Demise of the Desktop Computer

I have stated before, on this blog, that I do a little minor computer maintenance on the side now that I am retired.  It's not that I desperately need the money.  I honestly don't know anyone who can't use a little extra money.  But, mostly, it is to get me out of the house and doing something I enjoy.  Now, there are not many 60 (61 next month) year olds that do computer maintenance.  Not tooting my horn, but it's something that seemed to come naturally to me.  In 1990, I didn't even know how to turn on a computer.  In 1992, I was building computers and selling them.  Of course, desktop computers came down so much in price that it did not become feasible to build and sell computers for very long.  Anyway, I had a maintenance job at a real estate company this past Tuesday.  It seems that their router kept intermittently knocking everyone offline.  I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was before I even set foot in the building.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in and did not see one desktop computer.   Most of the people working there had an iPad or some other tablet.  I saw only two laptop computers.  Now, I say this surprised me.  In reality, it should not have surprised me.  Desktop computers have been on their way out since the first iPad made its debut.  Laptops are not far behind.  Since January,  I have made 45 computer repair visits to customers I have accrued over the years.  Compare that to 76 visits to this time last year.  I have to attribute that to lack of desktop computers (and the economy as well).  Yes, I do work on laptops.  But, since most parts are integrated, I can't do as much for a laptop customer as I can a desktop customer.  I have noticed in those  customer visits that most of my visits were for laptops.  I estimate at least 70% were laptops.  There is still a large customer base in the business world that uses the desktop.  Businesses are slow to change from something that has worked as well as the desktop computer.  Desktops take up a lot of space.  I guess the question arises why designate all that space to something so big and bulky when something as small as a tablet can do the job just as well?  A lot of people make the case the iPhone can do the same thing as the tablet computer, which can fit in the palm of your hand.  Technology is changing so fast that it is difficult to keep up.

Another thing that is killing the desktop computer is the lack of mobility.  You can't just take your desktop to lunch with you to check email, tweets or Facebook.  People most likely leave their iPad at the office and take their smart phone with them.  In 2009, desktop computers faced its first decrease in sales since 2001.  I suspect those numbers are continuing to decline.  In fact, with the demise of the desktop, and with the laptop apparently on the way out, there will no longer be a need for a computer tech any longer. Desktops today can practically take care of themselves with add-on programs. I'm not saying the death of the desktop computer (along with techs) is imminent.  However, technological changes cannot be stopped.  We either get on the train or get left behind.  It appears the desktop computer is being left behind these days.  


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