According to a recent PEW RESEARCH CENTER report* almost 66% of Americans own a smartphone. More importantly almost 20% of Americans rely on a smartphone exclusively for accessing the internet. These trends are expected to continue growing.
So what does this information mean regarding the desktop computer? According to a January 2015 IDC press release*…“Portable PC growth remains strong with double-digit growth from a year ago, while desktop shipments declined by more than -10%.”
Could this be the beginning of the end for the desktop computer? Desktops have survived the invention of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and a variety of other mobile devices, but could there a time come when all laptops seem too bulky and too stationary to ever own?
Current State of the Desktop Computer
Desktops and laptops still possess the majority of the market when it comes to searching the Internet at 90%, but smart phones are close behind at 80% and tablets are nearing 50% and growing rapidly. These numbers are expected to change in the coming years as tablets and other mobile devices become accessible to users in all budgets. There is also debate over the recent net neutrality ruling and how it will affect Internet use in the coming months and years.
Desktops have withstood the usual two year time-frame it takes for something to be considered obsolete once a viable replacement arrives on the market. However, recent years have brought alternatives:
- Laptops now feature strong performance power without weighing a ton from excess hardware
- Cloud services allow users to send data to online storage
- As more and more people telecommute, desktops seem to make less sense
Despite the developments in mobile devices, many believe it will be a long time before business users shift completely to mobile devises over laptops or desktops. Desktops have a longer lifespan than laptops, but they limit the mobility of the user.
Desktops for Entertainment and Work
One of the key markets that will play a role in the lifespan of desktops is gamers. They benefit from the customization options desktops offer and require systems that are high-speed with strong 3D graphics. Smartphones, tablets and laptops will improve, but they will still be far from the ability of a desktop.
Another feature of desktops that appeals to gamers and other communities is the ability to easily fix and upgrade parts on a desktop. Laptops have some upgrade ability, but tablets are far behind.
Desktops allows users to operate numerous open windows simultaneously and run multiple monitors when necessary. Gaining single screen access to multiple browsers, photo editing software, social media, and word processing at the same time is essential for many people in the business world and a desktop is still the best (and in some cases only) way to do this.
Finally, and perhaps is the biggest argument in support of desktops never leaving the market? The devastation of a shattered screen is extremely unlikely. Anyone who knows the devastation of dropping their smartphone, tablet or laptop understands the security offered by a desktop computer.
Are we on our way to a desktop-free world? Only time will tell, but most agree it isn’t going to happen in the immediate future.
The Internet changes frequently and over time, has become more and more adept at helping the average person find the information needed to make important decisions. What does the online future hold and what should your law firm focus on in 2014 to make the most of your online marketing opportunities?
The Internet is one of the most valuable tools consumers have at their disposal for conducting research, so to give the impression of being a successful firm, you must make sure you are using professional online marketing to your advantage. In today’s digitally connected world that means a website for both the desktop users AND a mobile optimized website.
Website design is one of the most important factors for building a strong online reputation for your firm. A high-quality professionally designed website says a lot about the quality of service your firm provides. It enables your visitors to access the information they want in a quick intuitive manner, creating a strong engaging user experience.
More and more people these days are using mobile devices to access the Internet. Recent estimates show about half of all Americans use smartphones and about a quarter of the population owns a tablet. With so many people using these PC and laptop alternatives, website owners must ensure their site is capable of performing properly on a mobile device. Experts say that before too long almost all internet access will be done through a mobile devise. Will your website be prepared to render the proper mobile-optimized user experience on these mobile devises?
In addition to having a desktop site that looks good and functions on a mobile device, you must also make sure your firm’s site is secure on these devices. You must do all you can to ensure your website is not hacked and it is secure. The most up-to-date options include protection from mobile data loss and threats specifically targeting tablets and smartphones. Security should also include reduced risk for lost or stolen devices, including unauthorized access, and data leakage from employee-owned devices. Finally, the best security systems offer equal protection for desktops, iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones, and Androids. However no system will ever be 100% secure, at best it will only deter the hackers.
Content and Design Revisions for Older Sites
Finally, consider if it is time to update your desktop site’s content and design. Aside from general updates of information, you might also need desktop software upgrades and updates to make the site compatible with today’s devices. Things like typography, interactivity, and format all effect a site’s usability on a mobile device. Responsive web design will continue to be a trend in 2014 because so many people are transitioning to mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the Internet. Content will continue to be an issue for optimization, too, so if it’s been awhile since your last revision, now is the time to get started.
If you want to learn more about the latest design trends for 2014 or you are ready for a site upgrade or simple evaluation, let us know. We can help you get your site ready for the next phase in Internet marketing.
Have website marketing, website security or SEO questions, just email or call us for answers at 516-238-5252.
In case you missed this, here are 50 Simple Ways You Can Market Your Law Firm’s Practice originally published by the ABA. This is an excellent online article with some very worthwhile and easily enacted upon marketing ideas. Read the full story here ABAJournal.com
While many of these 50 points fall under the “common sense” category, we do not always remember to utilize tactics like these when working to build our businesses.
A few of my favorites:
4.) If you have a practice-related blog, write posts with information that’s truly useful to business targets. More often than not, that doesn’t include descriptions of how competent you or your firm are.
17.) People sometimes need to be convinced that their legal problem is severe enough to hire you, and it’s up to you to persuade them. That said, turning someone away when they really don’t need a lawyer is good for business, too. It’s a good way to build trust.
19.) Install Google Analytics on your website. It details what search terms got people to your site and how long they stayed there. You can also use it to determine popular search terms, and put the terms that relate to your practice on your website.
27.) If you have a website (and you should), have a blog, too. Add new content daily, because Google algorithms give more prominence to sites with fresh, original content. The content doesn’t have to be in the form of a long, researched post. A paragraph or two, with a recent link to something interesting and relevant to your practice, will get you the same amount of traffic-if not more-than longer posts.
44.) A few good questions to ask people you meet in networking situations: What got you started in this line of work? What are you working on? How are things going with your business in this economy?
Let us know which of the 50 points you found most interesting, new and useful.
The World Science Festival has produced a most interesting 3 minute video clearly illustrating the way in which the Internet works showing how your computer’s browser finds and puts those web pages on your monitor’s screen.
According to their website… “The video lets you ride shotgun with a packet of data-one of trillions involved in the trillions of Internet interactions that happen every second. Look deep beneath the surface of the most basic Internet transaction, and follow the packet as it flows from your fingertips, through circuits, wires, and cables, to a host server, and then back again, all in less than a second.”
Worth your time to watch it here: How The Internet Works