Over the first two weeks of term, 5,355 new users registered over 13,000 devices on our IT networks. That is, on average, about 2.5 devices each or 15 in every 6-person flat on campus.
That made me wonder about the hardware that students are now carrying about with them. When I first arrived at Sussex in September 2000 and took up residence in East Slope, I lugged one of these “Tiny” beauties up to the top flat (number 60-something, right at the back). I’d got it a month or so previously and was sooooo pleased with the technology. It had come in a bundle with a printer and a free digital camera that was the size of a brick and could hold eight pictures at a time. EIGHT. That’s less than the texts the contemporaneous Nokia 3310 could hold.
Students with laptops were relatively few and far between; I remember getting my first one three years later. These days, I imagine that there aren’t a huge amount of desktop PCs in student accommodation, and the market mirrors the decline.
The drawn-out death of the desktop is part of the overall bleak outlook for PCs; so far, 2015 has seen a continued decrease in sales of PCs for all but Apple products. Stateside, the balance has now swung in favour of the mobile-only users (those accessing the internet on phones or tablets).
In 2014, twice the amount of people used desktops as used tablets or phones to access the internet. Now, only a year later, desktop users have halved and mobile-only users have taken the lead.
I thought I’d get my Excel on and have a look at some of our figures to see if we’re moving in line with market trend, and guess what? Just 10 of you bothered carting a desktop PC onto campus this year. We’re not looking here at total users on campus, just the new users & devices registered in the September of each year. Have a nice graph, and muse upon the death of the desktop. Have you ever used one/owned one/had one at home anyway?
I got some of my facts and figures from these articles: