Desktops such as the iMac will continue to thrive

In his famous "cars/trucks" analogy, the late Steve Jobs once said that tablets like the iPad would become most folks' choice for a personal computer while traditional computers (especially desktops) would be mainly for businesses and "power users." At the Sept. 9 media event announcing new iPhones, a new Apple TV and the iPad Pro, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the latter was "Apple's vision for the future of personal computing." But don't worry: the desktop isn't going anywhere soon.

In what will be good news for iMac fans (as well as those who love their Mac minis and Mac Pros), a recent survey by the IDC research group indicates that despite the continuous shift to mobility and the proliferation of portable devices such as "ultraslim" notebooks (such as the 12-inch MacBook), convertibles (which certainly includes the iPad Pro), and tablets, desktops are still the main PC form factor for businesses. 

More on that survey in a second. Personally, I own an iMac (my workhorse), a 12-inch MacBook (for when I'm traveling), an iPad Air 2 (for ebooks, surfing the web, getting on Facebook, etc.), after work). I'm hoping that the iPad Pro will be flexible enough that it can replace both my MacBook and iPad Air 2. But I wont know until the super-sized tablet is released in November. 

The IDC survey interviewed 600 executives at SMBs and large enterprises in France, the U.K., and Germany. 84 percent of respondents indicated they would consider purchasing desktop computers for their organization. The most important factors in the decision to buy a desktop are higher performance, better durability, longer lifespan, and lower prices, according to respondents.

"The survey confirmed that the average lifetime of a desktop is one year longer than that of a laptop, reducing total cost of ownership for the company," says Maciek Gornicki, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "As a result, lower price and better resilience definitely make desktop the best choice for companies that have limited budgets and that require solutions for non-mobile office employees. On the other hand, desktops' higher security will benefit businesses that operate in industries such as insurance, finance, and banking, as well as government agencies."

Small form factors and mini PCs are key to the future of client computing, with companies increasingly looking at these devices, according to IDC. Forty-three percent of survey respondents said they would consider a small form factor device, and thirty-five said they would be willing to purchase a mini PC. These smaller products have become more popular as companies are increasingly looking to implement solutions that will save desk space and energy.