Are thin clients the future?

Paul Yung, product manager for Hannspree UK, believes that smaller form factors will continue to transform the desktop space, as more consumers show a greater interest in upgrading their tech. What does the future hold?

We keep hearing about desktop sales being in decline, but is it because the format is dead or is it because it is evolving? We believe the loss in desktop sales is being taken up by the emerging thin client category.

A surge of products with smaller footprints are entering the market. With recent advancements in the computing world from miniaturisation of chipsets, low hardware requirements of OSs and cloud storage being more popular, the thin clients are a viable alternative to the desktop – unlike the one trick pony thin clients of a decade ago. 

Some great examples of these new thin clients include the Intel NUC, Raspberry PI devices and most recently the Micro PC which are able to travel well, and can transform everyday devices into more useful devices. 

If these thin clients keep pushing the boundaries of miniaturisation without any perceivable reduction of CPU power or workflow, they could well become the ‘desktop’ machines of the future. So will the desktop computing world look the same in a year’s time?

In the past 30 years computers have moved from room-sized contraptions relegated to universities and large corporations to the ubiquitous desktop computer we now have in nearly every household. No one can argue that modern tech is becoming standard furniture in the home as well as the office. We no longer confine our computing devices to the desktop as we increasingly expect our computing devices to become part of our everyday life. Some could even argue that it is not the desktop PC in decline, but the desk itself. Are we on the verge of another momentous paradigm shift?

Surely it was inevitable in this ever-evolving marketplace that the traditional desktop tower was going to have to show some further progress.

With consumers becoming more interested in upgrading and confident in their tech purchases, we predict that these thin clients will be adorning our offices and living rooms in the very near future. 

But to say that the desktop market is in decline, we disagree. Firstly, the current available thin clients are not going to replace a powerful graphic design or gaming rig, so this market is likely to remain buoyant. But it shows what is possible through forward thinking development – the desktop market is re-emerging with new ideas, which can mean one thing – progress.

Paul Yung is the product manager for Hannspree UK.

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