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Why Steve Jobs Is Right About The Death Of Desktop PCs?

Today is the day when I am finally getting rid of my desktop computer and switch entirely to a laptop computer. This comes 24 hours after Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, announced at the D8 event that the tablet format would surpass the desktop computer as the dominant form factor.

And judging by the comments that we had since we published the article, it is likely that it will be the case in an increasingly mobile working and leisure environment. There are several reasons why this is happening; from the point of view of manufacturers, mobile devices are an outright win.

They are small (hence easier to ship), carry a slight premium (hence more profit) and are easier to maintain (just swap defective devices out). As for customers, the fact that they are increasingly powerful make them perfect replacement for a number of devices altogether.

One commentator said that the iPad for example could replace the iPhone altogether as your only mobile device, something that Jobs did not mention.

Ditto for laptops; they are as powerful as their desktop counterparts and perform 95 percent of their tasks (except for number crunching and hardcore gaming). Furthermore novel technologies like Wireless USB and/or USB monitors make it easier than ever to move around with little inconvenience.

Add the lure of cloud computing to the mix and you have the feeling that mobile computing is destined to swallow tethered computing, leaving only a few niche unaffected. Apple is now a mobile company from the revenue point of view and it is doing its utmost best to become the leader in mobile products and services.

Another commentator rightly pointed out that content consumers would prefer mobile devices while content creators would be swayed by more powerful but less mobile options. However, the ideal solution might be one which merges the best of both worlds.

Imagine a tablet computer which connects wireless to its peripherals and to a pair of monitors. Nonsensical? Well we're off to connect our brand new laptop to two USB monitors using one cable.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.