Would anyone like to say a few words?

The desktop is dead. Kinda. Sorta.

Yeah, journalists love to proclaim technologies as "dead" – and if you take us literally, we're almost always a bit premature with those proclamations. But when we say something is dead, what we're really saying that it's on the way out of the mainstream, and irrevocably so.

That's what James Gaskin meant when he wrote this week that the desktop computer is "dead." Now, the point is made early on in the story that there are different levels of deadness. As Rob Enderle says in the article, "Faxing was declared dead in 1995, but I have two [fax machines] in my office."

The headline (the only part of the story in which I lent a hand) tried to convey that nuance. It reminds me of Miracle Max from "The Princess Bride." You know, this:

It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

The early comments have vigorously defended the desktop, as they look around their companies and see plenty of desktop computers in use every day. The article, however, is taking the long view – seeing the legions of young people being raised on tablets and smartphones, and extrapolating.

What do you think?

By the way, we also recently declared the mouse dead – and yet I just went out and bought a new one (when my old one, um, died).

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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