be running around with their little tablets and it makes me laugh. And nothing can be more rude when you are in a meeting and you are trying to get something productive done only to have half your audience distracted because they are trying to squint and see that tiny little screen. I actually saw one such person try to type something and do some actual work on the thing and it was the funniest thing I ever saw. Let's just say he didn't get very far before he got frustrated and quit. And guess where he went? Back to his desk so he could finish the job on his PC. Oh yeah, PCs are dead for sure... Don't get me wrong, mobile devices are great for staying in touch when you are out in the field etc. but they will never replace the work horse. NEVER.

Goshawk
Goshawk

Yes its true, the PC for home use is already a dead issue. My next purchase will be a tab and I'm an avid user of laptops. Perhaps the iPad and the generic smartphone that ATT offers for my next upgrade. Corp world will lag behind, but per IBM's example: They already sold the PC business to Lenovo. Have a happy death. Bill Gate's worth still an astonishing 66 billion! But poor MS our fearless leaders lead is no more. Corp world STILL has not gone to Win 7. Bye Bye Microsoft and to all esp Linux a good day.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

The end of the PC era? Hardly. Something, i.e., is needed to create the content that tablet and smartphone users consume. That "something" is a PC--defined as a full-sized laptop and/or desktop. Until such time as tablets and smartphones have keyboard that allow touch-typists to do serious data entry, PCs will remain in full force and effect. If and when tablets do come with a full-size keyboard, you have a two-piece PC (a laptop with separate display and keyboard units).

gh4tech
gh4tech

The shift from PC's to Mobile Clouds means that security & privacy are impossible ! Won't it be nice when the socialist democrats implement Obama-care and place everyones medical records on-line, to viewed, stolen, & hacked by evil fingers !!!

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

Yes IT should be just that a dumb pipe. Of course for us IT is not development or research but they set up peoples PCs (except developers) and handle email and file servers/document repositories. But they do not have the science or engineering to do any development of anything other than web pages and word templates. IT is overhead, an expense like finance or legal or HR and their only job is keep the network and email/office running and the borders secure. other than that, give me an IP address and get out of my road.

andrew232006
andrew232006

I'll just wait for the magic innovation fairy to fly over and sprinkle my company with mobile devices that integrate with and run everything and the elves that do all the work that needs to be done at desks.

jrbwalk
jrbwalk

Lap top, not at all.

kellykent
kellykent

The screen size and how much work you can actually perform on a DT or mobile device determines if it's going to be useful in an Enterprise Environ......you can check things, but actually do work....I don't think so.

RalphCelento
RalphCelento

I can see the reduction in PCs especially for home use and many office functions. That said there being said for companies and other things that require a closed network the PC will remain.

tech
tech

email will kill the post office and no more trees will be cut down (would have been nice) and millions will be out of jobs!!! Everybody run! I agree that the ergonomics of people staring into their mobile devices while "being mobile" may tend to weed out some of the lesser desirable population tendencies and bring us to a "dual" device culture. Why do I always chime in when I feel cynical? I think accountants and others with lots of personal or real proprietary company data will have desktops and that networks will be divided into limited and non-limited attached devices. Many will still want to sit at a desk with real computing power. I know some Geo-physicists that can't do their job with anything close to mobile power - not for many years to come. I thought netbooks would be great! Until I used one and saw how the atom processor was junk.

tech
tech

Let's see Smarphones have an average life of about what? 18 months. Smartphones are an expanding market, so how many get their first ever each day? In contrast Desktops have long since reached their peak in deployments. The average desktop is replaced every how often? 4 years? maybe longer? The average household has how many smart devices? I think the number is 5. How many computers? 1, 2? Sure Computers in the home are on the decline. So yeah who is surprised by the fact that smartphone ram sales were higher than computer ram sales. Do they actually pay for an analysis like this? So you are going to do away with desk phones at work? This, works fine for the Cxx and sales staff who are rarely at their desk anyway. But I have yet to see a smartphone with the power to quickly and easily transfer calls like a PBX can. I want to see some Cxx set up an 8 way conference call on his cell phone, not join one set it up. Go ahead I will wait. In business - Sure you can do away with desktops and phones for Cxx and probably even sales, but just try to take desktops and phones away from secretaries. Seriously, I want to see your secretary try to juggle 3 or 4 phone calls at a time on a smartphone. I want to see your secretary type your letters on a tablet. Maybe paraleagls could do away with their need for desktops, and they would have no need for actual phones either. Surely programmers have no need for phones or desktops. IT has no need for a desktop, they can control everything from a tablet and phones just impede their ability to get work done. Those who spend half their days on the golf course and the other half at business lunches don't need full blown computers. For the rest of the huddled masses that you gleefully ignore on your way out the door at 2:30 to get 18 holes in before dark that won't work. They actually need that computer to be efficient, and get REAL work done. It is no wonder this country is going down the tubes with the people making 6 figure incomes coming up with a half baked analyses like this. The real sad thing is some Cxx somewhere will point to this and dump all the desktops, replace them with tablets and smartphones, and say 'Look how much neater your desk is. Then they will go tell all their fellow Cxx they are on the cutting edge. Meanwhile productivity falls off, repetitive and strain injuries go up, as does eye strain... costs rise, productivity falls and they scratch their heads, lower salaries, shrug, grab their golf bag and say, "see ya tomorrow".

scob102
scob102

Whilst I can readily believe that for consumers, the Desktop PC is becoming more of a niche product in the home now that laptops are cheaper than they were ten years ago and tablets are available on pay monthly contracts, the same cannot be said for the corporate environment. For the home user, replacing an ageing desktop PC with a laptop or tablet might seem might a more logical choice, particularly as a laptop can be plugged into existing peripherals at a desk and then be carried to the sofa, but any games enthusiast, amateur music or graphic design producer etc. would still the raw computing power of a desktop. But in a corporate environment, the idea that one day all workers will be typing out reports on an apple iPad or rendering 3D graphics on a Samsung Galaxy is quite frankly laughable. It is worth remembering that the premise of the article stated that memory supply to desktops had fallen behind mobile devices for the first time. That still means hundreds of millions of desktops are sold each year, and simply shows that tablets are becoming an 'intermediate' device, sitting between mobile phones and desktop/laptop PC, in a quickly growing market. Sure, a corporate executive might like to be able to use a tablet rather than a laptop whilst annotating a presentation or sending an e-mail as he takes the train home of an evening, but having a whole office full of workers sat hunched over a tiny screen with no keyboard, quite apart from breaking health and safety legislation on office ergonomics for correct posture, is not a feasible proposition unless those mobile devices are compatible with existing desktop furniture and peripherals, and can be 'docked' to the desktop. Even so, both iOS and Android have a long way to go before they can come close to the flexibility and interoperability of a Windows PC, or the efficient functionality of a Mac, and I've yet to see a phone that has anything like the spec of my laptop (Lenovo Z570 for the record). If anything I think the importance of this article is that it shows IT departments all over the world are going to have to prepare for a time when their end users want seamless integration of data and communications between their static office PC, their home and business trip laptop, their mobile tablet device, and their mobile phone, an in particular the security challenges that poses IT departments. For that all important 'market sensitive' document that a high ranking officer of BigCorp Inc has started on his desktop at work, uploaded to the corporate network, accessed via VPN or cloud computing at home, and put the finishing touches to on his tablet vi the mobile network whilst travelling to an all important conference, the challenge is making sure that report is secure if any device is lost or stolen, and that the data connection cannot be hacked by ne'erdowells. Otherwise BigCorp might find themselves in trouble.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. Yes, sales of new PCs are down while sales of new tablets and smart phones are up. All that does is show that people have started buying more of the toys. Mind you, a lot of the smart phone sales increases are due to them NOT making or making available non-smart phones in many places. 2. There are no reliable stats on the rate of the destruction of old PCs. A major point a lot of people miss here is that the majority of new PC sales are for corporate roll outs and the next highest cause are the expanding population of new first time PC buyers. However, every corporate roll out I've ever seen has ended up with all those old corporate systems being sold on the used PC market, none go off to be destroyed (some hard drives with classified material are, but not the PCs) and the used gear goes on to be used for several years by people who can't afford new. 3. The number of used PCs in use in the world is probably several times, or more, than that of new ones sold in any one year. That's a lot of PCs out there, and they aren't going away any time soon. It's likely that the PC market is finally nearing saturation point after 30 plus years of growth. This will result in a natural slow down of sales rate.

shane s
shane s

dont worry i a sure you th tied isnt turning computers will always be better then phones they have to keep making them coz of people hat wana do other stuff besides work like hard core gaming

Travasaurus
Travasaurus

Well, I guess I'm just one of those "bitter clingers" that Obama talked about when he was running the first time, but I'm nowhere near giving up my traditional desktop (or notebook, for that matter). The tide may be ever-so-slowly turning, but I can't see some dinky little iPhone or iPad taking over the corporate computing world by storm anytime soon. The guys I know & work with use their phones & tablets to talk, send messages & play games on, NOT in any case to do any serious computing work. I don't know about the generation of young punks coming up now, but there are literally millions of us "older guys" (40-60 years) who are going to keep on using exactly what we have been, just faster & with more RAM & mass storage than what we've had in the past. Besides, this BYOD crap is an open invitation to a massive corporate network meltdown, with its TOTAL lack of security & accountability. In this day & age of scarce jobs, I defy you to tell me the young skull-full-of-mush who would say, "Sorry, you can take this job & shove it!" if the IT Department didn't kowtow to his "demand" that his wimpy little iPad be allowed on the corporate network...

shane s
shane s

lol all the moblile phones put to gether i phone the new i phone 5 the galaxy note 2 galxay s3 cant match up to my pc as phones progress so does pc phones are just there not for home use but for when you traviling when you travil then its nice to check your email and stuff as you cant carry a pc but as for office and home use pc is more suited. DONT YOU THINK!!!

shane s
shane s

ask any gamer ask any person who actually knows about computers if they stop making computers they gonna lose alota money coz gamers like my self that spend alota money on pc parts and stuff wont buy any more companys like activision ubisoft will also lose alota money computer technicians will be with out work so i doubt it will ever end any body agree with me there is already new computer parts planed for the next 10 years or so i dot think its even close to ending and the thing is it wont feel right working on a phone then on a pc and alota people wonnt buy games any more i mean who wants to play games on a phone or on such a small screen certanly not me well all i can say is that only time will tell.

JanEnEml
JanEnEml

The figures presented in this article may very well be correct. However it does not prove the end of the PC era. What it does imply, is that for many years consumers had to pay too much for all these consumer PC's. With the new and relatively cheaper devices consumer no longer buy PC's. The many responses to this article shows the contrary. The amounts of PC's sold will drop, prices will increase, but the enterprise and individuals that need a little bit more than nothing will continue buying PC's in the next decade or so.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If we can get a mobile with the power of a current top line PC, that same technology can and will be applied to the PC. If that happens, the software boys wil then make use of those added resources for more gee-whizzery at least. So you are operating of the fatally flawed perception that PC manufacturers are going to contribute to their own demise, and cease improving their kit to at least maintain their income stream. Naive at best, don't you think?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

In short, the PC isn't going away, but the form factor is changing.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

That's where multiple 16x10 monitors would come in really handy. But the manufacturers, pandering to the "cool" crowd are making them all some variation of 16x9. Yes, you can still find 16x10, but they are few and expensive.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

The RT one that's a tablet, or the Pro one that's a poor quality ultrabook trying to look like a tablet!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you could make the thinnest thin book thinner, then you can make the smallest phone smaller. It's the supporting peripherals that put the constraints on size, keyboard and screen on a laptop. Power supply, connections and a convenient stand for your 23 inch flat screen on the PC front. So virtual key board and sceen wired in your optic nerve or waaay less Kool aid are the ways to go

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

and washing machines and animatronic toys So actually it boils down to practicalities.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

You are jinxing upcoming sales figures and threatening the jobs of the brave souls who've bet everything on every PC being replaced with a new thingammybob. Stop it. :)

vucliriel
vucliriel

And it's about time we got some REAL computer screens, not the letterbox garbage that is presently sold as the end al and be all of cool... Seems those who design these devices have never worked on one... I sincerely wish we could get back to the 4:3 format or else, start producing our documents in Cinemascope (can you imagine trying to READ a document in such a format?)!

DJMorais
DJMorais

These little toy devices are exactly that - content consumers. If that's all you are going to do, then fine. But someone has to create the consumables, and it aint gonna be done on some crappy tablet. Please...

shane s
shane s

these people dont know what they doing or saying we will see most of the people i can tell you know wont wana do everyday work on a phone

MWRadio
MWRadio

I personally have bought only used equipment for my home and family and I service a small Insurance office where they have bought 1 new wireless network printer, 3 Refurbished Laptops, 1 used Netgear router, and 1 new tablet PC in the past year. The "old" desktops are still in use and doing just fine with WinXP for now and will be replaced with newer desktops when needed. Note the exact trend stated by Deadly Earnest! Not dumping PCs for "Mobile" devices like the author wants you to believe, but adding mobile to the existing mix!

jflynn88
jflynn88

You are talking about PC manufactures, which are in the industry as a business for money. If the PC simply evolves, then Intel will be making small processors for small devices, and the next generation of HP devices will be tablets. They already make slates, dell makes tablets, everyone has a hand in smaller and larger markets, it just so happens that after analyzing profits they will drop markets that fail to generate the income of others. Google stopped supporting office 2003 formats, even though millions still use them, potentially losing out on many many future customers that were considering moving to their platform. Most likely they do not want to pay developers and employees to work on and support outdated technology - not because there is no market, but because it is not the biggest market. I spoke with a MS representative about our accounting software GP2010. They explained how in the years coming they will be slowly moving support away from midmarket and small business into larger enterprises so they can evolve their product (and their price) to compete with SAP. It will always work this way its about money...period. Sure we could be at a stand still with PC sales, but any money hungry capitalistic greedy PC manufacture WILL start jumping on the bandwagon, especially the fastest moving one. They will slowly reduce their market focus from PC to tablet, and slowly but surely PCs will not exist. I mean it has to happen eventually. If they are paying out for factories, labor, shipping etc on devices that are at a market standstill....they will not do it forever. I am sorry, I do not want the PC to die, but anyone trying to keep a dying industry afloat while losing money hand over fist doing it will have to stop. It is not about support of users, it is about survival.They would be borderline insane not to. Everyone keeps saying it is a "fad," or a "trend." Fads and trends are what shapes our culture and evolves it. From trends and fads, come the ideas and products. And these fads and trends are what move us to the future. The PC itself had to start somewhere.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I've been saying that for a long time. The manufacturers play to the dumbed-down lowest common denominator among us. They must think everyone uses their PCs (both desktop and laptop for movie watching because all you can find are 16x9 screens. When I bought new monitor for my desktop, I specifically looked for 16x10 (1920x11200). Yes, it's widescreen, but it also has the same height as my old 1600x1200 monitors. Now you can't find them unless you are willing to pay more for it. The model I bought doesn't come in 16x10 anymore. Another thing they do is put 10/100 Ethernet in laptops for the masses. I was looking at some recently on HP's Web site and thought it was a misprint. I e-mailed them to clarify (saying that 10/100 is a deal-breaker for me even on laptops because even though I usually run wireless, there are times I plug in) and I got a response that said that according to their market research, most people didn't want or need 10/100/1000 anymore on laptops as they ran wireless. I also mentioned the 16x9 vs.16x10 thing and got some vague ambiguous response on that one. It's not just HP, they all are doing it. You can still find 10/100/1000, but those are in the higher-end (expensive) models. I doubt we will see 4:3 anymore, but I can live with 16x10 if they would produce those. If not, I guess I can get used to 16x9. I bought a new Asus laptop for my son as his old one was starting to go. It's 16x9, but has 10/100/1000. I put it up to his old 4:3 unit and compared Web pages. There was actually 2 or 3 more lines on the new one so I guess the fonts are smaller on the new one to make up for the smaller screen height. Still like 16x10 better, though. Your statement about " the end all and be all of cool" is exactly right. Marketing people. I have a saying about them (tongue in cheek): "There's a special place in Hell for marketing people."

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

they'll make their employees leave them at work anyway. Which makes the position even more nonsensical.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

using the tech that allows them to make a phone sized chip as powerful as a top of the range desktop, to make a desktop that would make todays look like a PIC? Why do you think given that capability, the software boys won't find some very interesting things to do with it, that will leave micro devices where they are now, behind? What's the incentive for any business in the IT busines to make that market dead?. They don't want to sell us a portable instead of a desktop, a tablet instead of a portable, or a phone instead of a tablet. They want to sell us all of them. They will use the tech, they will differentiate, and they will maintain those markets and the entire software industry which is a bigger driver for hardware improvements than any other factor will be 1000% behind them. Fads. Hmm micro-channel architecture. Waht I want from my PC, isn't size, it's power. All you have to do is look at the size of the slot on docking station for a portable. It's not that big, because they had plentry of room for it...

andrew232006
andrew232006

You're overlooking the inherent problems in portable devices. It takes more effort, more advanced technology and more time to produce smaller/lighter devices that consume less power and produces less heat. That's why PCs have been and will continue to be more powerful for less money. And when I need a PC that I don't intend to carry around with me, I'm going to take the larger, faster, and cheaper one. A docked tablet is just an expensive, underpowered PC. I also expect all the businesses to buy the cheaper ones for their employees that work at a desk and have no need to carry their work and confidential information around with them.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

focused on the multimedia playback market only

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I did that search a month or two ago. There are fewer and they are a bit more expensive and are the "business-class" monitors (not that there's anything wrong with that). Mine are 24" 16x10. I bought a 28" model for my son to use with his Xbox. I'm just lamenting what I see as dumb moves by the manufacturers.