As modern advancements in computing technology seem to grow at an exponential pace, the need for desktop computers seem to be fading with general consumers. All the computing power that consumers would need are pretty much satisfied with that of the most basic laptop. This shift from a desktop computer to a laptop can be seen in the way in which software itself has advanced.
For example, let's look at web browsers, the competition for these programs are no longer feature-based but also performance based. They should fly with as little resources as possible. Google Chrome, Firefox 4, Opera, and Internet Explorer are in the race to become the fastest web browser available without skipping out on some great features.
Hardware itself has become very cheap as well as more powerful components are always on the horizon. The hardware that are currently in our phones would be the same hardware specifications that you would find in a top of the line PC a decade ago. Now those pieces of hardware with that kind of specification are smaller. It's in a new generation of hardware of computers - netbooks and tablets. Which help to push forward cheap portable computing.
The only real purpose of a desktop machine now is the fact that it can be used as a server or a machine to be used for multimedia editing purposes - otherwise, its just a huge piece of technology that is just unnecessary.
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