Last week we wanted to know if location checkin services freak you out in terms of privacy concerns. Reactions were pretty mixed, although many of you felt like services gave you enough control over permissions and what to make public. Some were concerned about the “digital divide” between early adopters who probably have the experience to know how to use the tools wisely, and the more general public who may end up confronting more privacy issues due to unfamiliarity with these services.
This week there’s another hot topic on the table, thanks to a comment made by Google’s European Director of Online Sales John Herlihy, who said that Google’s focus is squarely on mobile because “in three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs.”
We definitely wanted to find out what Mashable readers thought about the future of desktops in light of the push towards mobile: Will desktops still be around? Can these form factors co-exist or will mobile rule the day in short order? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Pete Cashmore: Desktops will be a lot less relevant versus laptops and phones. Even for processor-intensive tasks, high-end laptops often suffice.
Ben Parr: No — it will take a lot more time than that. However, you will start seeing app stores replacing traditional purchasing of software in three years.
Josh Catone: “Irrelevant” is a pretty strong word. I don’t know that desktops will ever be irrelevant as long as we continue to use computers. While mainstream users will undoubtedly gravitate toward small, fast, easier-to-use machines like laptops, smart phones, video game consoles, tablets and other connected devices for most of their day-to-day computing, there will likely continue to be a need for desktops in many corporate environments and for resource-intensive tasks (like editing film or rendering computer graphics).
Brenna Ehrlich: No. While it would probably be more cost effective to have one device that caters to your every need, it still remains difficult to both read and write on mobile devices. That all speaks to the permanence of devices such as laptops, but I’m not so sure about desktops.
Matt Silverman: Not completely, but certainly less relevant as we get more processing power into laptops and tablets. If we can do gaming and audio/video production equally as well on a portable computer, then why not?
Christina Warren: No. I think the paradigm will change and that secondary and mobile devices will grow in importance, but no, I don’t see desktops becoming irrelevant in three years.
Tamar Weinberg: Nope. PC gamers will always be reliant on the type of hardware that only desktops offer. Mobile technology will become a lot more prevalent, but as desktops are usually always ahead of the game in terms of feature set and power, desktops will still have a place.
Barb Dybwad: Even mainframes are still around so, no, I don’t think desktops will totally disappear. The rise of netbooks though shows that a lot of people just need “good enough” for a lot of tasks and are willing to trade performance for mobility in lots of use cases. But I agree with Tamar that gamers will still demand the PC hardware experience, and other power-intensive tasks like video-editing and multi-track audio will keep desktops in service for some time even as some users will be doing more of that on laptops and mobile devices too.