Mobile Computing – Is it Devouring The Very Concept of Desktop Computing?


Mobile computing or put it in another way smart phones are going to eat up desktop in the future. This notion is becoming more popular with each passing day with some IT icons chipping in. Generally with desktop, a laptop is also associated with the same category. Remember portability cannot be interchanged with mobility. Before we jump onto any conclusions it is important to examine some of the factors which are going to influence this trend in a positive or negative way:

Manufacturer’s Monopolies

Industrial pundits will agree that smart phones are retained by the user for least amount of time. A desktop PC usually takes 5 to 8 years for being replaced. Laptops normally remain for around three years in a single user’s hand. For smart phones a good guess is less than a year. Obviously most of the giants in smart phone industry, for faster industrial growth, will promote their concept and give an illusion that it will replace the conventional PCs.

Resources in the Two Technologies

Before we get too critical of the businesses there are some other factors to be considered. Availability of the resources is of foremost importance in carrying out the different operations. Currently mobile computing devices don’t have much to offer in terms of disk space, software application and processor speeds. The proponents of mobile computing argue that these issues will be resolved with the evolution of technologies such as solid state drives replacing the conventional hard disks.

User Interface

But let’s not get carried away by the availability of the resources. In corporate environments such as banks, airports and other utilities the popularity of desktop computers owes to speed of user’s action such as typing. There are countless tasks that have to be completed and smart phones can’t provide large space for efficient typing. Smart phone lovers are of the view that with improvement in voice to text conversion technologies there will be reduced requirements for fast typing.


Another important aspect to look at is the security of the equipment and information. Smart phones are the most vulnerable in this sense. It is very difficult to comprehend how different mobile computing platforms can be used by different coworkers in offices. Sometimes in sensitive environments all the activities should remain inside the offices. There will be no point using mobile computing platforms and get them locked in the office. More robust desktops are better in such scenarios.

Usage in Technical Applications

Even if we agree to the viewpoint of mobile computing proponents about technology improvement, it is hard to see how complex tasks such as 3D modeling or other electronic manufacturing projects will be done through with limited number of ports. Even if the industry icons can answer such problems today it will take decades to make these devices commonplace.

Mobile computing is widely being touted as predator of desktop technologies. This can be true for general purpose usage but in most professional lives desktop will still be a necessity. The reduced growth rate in desktop is understandable but it will not die entirely.