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10:43 AM
Kevin Casey, InformationWeek
Kevin Casey, InformationWeek
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Business PCs' New Era: 6 Trends

Six factors are shaping the new multi-screen world of office computing.

In our previous story on the multi-screen workplace era, we ended by mentioning an expected pickup in desktop PC purchases by businesses this year. (Desktops! Really!) Let's dig into that trend -- plus five more that are remaking business PCs.

1. Desktops keep on truckin' Even Techaisle, the firm that conducted the research for a new report on the use of endpoint devices in business environments, raised an eyebrow at this one: "In any survey, there are surprising findings -- and in this one, the enthusiasm shown for desktop PCs qualified as a surprise." A weighted 50% of respondents indicated desktop purchase plans this year. Midsized companies, with between 100 and 1,000 employees, are especially keen on desktop PCs, with nearly 90% upgrading this year. In companies with 500 or more employees they're buying in bulk, an average of 70-plus desktops apiece.

Tommy Tablet and Sally Smartphone might ask: But, why? Techaisle speculates on a few reasons. First, existing desktops are simply getting old, too old to pass the "good enough" test in some cases. Second, many businesses still see the desktop as the ideal content creation device.

[ Inside EMPLOYERS' Transformation Strategy. ]

Third, desktops, by their relatively bulky nature, are treated more rigidly as part of long-term budget and purchasing plans -- not unlike servers and other on-premises infrastructure -- and we're now hitting a natural upswing in the buying cycle. "Desktop acquisitions are more likely to appear in formal purchase plans than mobile units, and less likely to be acquired on an ad-hoc basis," the report reads.

2. Longer refresh cycles Alas, it's not necessarily a gravy train for PC makers. Those refresh cycles are growing longer, especially for desktops, according to Techaisle analyst Anurag Agrawal. "[The PC], which is the basic and most important device for any business, has gone through innovation in terms of look, feel, and utility, and unless the performance really starts to affect employee productivity and experiences security vulnerabilities, businesses shy away from making huge capital investments," Agrawal said. "The new normal is a four-year refresh cycle in most countries.

[ Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek. ]

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