Desktop PCs are not quite dead yet

Opinion – There’s a report on Taiwanese newswrite today that casts serious doubt on the future of the desktop PC.

According to the report, chip giant Intel recently held a summit in mainland China in an attempt to form a strategy that will revive the market. It adds that motherboard manufacturers are gloomy about the future, and it’s not hard to see why.

While there obviously is a future for desktop PCs, you only need to walk around big electronics stores, like I did yesterday, to see that as far as they’re concerned, the notebook and the netbook rule the PC roost.

In some ways it’s ironic that Intel should hold such a summit, because its message, ever since the introduction of the Centrino brand, is that notebooks are the wave of the future.

And it’s not surprising that the motherboard manufacturers are showing some scepticism about attempts to revive a market in decline, because while there was a time several years ago that motherboards could make big waves because while some clearly offered far better features than others, those times are well and truly over.

Components in a PC might have been exciting when AMD and Intel battled fiercely to clock and to overclock the CPU, but these machines have now truly become commodities and it’s harder than ever to differentiate machines because of the microprocessor they use.

And it remains to be seen whether Intel can get the netbook genii back in the bottle – because if you’re not a discerning buyer, or if you’re just plain ignorant, you’ll probably plump for a netbook just because of the price. It’s going to be pretty difficult for the notebook vendors or the Intels of this world to ever be able to command high prices based on CPU specs in the future.