This week, researchers made the bold prediction that by 2015, the concept of the 'netbook' system will cease to exist.
According to IHS researchers, tablets have eaten so severely into the market for netbooks next year vendors could manufacture as few as a quarter million of the ultra-portable notebooks and by 2015 production will cease entirely.
The reasoning is that for most users, a tablet does everything a netbook does, but better. While on the higher end, ultrabooks are making portable computers more lightweight and powerful than ever before. The result is a market niche for netbooks which has been completely closed.
So, with netbooks going the way of the dinosaur, what might be the next form factor to be squeezed out of the market?
It might just be desktop computer. Yes, the oldest form of the PC has endured for more than three decades and in many offices the desktop is still a fixture in many a cubicle.
But that is starting to change. For many companies, running a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment makes far more sense than putting a full PC on every desk.
In a VDI environment, user systems are stored on a central server as a virtual machine. The users then dial up their PC instances and run all their computing tasks over the network, either on thin client hardware or through their personal notebooks.
In addition to convenience and reduced hardware costs, VDI brings an inherent security aspect, as all data can be centrally managed through one single server. Yes, there have in the past been performance worries, but new products from vendors such as Nvidia have addressed that in many usage cases.
So, with VDI on the rise, how long could it be until we see the last desktop PCs on the market?
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