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COMPUTING

From...
Computerworld

Survey: The future of PCs

August 23, 1999
Web posted at: 1:19 p.m. EDT (1719 GMT)

by Frank Hayes and the Computerworld staff

(IDG) -- PC elements as basic as the floppy drive may be ditched, creating support and compatibility nightmares for you. An exclusive Computerworld survey shows IT shops like the ideas -- but want to take it slow.

Why radically rework the PC? One major goal is to give vendors much more flexibility in the size and shape of PCs. “If you get rid of the slots and connectors, the box gets smaller,” says Pat Gelsinger, who manages Intel’s desktop products group. “Then you can velcro a PC under a travel agent’s desk or stick it to the side of a cart at Oil Can Henry’s.”

That goal rings true with corporate information technology executives. “Give me my desktop back!” says David Lewis, acting CIO for the state of Massachusetts in Boston. “With 17- and 19-in. monitors, PCs take up more of the desktop than ever,” agrees Howard Launstein, corporate controller at Oil Gear Co. in Milwaukee. “We’ve all bought all this furniture” to accommodate large current PCs, Lewis says. “Reduce [the PC] down to a flat panel with a keyboard attached, and it would really make a difference.” Lewis contends that if such a setup cost only “$100 more than a CRT, you’d never see another PC sold that’s a box with a CRT. The ergonomic issues are so overpowering.”

Survey results

Using a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is "Not at All Likely" and 7 is "Very Likely," how likely would you be to purchase a PC now and one year from now that...


Means
(FOR RESPONDENT BREAKDOWN OF EACH QUESTION, CLICK ON THE QUESTION)
NOW
1 YEAR
...Has PCI expansion slots as opposed to a PC with AT-style expansion slots
5.5
5.6
...Is enabled with quick power-up without a lengthy boot sequence as opposed to a PC that isn't
5.2
5.3
...Has USB ports as opposed to a PC with parallel printer ports
4.1
4.8
...Has SCSI, USB, or FireWire hard disk interface as opposed to a PC withIDE hard disk interface
4.1
4.6
...Has low-power, muffled fan systems as opposed to a PC with a current fan system
4.0
4.3
...Has USB or FireWire (IEEE 1394) as opposed to a PC with serial ports
3.9
4.8
...Has a digital interface for monitors and flat-panel screens as opposedto a PC with VGA video interface
3.7
4.6
...Has a smart card reader as opposed to a PC that doesn't have one
3.3
4.0
...Has wireless networking capability as opposed to a PC that doesn't
3.2
4.0
...Does not have a floppy disk drive as opposed to a PC that has a floppy disk drive
2.8
2.9
...Has an ATM adapter as opposed to a PC with an Ethernet networking adapter
2.5
3.0





...Has PCI expansion slots as opposed to a PC with AT-style expansion slots

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
3
3%
2
4
4%
3
4
4%
4
9
9%
5
26
25%
6
16
16%
Very Likely
7
37
36%
Don't
know
3
3%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
2
2%
2
3
3%
3
3
3%
4
9
9%
5
26
25%
6
17
17%
Very Likely
7
39
38%
Don't
know
3
3%


...Is enabled with quick power-up without a lengthy boot sequence as opposed to a PC that isn't

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
5
5%
2
1
1%
3
6
6%
4
14
14%
5
28
27%
6
24
24%
Very Likely
7
24
24%
Don't
know
0
0%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
5
5%
2
0
0%
3
7
7%
4
12
12%
5
27
26%
6
22
22%
Very Likely
7
28
27%
Don't
know
1
1%


...Has USB ports as opposed to a PC with parallel printer ports

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
10
10%
2
10
10%
3
14
14%
4
21
21%
5
27
26%
6
12
12%
Very Likely
7
7
7%
Don't
know
1
1%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
4
4%
2
8
8%
3
9
9%
4
15
15%
5
22
22%
6
27
26%
Very Likely
7
15
15%
Don't
know
2
2%


...Has SCSI, USB, or FireWire hard disk interface as opposed to a PC with IDE hard disk interface

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
7
7%
2
11
11%
3
17
17%
4
17
17%
5
25
25%
6
17
17%
Very Likely
7
4
4%
Don't
know
4
4%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
6
6%
2
9
9%
3
10
10%
4
14
14%
5
23
23%
6
27
26%
Very Likely
7
9
9%
Don't
know
4
4%


...Has low-power, muffled fan systems as opposed to a PC with a current fan system

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
6
6%
2
9
9%
3
10
10%
4
14
14%
5
23
23%
6
27
26%
Very Likely
7
9
9%
Don't
know
4
4%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
9
9%
2
10
10%
3
14
14%
4
24
24%
5
26
25%
6
9
9%
Very Likely
7
6
6%
Don't
know
4
4%


...Has USB or FireWire (IEEE 1394) as opposed to a PC with serial ports

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
8
8%
2
13
13%
3
15
15%
4
25
25%
5
20
20%
6
8
8%
Very Likely
7
8
8%
Don't
know
5
5%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
4
4%
2
8
8%
3
7
7%
4
18
18%
5
23
23%
6
22
22%
Very Likely
7
15
15%
Don't
know
5
5%


...Has a digital interface for monitors and flat-panel screens as opposed to a PC with VGA video interface

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
9
9%
2
15
15%
3
22
22%
4
21
21%
5
25
25%
6
7
7%
Very Likely
7
2
2%
Don't
know
1
1%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
2
2%
2
8
8%
3
13
13%
4
21
21%
5
29
28%
6
21
21%
Very Likely
7
7
7%
Don't
know
1
1%


...Has wireless networking capability as opposed to a PC that doesn't

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
27
26%
2
13
13%
3
20
20%
4
15
15%
5
14
14%
6
8
8%
Very Likely
7
5
5%
Don't
know
0
0%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
14
14%
2
11
11%
3
16
16%
4
18
18%
5
13
13%
6
20
20%
Very Likely
7
10
10%
Don't
know
0
0%


...Has a smart card reader as opposed to a PC that doesn't have one

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
15
15%
2
28
27%
3
14
14%
4
12
12%
5
12
12%
6
12
12%
Very Likely
7
5
5%
Don't
know
4
4%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
12
12%
2
13
13%
3
16
16%
4
14
14%
5
18
18%
6
16
16%
Very Likely
7
9
9%
Don't
know
4
4%


...Does not have a floppy disk drive as opposed to a PC that has a floppy disk drive

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
35
34%
2
20
20%
3
13
13%
4
13
13%
5
10
10%
6
6
6%
Very Likely
7
4
4%
Don't
know
1
1%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
33
32%
2
16
16%
3
14
14%
4
13
13%
5
15
15%
6
7
7%
Very Likely
7
3
3%
Don't
know
1
1%


...Has an ATM adapter as opposed to a PC with an Ethernet networking adapter

Now
Number of
Responses
Percent of
Survey Base*
Not At All Likely
1
38
37%
2
17
17%
3
19
19%
4
12
12%
5
13
13%
6
2
2%
Very Likely
7
0
0%
Don't
know
1
1%

One year from now
Not At All Likely
1
29
28%
2
14
14%
3
18
18%
4
17
17%
5
14
14%
6
4
4%
Very Likely
7
4
4%
Don't
know
2
2%






Survey Base =102 respondents who are involved in the purchase process of desktop PCs for an organization with 500 or more employees.


Number of employees

Number of
Responses

Percent of
Survey Base
500-749
20
20%
750-999
5
5%
1,000-2,499
27
26%
2,500-4,999
13
13%
5,000-9,999
7
7%
10,000 or more
30
29%
Survey Base
102
100%


*Total may not equal 100% due to rounding

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