Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sea Change for Desktop Computers

Last week Intel made a major announcement that has been largely ignored by the general media. Probably because they don’t understand the significance. Intel announced that it will phase out production of desktop system boards and will exit the market entirely in three years. Thus marks the final release of system boards for desktop computers.

There are other manufacturers of system boards for desktop computers and Intel will continue to make high-end boards for engineering, cad and graphics computers but the golden age of the individual desktop is ending. The other manufacturers in this market make products that don’t compare to the quality of Intel. They are ASUS and a whole host of other Korean manufacturers. Of the bunch ASUS is the best but even so it’s a big step downward.

As a result of this announcement some PC manufacturers have announced that they will cease production of computers. Infotel in Ohio is one of them. They were a supplier to CDW, Global, and TigerDirect and a Fortune 1000 company. They aren’t going out of business just out of part of the market. Dell is also rumored to be soon to follow. Our supplier Equus plans to continue to offer desktop PC’s but obviously the internal components are going to change and the selection significantly diminished.

All of this seems rather surprising since you probably have a desktop computer in your house and at the office. But you probably also have a laptop, smart phone, netbook or tablet computer. Computers are getting smaller and individual customization is diminishing. But suddenly everyone has multiples of devices.

We smelled the change coming and so have been installing and recommending remote desktop environments for years. We installed our first in back in 2000. It was cutting edge at that time. Now it’s common place. The replacement of PC’s with thin clients, zero clients, something Intel will soon release called NUC and remote work applications is now inevitable. If you haven’t yet had a meeting with us to discuss a future implementation of terminal services or multipoint you will. They bring the promise of work anywhere from any device in any location to reality. Meanwhile the desktop computer requirement drops significantly from $800-$1200 per desk to $100-$400 depending on the power required for graphics. Some of that is traded off with the server implementation but then there’s compensation for that in form of reduced support costs and a much lower electric bill. Over the ROI is excellent.

With change always comes a certain amount of pain and lack of planning makes change more painful and expensive. So the time is now to talk about making a change, planning for the change and phasing in the change to make it most cost effective for your business.

- Amy



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