My brother asked me to advise him on the purchase of a new home computer. I generally build my own desktop computers so I am not really up to speed on the market for ready made machines but I did a bit of searching for my brother and was a little surprised at what I found. I guess I knew that Laptops were now more popular but I was amazed at just how much laptops and netbooks have pushed desktop computers off the shelves of high street computer stores. Even more surprising is the fact that a general purpose laptop now costs less than a general purpose desktop of similar specifications. I guess the price of the LCD screen is now a major factor (laptops have smaller screens) and also the economies of scale have swung in favour of laptops as they have become more popular.
My brother is adamant he wants a desktop for the larger screen but it seems to me that the era of the desktop home PC is rapidly drawing to a close. The average consumer no longer wants a computer as a piece of furniture. They want laptops, netbooks, Ipads and even smart phones that they can take out when they want them and throw in a corner when they are not using them. Desktops themselves will not disappear of course because they are better for many business applications but the desktop in the home may become an expensive luxury confined to those with particular hobbies which demand the extra power and flexibility that a desktop provides.
Needless to say this trend has significant implications for the future of PC gaming, some good, some bad but that is a story for another day.