Penn Computing
Computing Menu Computing A-Z
Computing Home Information Systems & Computing Penn

Death of the Desktop

March 20, 2012 :: Shirley Ross, Information Systems & Computing

ISC’s Technology Support Services predicts 2012 marks the beginning of the end of the traditional desktop or notebook being used by 100% of the Penn community. Instead many students, faculty, and employees will be running Android, iOS, or something else on vastly different mobile devices from a wide range of providers. Familiar computing topics, behaviors, and standards that we’ve known and used for the past 25 years will be challenged. In today’s Mobile Age, technology manufacturers are focusing on individual consumers rather than enterprises, resulting in people bringing their own devices to work. Consider this: The “glamour” device of 2002 was the ThinkPad T20, which cost between $2,200 and $3,700. Penn researched, configured, and distributed it. Today’s “glamour” device is the third generation iPad, which costs between $500 and $850 and is researched and purchased by individual students, faculty, etc. These changes will impact vendor relations, software licensing, and security. The accelerating rate of change will continue to be a challenge: new desktop operating systems have a standard three-month “wait and see” period, but today’s mobile releases have a “wait and see” period closer to just one week. For more information, please go to or contact John Mulhern at mulhernj AT

News & Announcements
Computing Newsroom
ISC News - Recent news from ISC
ISC Events - ISC facilitates and supports IT events around campus
Keep up to date with ISC's Cloud First program

Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
Comments & Questions

University of Pennsylvania Penn Computing University of Pennsylvania Information Systems & Computing (ISC)
Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania