Desktops & Laptops Obsolete?

Man Using Tablet
If you look out, maybe five or ten years, when all five billion people who have feature phones are going to have smart phones, we're soon going to be living in a world where the majority of people who have a smart phone – a modern computing device – will have never seen in their lives what you and I call a computer." – Mark Zuckerberg

When Mark Zuckerbeg outlined his vision for the future in the recent Facebook Home launch, he left me wondering. Will there really be a day in our lifetimes when the majority of the people will never have seen or used what you and I call a computer? Will desktops and laptops become obsolete?

I decided to ask my Facebook friends what they thought.

I am working on a blog post concerning technology and have a question for my techie friends. Do you believe that one day desktop computers and laptops will be a thing of the past and that everything will be done using tablets and cell phones?" – Cricket Walker

Following are a few of their comments….

Do you consider a touchscreen that has a keyboard add-on a tablet or a laptop? (Even if it doesn't require the external keyboard to work.) Surface Pro comes to mind. However until Mac makes a comparable device (the iPad really can't live on its own without another computer to sync it to) I don't see a complete transition." – Hilary Baumann
I'm not so sure. I love my phone and tablet, but typing is SO much easier on the laptop. It's not just the spacing of the keys on the tablet, it's the actual physical feeling of pressing them down..." – Amy Sue Nogar
No, nothing is as good as a PC with a mouse and a BIG monitor, especially for photo editing in PS." – Janet Miller
Nope, I do not see myself designing a website on a tablet and right now I don't even own a smartphone." – Patricia Geary
I agree with Patricia - small form factors have their uses but they are limited. Also, I think there's a distinction between what will work for consumers but wouldn't work for enterprise customers. Can you see trying to work with a large financial spreadsheet on a smartphone or even a tablet? No way..." – Deb Cote Endyke
This is as silly as Bill Gates predicting "the paperless society" – James Dyson

As for me, I honestly am not sure what the future will bring but I have a feeling that we would have to drag people kicking and screaming into a society without desktops and laptops. It reminds me a little of the landlines vs cell phones debate. Just because a huge amount of people no longer have a need for landlines doesn’t mean they have stopped making them. Of course only time will tell if this continues to be true.

What do you think?

 

J. Cricket Walker

J. Cricket Walker of CricketWalker.com

3 Comments

  1. rogerroger05-04-2013

    with wireless technologies, it could easily happen, and possibly sooner than most expect. Just let tablets/phones get more powerful first. On the homefront, you have 42-50 inch TVs starting to dip into the range of affordability. Now just couple your powerful phone, maybe with a dock for external media/memory (at least until internal memory starts exceeding 1 TB in size), a Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad and have the phone Miracast its display to the TV. There you go, phone/tablet computing from the comfort of a couch and 50+ inch monitor.

  2. rogerroger05-04-2013

    Actually, many people do that very thing right now by hooking up their laptop to TV with HDMI. All you have to wait on now is the power of the tablets/phones. It’s the only hurdle left.

  3. Shellie GardnerShellie Gardner05-08-2013

    I can’t manage to break free from my laptop because I like to type on a keyboard with all 10 of my fingers instead of the ends of my pointer fingers :)

    I also find that for work purposes, I find a desktop MAC with it’s large screen, higher computing capabilities hard wired into my internet modem is critical for taking orders and keeping track of business. I’ve even packed up and lugged my desktop on vacation.

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