Desktop PCs still dominate the enterprise

We hear lots of stories about mobile devices taking over in the business world and employees who are more productive using smartphones and tablets, but we rarely get to read about how the good old PCs are faring in this market. And, despite what you may think, the news is not bad.

Despite waning interest in the category, the desktop PC still is the most popular form factor with the vast majority of small business and large enterprise executives, according to a new survey conducted by IDC in Europe. The desktop PC is, surprisingly, even more popular than its more versatile sibling, the laptop.

This is an interesting finding as, also according to IDC, desktop PCs are becoming less popular in both mature and emerging markets - a 0.6 per cent decrease in five years is expected - while the portable PC market is forecast to grow slightly - by 1.2 per cent overall, in the same time-frame.

Out of 600 executives polled for the survey, 84 per cent would consider buying desktop PCs for their business, while only roughly 55 per cent are considering portable PCs. The most-popular type of PC is the classical tower. Portable PCs come second, followed by all-in-ones.

Better durability, longer lifespan, higher performance and lower price are listed as the main reasons to buy desktop PCs. It would seem that executives are not all that concerned with the lack of portability, but smaller form factors are being considered however.

"Small form factors and mini PCs are key to the future of client computing, with companies increasingly looking at these devices", says IDC. "Forty-three per cent of respondents said they would consider a small form factor device and 35 per cent said they would be willing to purchase a mini PC".

At this time, ultra small PCs or mini PCs represent the least-popular PC form factor, more so than the so-called small form factor. There is a significant gap between mini PCs and towers, with the latter being roughly 60 per cent more popular, according to the data published by IDC. Here is why that will change.

"These smaller products have become more popular as companies are increasingly looking to implement solutions that will save desk space and energy", IDC adds. "Specific industries are also planning to deploy mini PCs for digital signage technology or Internet kiosks, which continue to gain presence. In addition, for companies that want to upgrade or customise their PCs over time, the increasing availability of customizable mini PCs is likely to boost their adoption in the future".

The IDC survey also reveals that business executives are taking well to Windows 10's introduction, with 40 per cent of them interested in upgrading to the new operating system within a year. But the move to Windows 10 is not expected to have a significant affect over PC sales, however.

"The majority of companies are expected to roll out the new operating system without purchasing new hardware initially, especially as a large proportion of desktops in the commercial PC installed base should fit the requirements of Windows 10", says IDC's Maciek Gornicki.

"Some companies are likely, however, to consider rolling out new hardware at the same time due to the new Intel Skylake platform coming into the market, as it is expected to bring manageability and security benefits, as well as enhance efficiency compared with older platforms. Together with Windows 10, this may be enough to trigger a moderate renewal wave at the beginning of 2016".

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