death-of-laptop
Mobile Communications

Chris Lim (Global) - Death of the Laptop?

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 89.8 million units in the final quarter of 2012 according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) and, while that may sound impressive, PC sales are actually declining. The fourth quarter saw a total decline of 6.4% - 2% less than the predicted slowdown in sales. What's more, is the world's biggest gadget show held in Las Vegas (CES) saw very few laptops on display, but as you might expect, hoards of smartphone and tablet devices.

With technology becoming much more affordable, it's clear consumers are opting for the sleek, well-designed tablets and multi-tasking smartphones, rather than bulky laptops or PCs - analysts predict they will occupy as much as 40% of the total tech spending around the world this year. As the consumerisation of technology takes a firm grip on business, staff are more likely to take advantage of this and choose their own tools to work with. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) isn't a new initiative and employees are choosing their own mobile devices and even preferring to transition from laptops to tablets. Indeed, as TechCrunch recently reported, there are now so-called ‘phablets' (phone-cum-tablet) as smartphones merge with tablets to meet our growing addiction to intuitive user interfaces and consuming data.

While tablets, and ‘phablets', are becoming more and more popular, it's promising to see industry technology stalwarts such as Microsoft launching its new Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablets. This is a sign that Microsoft is taking consumerisation and user demands seriously, with power users having around 5-7 internet connected devices.

Despite low PC sales, and an increasing focus on tablets, smartphones and ‘phablets', many businesses still operate on PCs and will continue, especially in the public sector. The device is just the interface - what matters is that it enables a more effective and efficient way of working and access to applications. We believe this is where Windows 8 and touch-enabled design will come into its own, especially as support for XP will end in April 2014.

It's good to see companies such as Microsoft continually pushing the boundaries of business software and introducing the latest technology to the workplace. Consumer gadget shows such as CES will always throw up new and exciting technologies and prospects. It's easy to forget and neglect the existing tools and technologies we are already using to see how we can re-evaluate how to use them to their full potential.


By Chris Lim, Practice Lead for Microsoft Technology Services at Trustmarque

 

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