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Google Says Desktops Will Be Irrelevant in 3 Years

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 170 comments

Google's VP of online sales and operations has made the bold statement that in three years time desktop computers will be irrelevant.

Speaking at UCD in Dublin yesterday, Google Chief John Herlihy said that smartphones enhance Google’s mission to make information universal, adding that in Japan, more research is being done on cell phones than on PCs. Herlihy predicted that soon smartphones will be the center of it all.

“Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible," he said. "Because there’s more information and because it will be hard to sift through it all, that’s why search will become more and more important. This will create new opportunities for new entrepreneurs to create new business models – ubiquity first, revenue later.”

Herlihy's statements have caused quite a stir in the tech world. There are those who wholeheartedly agree but Silicon Republic, who first reported the story, says that audience members were baffled. Indeed it's hard to imagine office cubicles without desktops and even harder to imagine laptops meeting the needs of hardcore PC gamers.

But, whether you agree with his sentiments or not, it is clear the direction Google is taking as a company. Silicon Republic reports that, not too long ago, CEO Eric Schmidt told an audience at the Mobile World Congress that the company was working on products from a 'mobile first' prospective.

"Every recent product announcement we have made – and of course we have a desktop version – is being made from the point of view of it being used on a high-performance mobile phone on all the browsers that are available," SR cites Schmidt as saying. "Now the programmers want to work on those apps for mobile that you can’t get on a desktop – applications that are personal and location-aware."

Read the full story on Silicon Republic.

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Top Comments
  • 73 Hide
    toastninja17 , March 5, 2010 1:21 PM
    For hardcore PC gamers, desktops will always be where it's at.
  • 64 Hide
    Pyroflea , March 5, 2010 1:24 PM
    I just can't wait to ditch my PC for a 3" screen, a keyboard with buttons so small that I hit 4 at a time, and 1 minute loading times for Google searches.

    /Sarcasm.
  • 61 Hide
    bison88 , March 5, 2010 1:23 PM
    5GB bandwidth cap, 1/5th the speed of the lowest Cable internet tiers, and $50 a month which is $15 more then what I pay for my PC. Yeah I don't think desktops are going anywheres.
Other Comments
    Display all 170 comments.
  • 73 Hide
    toastninja17 , March 5, 2010 1:21 PM
    For hardcore PC gamers, desktops will always be where it's at.
  • 61 Hide
    bison88 , March 5, 2010 1:23 PM
    5GB bandwidth cap, 1/5th the speed of the lowest Cable internet tiers, and $50 a month which is $15 more then what I pay for my PC. Yeah I don't think desktops are going anywheres.
  • 64 Hide
    Pyroflea , March 5, 2010 1:24 PM
    I just can't wait to ditch my PC for a 3" screen, a keyboard with buttons so small that I hit 4 at a time, and 1 minute loading times for Google searches.

    /Sarcasm.
  • 41 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2010 1:26 PM
    you tell that to my clients who still hold onto their 5yr old xp boxes,no desktops will still be around for many years to come!

    Info on mobiles is useful, but screen size will always be their downfall if they were for all and every day use!
  • 37 Hide
    Ryric , March 5, 2010 1:26 PM
    I love the constant Anti-desktop raving. For Design work, and any type of video work desktops will be preferred by most users (not necessary PC, but at least macs).

    I would prefer to see Consoles being obsolete in 3 years with home theaters being inter-connected with PC's.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2010 1:28 PM
    It is a silly comment, and while he is correct in pointing out the growing importance of mobiles, the idea that office workers, graphics designers, and so on, will be working on a 3-inch screen and keyboard is .... ridiculous.

    We may get some virtual tech going in a few decades, using Wii-style interaction or even brain-controlled, but it won't be anytime soon.
  • 34 Hide
    bydesign , March 5, 2010 1:29 PM
    With Any Luck Google Will Be Irrelevant in 3 Years. We can only hope.
  • 13 Hide
    jeverson , March 5, 2010 1:30 PM
    Know I know someone has replaced the non-dairy creamer with some other white powdery substance :o 
  • 7 Hide
    marsax73 , March 5, 2010 1:30 PM
    You will always need a desktop in some form or another. All in One desktops I could see being the majority but that's the extent of it. I still need my desktop for video and audio production work.
  • 8 Hide
    mindless728 , March 5, 2010 1:31 PM
    ok, so they think they can cram desktop parts into mobile devices, what about gaming, the best gaming laptops are only mediocre compared to desktops, sorry google, no dice
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2010 1:35 PM
    That's a ridiculous statement. I don't have a smart phone, and have no intentions of getting one. I can see using a smart phone as a phone, and as a PIM, but to use the internet or do email on one is an exercise in frustration. The screens are simple WAY too small to use regularly.

    I love technology, but I'll live without the internet before I'd give up my dual 23" monitors. Progress requires change, but not all change is progress.
  • 22 Hide
    jednx01 , March 5, 2010 1:37 PM
    I'm never gonna give up my Desktops. I'd much rather use a 25" monitor than a 17" laptop screen....
  • 3 Hide
    lradunovic77 , March 5, 2010 1:38 PM
    Google is good at their search engine, in everything else they suck...
  • 12 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 5, 2010 1:42 PM
    Leave me my PC, and leave me my games.
  • 9 Hide
    lradunovic77 , March 5, 2010 1:43 PM
    If that is the only option in the future, i am going to Linux and keep my files and my OS on my computer. Otherwise i wont use computer anymore so they can shovel their idea of Cloud Computing up to their ass :) 
  • 22 Hide
    ubergeek , March 5, 2010 1:44 PM
    Put down the crack pipe google.
  • 12 Hide
    foody , March 5, 2010 1:44 PM

    Falsest thing I've ever heard in my entire life. One of the most ignorant statements in the PC world.
  • 16 Hide
    godwhomismike , March 5, 2010 1:45 PM
    Google's statement is equally as stupid as Apple's recent statement about how the iPad is going to takeover and kill the netbook market.
  • -8 Hide
    lradunovic77 , March 5, 2010 1:45 PM
    Who says that 3D gaming is good? In my opinion it is a crap.
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