Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Laptop For Everyone on the Planet

. Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bill Gate's vision of a desktop PC in every home in America has become a reality. Nobody dreamed of having the internet in every home, but that's a reality as well. With the corporate work paradigm shifting from the confines of the office boundaries into the open road and at home, the phenomenon of mobile computing has made increasingly popular the use of computer laptops and notebook PCs.

Going beyond a paradigm shift, mobile computing essentially shatters the distinction between office and home with the proliferation of mobile computing gadgets. 8-hour work shifts are replaced by the entire waking hours of employees working at home as they don't need to be supervised within the traditional work hours. Soon every person on earth will have a laptop as an indispensable tool for making a living, whether employed or self-employed, in the office, at home or anywhere on the planet.

Overtaking the Desktop PC

Computer laptops and notebooks have been outselling desktop PCs in the US starting in 2005. Statistical data from the Gartner Group reveal that they enjoy an 18% annual growth rate in worldwide sales while desktops hovered in the 7% growth in the same period. At this rate, laptops will soon account for 50% of all consumer PCs sold to homes by 2011. This year, the Gartner group sees laptops eating 40% of all PC shipments around the planet.

Nearly half of the workforce in many organizations work at home or while on the road. Sales people don't need office space as they are on the road most of the time visiting and selling to clients. Programmers and analysts, as well as executives can do what they do in the office.

There are virtual secretaries and clerks that do the same work remotely and transparently. About the only people who need office space are lab researchers, engineers and scientists who still work on centralized facilities unique to their work and can't be accessed from their homes.

Popularity of Laptops

What's causing this shift from desktop to laptops? It's really a no-brainer when you consider that laptops have been increasingly approaching the computing power of desktop PCs. This is basically what's needed in mobile computing that has redefined the way employees work. With a smaller footprint, its portability and decreasing prices factored in, laptops are sure to capture more market shares both in the office and in homes.

- Cost

Laptops used to be more expensive than desktops of the same power. Today, while both desktops and laptops prices have reached mass prices, differences in prices cover a mere $300 to $500 gaps, giving both a nearly level playing field.

- Power

Computing power differences have narrowed down for most models though high end desktop PCs still command a processing power edge, especially among power users in the animation and graphics industries. Data storage capacities between the two have likewise narrowed.

- Portability/Mobility

Given the nearly level playing field for power and price, the laptop's portability and smaller footprint give it the edge that the market finds increasingly practical for mobile computing that is fast becoming the norm in their employment situation these days.

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