Well the short answer is quite simply “No” and for a number of very fundamental reasons. Sure, PC sales have definitely slowed down since laptops became a lot more affordable than they’ve ever been, but even more so since Smartphones have effectively become mini computers and since tablet PCs have emerged as well.
Hewlett Packard in particular saw a serious slump in sales as their main focus was indeed desktop PCs and perhaps laptops as well, but this was only an indication of the natural course of normalisation we all should have expected to happen really. There is a market for every type of device and in all honesty, mobile computing devices are perhaps only used in place of devices such as desktop PCs because consumers often find themselves having to make a choice between such devices. If you can afford it, you’ll perhaps have desktop PC in addition to your Smartphone and perhaps even a laptop or tablet PC, the latter of which are for mobility while the desktop PC is for when you have some time to settle down in the comfort of your own home.
Screen Real Estate
As far as the reasons why the desktop PC will never really die out completely go, screen real estate is one of them. Nothing beats having a big screen, especially when you compare how big PC screens can get in comparison to mobile devices. I would bet everybody wished their mobile phone screens were much bigger than they are, but the whole point of a mobile device is to be able to stay connected mainly for as long as you’re away from your desktop PC with its bigger screen. Yes, there are add-on devices such as virtual or WiFi keyboards which you can connect to your mobile device and use as something which resembles a full-sized desktop PC, but it’s just not the same. You can perhaps even plug in a pocket projector which will project your phone’s screen onto a bigger surface like a wall, but still, that whole experience will always feel like a make-shift solution until you can get home to your full-sized PC. Not to mention the amount of battery power something like that consumes, which would mean you’d have to be constantly plugged into a power source.
Processing Power, Memory, Storage and Speed
I guess all of these elements could be summed up as coming together to make up the performance of a computing device and as far as computing performance goes, the more space you have and the bigger the hardware, the better the performance is. The most powerful desktop PC is far more powerful than the most powerful Smartphone or tablet PC for instance, simply because there’s more space for bigger hardware and for expansion on the existing hardware architecture, like having a dual or quad-core processor with a much bigger and more effective heat-sink, neon-cooling perhaps and even expansion slots for extra data storage space.
So no, the PC will never die, especially if you ask computer programmers and developers.