Traditional Desktop use in decline

Traditional Desktop use in decline

Only 45 percent of users will use Traditional Desktops as their primary information device by 2006, according to the Meta Group.

Another 40 percent will mainly use a notebook or tablet PC, and the final 15 percent will focus on thin-client or other information appliances, such as handheld devices.

There is a rising percentage of users who are being equipped with multiple devices over and above the current combination of a PC and a personal information/communication device, such as cell phones.

Steve Kleynhans, vice president of the META Group's Technology Research Services said: "By 2007, the average user will interact regularly with at least four distinct computing devices - a personal home PC, a smart digital entertainment system, a corporate computer, and a mobile information device.

"This multiplicity of devices will force software vendors to focus on information synchronisation as well as 'thinning' or 'roaming' applications to enable users to access their information independent of the device they are using."

Device selection needs to be matched to user job requirements, including information access and mobile needs to ensure that full value is obtained from end-user platform investments.

Corporate IT planners must be aware of the alternatives coming into the market for servicing end users and make selections appropriate to the needs of the user base.

The decline in the cost of digitisers and a growing number of digital ink-and pen-enabled applications, will bring the tablet to the mainstream by 2006 - it is predicted that one-third of all corporate notebooks will include tablet capabilities.

Closely related to the tablet PC are smart display devices, which enable the user to wirelessly access their PCs using WinXP's remote desktop facilities. Although Microsoft has discontinued further development on the current consumer-focused smart displays, the Meta Group expect that the technology could reappear in the corporate environment. Kleynhans: "There is an opportunity in the corporate space, where 60 percent of information workers are 'corridor warriors' that roam from meeting to meeting, to provide users with access to basic information (e.g., email, instant messaging and Web browsing) and note-taking capabilities while attending meetings on premises."

"The devices could even be shared among users or possibly kept in meeting rooms. Any costs should be outweighed by the increase in meeting productivity for most knowledge workers."

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