Re: Desktop PCs will be around for long time yet
Well, there are several unjustified assumptions in what you said.
1) “People making real things in the real world”
You are shortsighted in what you think “real work” is. Software development and accountancy is not the only “real work”
Tree surgeons, estate agents, doctors. Their use-case is all runs *just fine* on a tablet. [compare a doctor taking a tablet to a care home, versus a laptop, or typing up notes when they got back to office, which is what used to happen]
Even in financial institutions, only a fraction are making big pivot tables or writing large reports/analyses. The majority of bank employees are call centre, branch front of house, or HR/other support. None of those people need or want a desktop, just that’s been the legacy heap of junk given to them.
2) There *are* power users with greater needs, but max 200k-500k in the U.K. Plus the replacement rate drops to 5+years, as the capability stopped increasing. That’s 40-100k sales per year in the U.K., and maybe 2-5million worldwide. Not enough to support the PC manufacturing industry like it has been.
Put another way: large-key Desk Calculators are still a thing! Have a look in any Finance or Sales department, they still don’t use an app on their smartphones! But calculator sales aren’t enough to bother the balance sheet of a large manufacturer.
3) Yes, “people doing real work” as you define it, need a mouse, keyboard and two monitors.
But that’s not a desktop PC. Any laptop, and most tablets, can interface to those, wirelessly if necessary.
The market for large monitors, keyboard and mouse may well remain. But those are totally unbranded commodity, and decoupled from the underlying workload of application or even OS.
4) You don’t even need a desktop to *write software*. Almost all of the time, you’re either editing, reading/writing documentation etc. Compiling, you need more power. But most “proper” shops now have regular merge/compilation/automated unit test running on a shared Linux box in the corner. That’s one per ten engineers. There may be three monitors per software engineer, but only a single three-year-old laptop in a docking station.