The PC is dead, long live the PC!

If you’ve been paying any attention to computing technology for more than a couple of years, chances are strong that you’ve noticed some trends. The trade rags and industry analysts make their money predicting these trends — or trying to, at any rate — but it’s pretty easy to see for yourself how many of these trends develop. The hot technology when I was a wee Desktop Technician was thin client computing. Dumb terminals on desks would connect to servers in the back room where all the actual computing would occur. To read the trade rags, you’d think my job security was in danger! Obviously thin client computing didn’t completely change the face of computing in general. Nor will many of the other trends being predicted by industry experts.

Forbes is running an article titled The Death of the PC, which ruminates upon the increased use of virtualization software, and briefly shares the story of one company that has virtualized their desktop PCs. In my day job, I’ve looked at desktop virtualization solutions a couple of different times from different vendors. I think it’s really cool tech, and I think provides some demonstrable benefits; but I think those benefits are only gained in specific instances. You’re not going to be using a virtualized desktop at home, and neither will your parents, any time soon.

Obviously the virtualization companies want us to all think this is a done deal, and that virtualized computing is the way of computing from here on out. It should be noted that Citrix, one of the up-and-coming virtualization providers, was also one of the up-and-coming thin client solutions from more than a decade ago. That plan didn’t work out so well for them then; and I’m not convinced that their current efforts are going to be more successful.

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