While there was plenty of hoopla back when the smartphone was first starting to emerge that it would ultimately replace the desktop PC—and in many functions it has—the grim pronouncements about the death of the desktop seem to have never actually materialized. In fact, a new report from Sencha and Dimensional Research details how the so-called “Post-PC Era” has a lot of PCs still operating, and likely will for some time to come.
The Sencha / Dimensional Research study—called “The State of the Modern Web”—shows that there has indeed been a lot of move to mobile, and those who ignore mobile development are doing so at their own peril. However, despite this move to mobile, that hasn't really left desktop in the lurch, as it's still a fairly big part of the equation itself, just not the absolute force it once was. Ninety-three percent of developers in the study noted that Web technologies are “critical” to overall strategies, and critical for both desktop and mobile operations. In fact, 76 percent are planning to increase the use of Web technologies next year, and that means more development for desktop platforms.
Indeed, reports noted that organizations are still very reliant on desktop applications. Eighty percent of respondents called desktop applications absolutely essential for development for the next 12 months. By comparison, only 36 percent could say likewise about mobile apps. What's more, applications themselves are becoming increasingly complex; every developer surveyed is planning to include analytics capabilities and data visualization on at least some level in upcoming apps, and that's going to require some fairly intense processor power to run. An additional 74 percent considered the need for data visualization systems to be on the rise.
Essentially, developers are working about as hard on developing for the desktop as they are for smartphones and tablets, all with good reason. These are still platforms that everyday users are putting to use. For different purposes in many cases, but it's a reasonable enough prospect. After all, a user at home who has the choice to watch a movie on a smartphone or on a big-screen 4K television will probably not pick up the phone. Each has a part to play, and each can play that part independently of the other. The idea that mobile devices would completely replace laptops and desktops was ultimately too ludicrous to countenance, even with the growth of the mobile workforce, but mobiles have certainly made gains and will be a part of the landscape. Just not the only part some projected.
The future of the modern Web will likely be a lot more diverse, with desktops and smartphones working together in concert to produce great results. We'll have mobility and operational power, which makes for a terrific overall conclusion.
Edited by Alicia Young