Do You Think the Desktop Computer and Mouse Die

NewYorksFinest

Senior member
Mar 27, 2014
455
1
0
If you do, when? I don't think either of them will die in our lifetimes because who wants to play high end games in a small laptop? Or a tablet? Who wants to play games wih touchscreen? I don't think they will ever die in our lifetimes.
 

Imp

Lifer
Feb 8, 2000
18,829
184
106
Mouse? Never. I can interact with an entire screen and almost never move my wrist. Touch screen means I have to move my arm and all my fingers. The ultimate in laziness... Control is amazing and much more precise, I think, than a touch screen.

Desktop? Not anytime soon, but every time I think about moving, it freaks me out: I have to move that 20lb hunk of steel that needs its own seat? The power and customizability is nice but a laptop is 1/20 (?) the size and can do the same basic things if you have the same plugs/peripherals (e.g. monitor, stereo, keyboard, moues) as a desktop -- plus it has a built-in "backup" keyboard, touchpad, monitor, and battery backup. Holy shit, desktops are dead...
 

Imaginer

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
8,076
1
0
There is always a need for an unobstructed pointer device on screen. Always.

Touchscreens are maybe a bit faster in eliminating pointer travel, but the hand still blocks part of the entire viewing screen (along with any pen to screen input, but retains the accuracy and precision of a mouse but with the quickness of the fingers).

Keyboards are a must still. Not everyone can write as fast, cleanly, and clearly for OCR to be effective (fortunate for me, my handwriting registers - but typing is more faster, because my letters per minute trumps my strokes per letter per minute. However, with a pen digitizer in hand, I can also draw at will (something that keyboards will not allow).

As far as the traditional drag and slide mouse? That should go away. I abandoned dragging and sliding years ago with trackballs. Better for my wrists, I can be surface agnostic, and I can operate in more areas than needing a table surface. I also feel I have a lot more "sliding" surface in comparison to a mouse/mousepad/mouse area/trackpad.

Fortunately, with any Tablet PC (given each manufacturer's form), one has all the options for any situation one encounters. I can be easily effective with a keyboard, touchscreen, pen and/or trackball in hand.
 
Last edited:

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
19
81
I can't think of a better control scheme than a keyboard and mouse. If they are going to die, then what is replacing them? Touch screens are nice because they are convenient, not because they are better. Motion and voice based control isn't as fast or precise.

When something comes along that is actually faster and easier to use they'll die out. I can't think of anything short of a very good neural interface that has that potential.
 

Imaginer

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
8,076
1
0
Desktops as machines, will not go away. There is always a need for faster, heavy processing - these things can't scale down easily for a given thermal envelope.

There is a tradeoff though, the pure desktop tower is fixed for a given operation location, not nearly as mobile, and will always need an outlet. The desktop also can sport any number of multiple monitors and screen sizes (from monitors to TVs) to expand the viewing workspace.

Again, tradeoffs.
 

Imaginer

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
8,076
1
0
I can't think of a better control scheme than a keyboard and mouse. If they are going to die, then what is replacing them? Touch screens are nice because they are convenient, not because they are better. Motion and voice based control isn't as fast or precise.

When something comes along that is actually faster and easier to use they'll die out. I can't think of anything short of a very good neural interface that has that potential.

The keyboard and pointer device combo is very effective. It is just that now, there are more options that expand the natural handiness of writing, drawing, and interacting (at my mentioned tradeoffs).

All the above, compliment very well. If one thinks the keyboard and mouse/pointer is good, a pen in hand to touch and point with the pen is for me even better (with my trackball at the ready) in a mobile situation.
 

Markbnj

Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
Moderator
Sep 16, 2005
15,682
13
81
www.markbetz.net
Hmm, not sure really. Desktop sales have been dwindling. Many professional people, gamers, artists, etc. need screen space, and as noted everyone needs a mouse and keyboard sometimes to do real work on that screen space. Those things can be had with a laptop + accessories now, so I tend to think that is the way things are headed for now with work machines.
 

TwiceOver

Lifer
Dec 20, 2002
13,544
44
91
My only problem with laptops is there isn't any that are thin, light, and provide multi monitor support. I really need my duals. MYbe as Thunderbolt or whatever gets better. Usb3 video ducks.
 

John Connor

Lifer
Nov 30, 2012
22,840
617
121
NEVER! GPUs are getting bigger and bigger and more powerful. The dumb ass laptop/tablet won't replace that.

Unless of course they shrink new GPUs to a smaller size. Unlikely.

One day the computer will evolve into a morphed one and all unit and be the size of a book like the laptop with small parts, but the GPU will be the biggest part of the machine.
 
Last edited:

Skyclad1uhm1

Lifer
Aug 10, 2001
11,383
87
91
For 90% of the population or more a Pentium II with Windows 98 would still suffice. Checking mail and once in a while watching a youtube movie doesn't exactly require the latest processor or GPU.

It's gamers and companies/universities and such that require heavier processing power. Also while a laptop is useful when giving presentations a PC is much cheaper, less likely to break down and more practical when needing a computer that just sits in a lab and processes data for weeks or months in a row. If you have to buy computers for a lab and you can choose between getting 50 PCs at 500 dollars each which will suffice in power for the next 3-5 years, or comparible laptops which cost 2-3 times as much and are far more likely to break down within that period and are more expensive to repair, which would be the more economical solution do you think?

To be honest I think more and more people will move away from PCs and laptops both when it comes to their home situation. For elderly laptops and PCs are still good due to the larger screen size, but for many they can do everything they want on a tablet as well. Maybe netbooks will see a rise in popularity again to replace laptops and PCs for people that don't want to game or so but do need a decent keyboard for word processing. The watches with touchscreen I don't see as a great succes simply because of the size of the screen. Even if it would show a keyboard it would be so tiny that you will always be pressing multiple keys at once. Holding your wrist to your mouth or ear for a phonecall isn't practical either, and if you use a headset for it you can just as well use that with a phone instead of a watch. So it would end up as a convenient information screen when using your phone as mp3 player or to check who's calling you.
Google Glasses I think do have added value, but they'll be more an extra tool than a replacement for netbooks, phones or tablets. After all, dictating private mails to your Google Glasses might be inconvenient, frustrating and embarrassing.
 

biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
18,249
4,760
136
For fast typing there's nothing better than a keyboard, but who knows what gadgets there will be within 20 years.
 

CPA

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
30,322
4
0
Hmm, not sure really. Desktop sales have been dwindling. Many professional people, gamers, artists, etc. need screen space, and as noted everyone needs a mouse and keyboard sometimes to do real work on that screen space. Those things can be had with a laptop + accessories now, so I tend to think that is the way things are headed for now with work machines.

desktop sales may be dwindling but computer part/accessory sales are not.
 

Murloc

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2008
5,382
65
91
until there is flawless mind control, they're not going away.

Desktop sales might be dwindling for a plethora of reasons, it doesn't say much about their popularity imho.
Sure, maybe some kids nowadays just use a tablet and their smartphone to do their online stuff and use the one and only family computer when they need to do work, so the average family might own less computers in total. But that doesn't mean people aren't using computers with an actual keyboard.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,738
450
126
Mouse? No way. Maybe it'll disappear in some homes that decide they don't need desktops, but businesses will use them forever.

Desktops are going away but will always be preferred by gamers and power users. Given that laptops are to the point of not being able to even upgrade the memory anymore, it gives desktops more staying power in that you can upgrade and repair components. Laptops were already hard to repair/upgrade but now they're entirely disposable.
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,853
1,048
126
Long live the keyboard. The biggest pain in the royal ass is typing usernames and passwords on tablets/phones because of the special combinations that cannot be "swyped". I guess I could set it in the personal dictionary but I'd have to do that everywhere and it's obviously not as safe.

Other hindrances:
it takes twice or more the time to make even a medium-sized post like this
tablet/phone screens tire my eyes a LOT quicker
 
Last edited:

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
I don't see mice being replaced by touch screens/touch pads any time soon, at least for commercial/business/professional/etc work.

just in terms of ergonomics, I'd so much rather use a mouse than have to reach up and touch my monitor when I'm working and need to constantly flit between menus, different servers, etc.
 

_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
3,935
68
91
I like to overanalyze things, so let's have a go!

What's a desktop anyway?
Is there a significant difference between a docked laptop and a desktop, except you're able to undock the laptop?

I think the key descriptors to a desktop are:
Physically separate human-computer-interface (HCI) from computing device.
Computing device is in physical proximity to the HCI.

Given those constraints, I could imagine the desktop being replaced in many instances by thin clients, particularly in the corporate world. A virtualized remote desktop is cheaper to maintain, easier to scale, and with gigE+ networking capable of low latency interaction and high computing power.
Currently the prohibitive factor to wider adoption is the associated licensing cost and hardware cost, as many solutions require proprietary everything.

The docked laptop from my initial question clearly is a desktop, when used with screen and mouse, which is usually the case in a productive setting. My corporate experience has been that laptops are often issued to everyone, as some mobility is expected, but due to the technical constraints of the platform, I had to get an additional desktop and access to additional compute hosts at my last job. This makes the laptop-by-default policy not very cost effective.

And finally, by going back to a more literal interpretation of desktop computer: As long as people will work with computers, they will do so at a desk. The computer on that desk, will be their laptop computer.


Regarding the issue with the mouse:
By reducing the scope of the word mouse to a physical pointing device that glides over a flat surface and offers buttons for interaction, they may not be around forever. From my experience with mice, getting them to be decently ergonomic is a tough fight.

Many alternative pointing devices exist, from trackballs, to trackIR to touchpads, touch screens and relative pointing devices such as the touchpoints on some laptops. Pens, 3D-mice, gesture control, eye tracking and even pedals or other foot-operated interactions may well prove to have a future. I once used a scroll bar for two weeks, which doubled as a mouse, to relieve some shoulder strain - I didn't keep it because it induced finger strain....

On the other hand, the mouse is currently being borne on some massive momentum. Everybody that is using a desktop computer is usually learning to do so with a mouse. While touch screens may be creating a new generation of users, they're less useful in larger devices, unless the point of the interaction is to demonstrate that the action is being done - think collaborative work (a classic collaborative workspace is an airplane cockpit, where each pilot needs to be aware of the others actions to be able to accurately judge the situation of the airplane), teaching, etc.

Another current, and momentum-relevant advantage of mice is the cost-effectiveness. Ever since optical tracking has been perfected, there's no more cost effective means of precisely pointing. All the alternative devices I listed either carry a higher price-point with no true gain in accuracy, or suffer significantly lower accuracy at a lower price point.
Finally, consider that with ever larger screens with more pixels, pointing becomes more and more a multi-scale problem. A pointer-accelerated mouse is well suited to this challenge.

This concludes my overanalysis. TL;DR: No.