State Of The Desktop PC

“Although worldwide desktop shipments are expected to drop up to 15% on year in 2015, the volume in 2016 is only expected to decline less than 7% in 2016 thanks to increasing demand for high-end gaming, professional workstation and embedded-related products, while mini PCs are also expected to see stable demand, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.”
 
See Worldwide desktop shipment decline to shrink from 15% in 2015 to 7% in 2016
Chuckle. The sycophants of M$ clinging to straws around the sinking ship keep hoping for recovery of the monopoly. Example: Digitimes describing a 15% drop in 2015 of legacy PC shipments and a forecast 7% drop in 2016 as “declines”… Meanwhile they call shipments of mini-PCs as “stable” when growth is ~30% per annum. Yeah, they are in denial.

Reality is happening. Most of us don’t need huge expensive PCs to do stuff. Hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion, need only a smartphone to do all their IT. They are free of the Wintel monopoly.

Now, about those mini-PCs. Some of them have 4gB RAM, a built-in flash drive, octa-core CPU, */Linux and gigabit/s+ networking. Are we there yet? Nope. I predict this state of affairs will continue until the Wintel monopoly is a faint memory in the older generation. The young folks have moved on whether the old guys think so or not.

So, consumers have choice and Wintel shrinks. I love it.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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31 Responses to State Of The Desktop PC

  1. ram says:

    Further, Google does allow webmasters considerable choice on which ads with respect to which industry and subject material can run on their servers. It takes a bit of cooperation and work on the part of both the webmaster running the ads on their servers and Google, but eventually (if one is not lazy), one can get there.

    Yes Google does provide quite a variety of distasteful ads, but it is up to the webmaster of the servers to decline the money in exchange for running them. I’d say the deal is fair, although I would prefer is Google was a bit more responsive — but they do get to things eventually.

  2. kurkosdr wrote, “Nobody checks any claims made by ads served via Google Ads, and this is not an accident, it’s how Google’s entire business model works.”

    No, that’s how the web works. There is no censorship of anything unless specific countries regulate it. It’s a lot like free speech.

  3. kurkosdr says:

    Many syndicators of ads that pay for placement, and not just Google, are running tobacco, liquor, gambling, and sex ads.

    You are aware that, of the 4 things you mention, 2 of them are legal in the civilized world (aka the non-Islamic world) and the other 2 are still legal in some countries and states.

    No dear ram, what Google is doing with Google Ads is something much more unethical. They host Ads for miracle devices (“washing balls”, “electricity economizers” etc), miracle cures and outright Ponzi schemes, aka ads that have been banned from traditional outlets such as TV. The whole business model of Google is based on the fact nobody checks the ads that go through Google Ads with Google hiding behind TOS and consumer protection being thrown out of the window. Sometimes, the ads themselves (not the landing page) had malware, with Google hiding behind the TOS and pretending nothing happened. Screw consumer protection! Not to mention most of the in-app Google Ads feature rogue antivirus program (the “your smartphone is infected!!11” thing). Again, screw consumer protection. Nobody checks any claims made by ads served via Google Ads, and this is not an accident, it’s how Google’s entire business model works.

  4. ram says:

    ISP’s could block them, one can set up routers to block them, and a fair number of browsers now block them by default (e.g. FireFox).

    The whole on-line ad business is getting nasty. Many syndicators of ads that pay for placement, and not just Google, are running tobacco, liquor, gambling, and sex ads. It is starting to look like Las Vegas!

  5. kurkosdr says:

    Google ads does have some problems. It does seem that Google is trying (albeit slowly) to fix them.

    Captain understatement.

    So you agree that ISPs could block those ads, like iOS is already doing, and users would be glad this scam sewer has been shut? I mean, iOS users are already enjoying a better battery life and not being sent to landing pages for scams on their iThings. Ask them how much they miss Google Ads…

  6. ram says:

    Google ads does have some problems. It does seem that Google is trying (albeit slowly) to fix them.

  7. kurkosdr says:

    but most of the world loves Google and there would be uproar to block a particular business from the web.

    Even if people love Google, they do not love Google Ads, because it’s the home of scams (see my previous post) and malware. In fact, there were cases when Google Ads themselves (not the landing page) served malware (exploits).

    Google sez that it’s not their problem. I say that all it takes is some ISP to copy the iOS playbook when it comes which ads are allowed, and the Google will be forced to be a responsible citizen and hire manpower to curare their ads. And that will be the end of Google using ill-gotten revenue from scam ads to fund their R&D dreams while hiding behind terms of service.

    BTW I still haven’t stomached that legitimate businesses have no problem putting their ads next to the other Google Ads. I think this thought is what led Ballmer to predict that Google stock would tank. He underestimated people’s and businesses’ tolerance to shady-ness. And then made Microsoft online services a bland copy of this.

  8. kurkosdr wrote, “All it takes is some ISP to give out routers that block this junk by default, and only let a small portion of pre-approved ads go through (and justfiy it as a security and anti-fraud measure).”

    Well, that could happen in USA, they are so screwed up about everything, but most of the world loves Google and there would be uproar to block a particular business from the web. Imagine if Google blocked access to its search engine from the same ISP… That ISP would go dark.

  9. kurkosdr says:

    Other than the advertising profit (massive) gained by Google, it’s hard to find a metric that indicates either one making substantial money as compared to, say, Windows 10.

    Since you mentioned it, and since I have no intention to spend more time trying to explain to Pog why an Android-on-the-desktop hackjob is not a good idea and why a device that ships with Android 4.4 or 5.1 will not run any hypothetical future Android-ChromeOS merge well, can I please shift the topic?

    Is anyone else inconvenienced by the fact all the R&D going on in Mountain View is funded by Google Ads? It’s not so much that they are ads, but the fact they are Google Ads, which bothers me. Have you seen Google Ads lately? When I surf with an Adblock-less browser, I see everything from miracle cures, miracle products and outright scams being served as Google Ads. When seeing Google Ads from an Android phone (for example when running an ad-supported app), you can even stumble upon ads that lead to malware (yes, the well known “your phone is infected!!11” thing). Google can’t even be bothered to clean their Google Ads service from malware targeting their own OS. What the f…

    The most popular mobile OS on the planet is funded by THIS? This is what inconveniences me. All it takes is some ISP to give out routers that block this junk by default, and only let a small portion of pre-approved ads go through (and justfiy it as a security and anti-fraud measure). In other words, what iOS is doing (and with iOS doing it, it teaches people that blocking uncurated ads like Google Ads is good).

    (in fact, Microsoft could pursue that opportunity… but all they could do is make a clone of Google Ads)

  10. DrLoser says:

    Android and ChromeOS individually, are already beating the socks off Windows.

    Any particular criterion in mind, Dog-Brain?

    Other than the advertising profit (massive) gained by Google, it’s hard to find a metric that indicates either one making substantial money as compared to, say, Windows 10.

  11. DrLoser says:

    And, yes, while the three year and out life cycle for desktops is a thing of the past, anyone who needs to get work done will eventually replace aging hardware with whatever is then the current state of the art as they see fit.

    Not quite fair, I think, olderman. After all, it appears that (despite many months of warbling), Robert’s replacement for the Beast turns out to be a half-built unreliable Chinese tractor.

    And, although he has never quite come out and admitted it, his replacements for dumpster-dived bits of wreckage masquerading as “smart thin clients” have yet to eventuate.

    Let’s not even mention the plausibility of Robert “investing” in a small smart eight-core mobile thingy. Because, to be honest, that will never happen.

    I have been rebuffed in my honest attempts to convince Mr Pogson of the advantages he would find in buying a $99 Kangaroo, for example. Docking station and all!

    Thing is, Pog seems to love telling everybody else (and I mean everybody. School children, municipal governments, everybody without exception) to buy some piece of dreck and spend their precious time making it work.

    The only exception here? Pog wouldn’t dream of opening his wallet and making this dreck work for himself.

  12. olderman says:

    “I think all the young folks are more familiar with smart thingies than legacy PCs these days.”

    NO doubt they are, but I will bet that most of them have some sort of traditional computer available – Especially if they are in school. My daughter and her boyfriend for instance have both a smart phone and portable PC’s. My acquaintances are similar in their usage. The one thing that you probably can say is that traditional desktop PC’s are probably going to be come a niche market populated by people like myself. And, yes, while the three year and out life cycle for desktops is a thing of the past, anyone who needs to get work done will eventually replace aging hardware with whatever is then the current state of the art as they see fit.

    And I will also bet very good money that it will be neither an Android OS driven system nor a system running RPMOO (Robert Pogson’s Mandatory Operating system).

    Have a Happy New Year!

  13. dougman wrote, “Younger generations, who have grown up with access Android, Google and ChromeOS, will want to use these devices/systems when they enter the workforce, which is not to far off.”

    I’m just amazed that our visitors at one of the Christmas parties were familiar with ChromeCast and just whipped out their smartphones to make the giant TV sing and dance. They bypassed the karaoke gadget we had attached and did all kinds of things from smartphones. They didn’t even need to get out of their chairs… Wireless is the new LAN. Smart thingies are the new PCs. I think all the young folks are more familiar with smart thingies than legacy PCs these days. That’s why sales of legacy units keep declining. Folks don’t think of replacing existing units until they die and they don’t automatically replace them any more than they expect the corpse to sing and dance at a funeral.

  14. Deaf Spy wrote, “Whom amongst all here, except for him, has ever run such an Android device as desktop?”

    I have. For browsing it works for me. TLW has a large-screen TV in her tiny office. That’s scary but it works. It’s possible we could hook that screen to a shiny new ARMed box sooner rather than later. The chief difficulty is getting the system into the right mode past a bunch of button-presses on the remote. The browser’s buried pretty deeply. That will be fixed if I set up a tiny new box made for the purpose.

  15. kurkosdr says:

    I have people = I hate people

  16. kurkosdr says:

    Whom amongst all here, except for him, has ever run such an Android device as desktop? Anyone?

    I am particularly insisting on that question because when it comes to FOSSies, we are talking about people who got all ‘fessed up when Canonical inserted some touch elements in the UI of their OS, and yet those same people are recommending to other people an OS where *everything* is designed for touch. In fact, some functionality like zooming is downright broken without touch, because some apps offer only pinch-to-zoom and no dedicated zoom button. Plus all kinds of movements which are nonsensial when done with a mouse.

    But hey, Android-on-the-desktop is a product for the rest of them. So, FOSS wizards get to see Enlightenment(tm) using Debian or Arch (or Trisquel, if you want to hit two birds with one stone and get Enlightenment(tm) and TrueFreedom(tm)) while the unworthy plebs who ignored Enlightenment(tm) all those years can use Android-on-the-desktop to wean their pathetic existence of the MS monopoly.

    I have people who “liberate” others without consent…. And of those, groups who call themselves “freedom fighters” are the worst ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399295/quotes?item=qt0403303 )

  17. Deaf Spy says:

    kurkosdr raises a very valid point.

    Whom amongst all here, except for him, has ever run such an Android device as desktop? Anyone?

  18. dougman says:

    Android and ChromeOS individually, are already beating the socks off Windows.

    Younger generations, who have grown up with access Android, Google and ChromeOS, will want to use these devices/systems when they enter the workforce, which is not to far off.

    Windows? Oh that’s the POS that my grandparents and parents sometimes use that always breaks. That crap was written like 30-years ago and is old as the hills.

  19. kurkosdr wrote, “this shows what FOSSies really think of Ubuntu and Mint and the rest of the GNU/Linux. They think a hypothetical future Android and ChromeOS merge by Google has better chances at beating Windows than the already existing GNU/Linux distros.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HOOO! Gasp!

    That’s so funny. These devices won’t run That Other OS but they will run */Linux. Proprietary software? The kernel video driver for several of these devices is on Kernel.org under GPLv2.

    linux-4.4-rc7/drivers/gpu/drm/rockchip
    linux-4.4-rc7/drivers/gpu/drm/tegra
    linux-4.4-rc7/drivers/gpu/drm/imx
    linux-4.4-rc7/drivers/gpu/drm/exynos

    PowerVR is being reverse-engineered. Samsung, Rockchip, and others are contributing drivers to the kernel. And… you do know that there are billions of these devices out there without seemingly any problem with drivers? Why would a manufacturer make a device and then prevent the world from using it? That doesn’t make any sense.

  20. kurkosdr says:

    The merging of ChromeOS and Android will fix all that, however you are missing the obvious point. You own the hardware and you can update the OS as you see fit.

    Haha… no.

    1) Every new form factor that Android introduces (aka, besides the traditional phone and tablets) contains significant amounts of proprietary software that is essential for it to work. So, “baking” a ROM for your hardware and uploading it is breaking the law. What makes you think Android Desktop won’t follow the example of Android TV, Android Wear and Android Auto?

    2) Each and every of the three Android “MiniPCs” Pogson links to doesn’t even run the latest version of Android (6.0) and two of the three run freaking KitKat (a version that’s two years old). Can you point me to a working ROM for Marshmallow for those three devices? (no you can’t, there isn’t one that is working)
    What makes you think those three devices will run the Android and ChromeOS merge from the future you are hypothesizing? To put it bluntly to you, what makes you think the SoC will work with that hypothetical Android and ChromeOS merge well, when it has to ship with already old Android versions? Huh? Sure, it will “work” in the same way Android ICS phones work with Lollipop unofficial ROMs, full of bugs and crashes and missing hardware support. Meh…

    The point is, even if an Android and ChromeOS merge happens, those devices will either not be able to run it (because the source won’t be released), or, if the source does get released, they will not run it decently because the brain-dead SoC used has to ship with already-old versions.

    Meanwhile, most people can just purchase a Compute Stick or NUC and have a working desktop computer right now that takes advantage of the library of mouse-friendly software available for Windows, or if you want to limit your software choices, Ubuntu 14.04. Which however still provides a ton of more mouse-friendly software compared to Android-on-the-desktop. And you know why? Because using Ubuntu 14.04 as a desktop OS is something the OS vendor actually recommends you to do! So the basics will at least work the way a mouse-using person expects them to.

    Unless of course you get your advice from a certain dude who jubilates over “ARMed” computers and you buy a device with a useless ARM SoC which runs Android for phones and tablets shoehorned on the desktop, and whose manufacturer can’t even be bothered to make it run the latest Android version. A device which even Pogson himself won’t buy.

    My point is that those devices are useless Alibaba and Banggood junk not good for anything beyond a cheap Kodi box (except the one without a remote, which is junk not good for anything period).

    If you want an Android and ChromeOS merge, you have to wait.

    …aaand this shows what FOSSies really think of Ubuntu and Mint and the rest of the GNU/Linux. They think a hypothetical future Android and ChromeOS merge by Google has better chances at beating Windows than the already existing GNU/Linux distros. The Holy GNU is sad…

  21. dougman says:

    Re: So, the final point is that Pogson, by recommending Android “MiniPCs” to his readers right now is doing them a disservice, because they will be stuck with a version of Android that isn’t intended to do desktop or mouse users.

    The merging of ChromeOS and Android will fix all that, however you are missing the obvious point. You own the hardware and you can update the OS a you see fit.

  22. kurkosdr says:

    So, the final point is that Pogson, by recommending Android “MiniPCs” to his readers right now is doing them a disservice, because they will be stuck with a version of Android that isn’t intended to do desktop or mouse users.

    Bonus: What’s the difference between Android TV and OS X from a FOSS perspective, with both being half-proprietary OSes based on some FOSS unseepinnings? The Android TV source that’s not common with Android is proprietary, hence you can’t compile an Android TV ROM from the Android source, much like you can’t make OS X out of Darwin. Same question for Android Auto and Android Wear.

  23. kurkosdr says:

    kurkosdr is grasping as straws off the top of his head… That makes him a scarecrow, hoping to scare people off the Android/Linux platform (Microsoft coined that word). The only thing worse than the truth is half of it. kurkosdr is a fountain of it. That and just plain making stuff up.

    Yet another dude who has never really used Android-on-the-Desktop, but salivates about it beating Windows Desktop.

    Oh, so you have used it? Tell me what your setup is, and what apps you use to hack around any issues you may had.

    BTW, I like my Nexus Player streamer, USB media player and microconsole thingie (Android TV), but it is NOT a desktop. Even though I have connected a wireless mouse using USB-OTG hub (the seller was kind enough to give them with the device for free, otherwise I wouldn’t bother). You still run into the problem of apps like Chrome being optimized for touch, requiring all kinds of nonsensial-for-a-mouse-user movements. I use Chrome on my Nexus Player when the Windows PC is off to quickly check something, but it’s not a desktop and it will not replace the Windows PC. But Android TV is good for my TV, so I like that.

    The take home message: Android Desktop (not Android-on-the-desktop) will happen when Google wants it to happen, it will not happen because some no-name manufacturer shoved Android on a box with USB ports. Just like Android TV happened when Google wanted it to happen. In fact, all those current Android “MiniPCs” will not officially get the version of Android that does desktop properly, much like those Android 4.4 boxes never got Android TV. It’s half- proprietary code anyway so nobody can legally “bake” ROMs.

    So… There it is, the state of FOSSland in 2015. Hanging from Google, waiting of some half-FOSS half-proprietary operating system to take down evil Microsoft. Reminds me of that Big Bang Theory episode where Seldon sent Penny to get his toys back from a bully after failing to do it alone and after he got them back yelled “we did it!”.

  24. DrLoser says:

    The only thing worse than the truth is half of it.

    Do, please, find the time to advert the rest of us when you can even manage 5% of the truth, matchrocket.

  25. matchrocket says:

    kurkosdr is grasping as straws off the top of his head… That makes him a scarecrow, hoping to scare people off the Android/Linux platform (Microsoft coined that word). The only thing worse than the truth is half of it. kurkosdr is a fountain of it. That and just plain making stuff up. Don’t worry too much kurkosdr. There’s nothing you can do about it. People know what they want and they see their friends using Android/Linux devices with no problems. They will purchase them too. Good luck with your ranting and raving.

  26. kurkosdr says:

    making a desktop our of Android = making a desktop out of Android

  27. kurkosdr says:

    Was it an “Android TV” or “plain Android with a mouse or remote control attached”?

    If your device is “Android TV”, you lose the Google Docs and Microsoft Office apps because “Android TV” needs apps specifically ported for it, and neither Google Docs nor Microsoft Office have been ported to Android TV. No, Polaris Office or WPS Office haven’t been ported either. You have no office suite. Your only browser is someone’s hacks over Firefox for Android ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=lex.com.webbrowser ) or Google Chrome which works only with a mouse (the only Android app to be officially available in the Play Store without being ported to Android TV). I know you can sideload things, but quite honestly I didn’t try. And if it’s not in the Play Store, most people won’t bother either. On the bright side, you get perfect youtube/netflix/google movies/etc apps which work with a remote control. And neat casual games that work with a remote (though the more advanced ones require a gamepad)

    If your device is “plain Android with a mouse or remote control attached”, this is what happens: You get Google Docs and Microsoft Office, but with a touch-friendly interface that’s really horrible for mouse usage, you get a horrible launcher which you can navigate only with a mouse, and -here is the kicker- since every google app thinks your device is a tablet, you get served versions of YouTube, Google Movies and Netflix that work ONLY with a mouse, not a remote control. And I don’t even know if you can download the proper, Android TV ones, because you are probably missing libraries. And yes, you can use the YouTube Kodi add-on to view YouTube, but it’s really lame compared to the real YouTube app.

    So, to recap:
    1)Android TV makes a kickass media streamer and casual gaming platform, but is bad as a desktop (but you shouldn’t care, it’s a streamer).
    2) Android-on-the-desktop is a quasi -desktop full of bugs (like scrolling changing orienation and bad keyboard support and games not seeing hardware keyboards) and a horrible media streamer.

    How do I know? I actually have experience on both specimens (I have a Nexus Player and an ODROID U3). Instead, all you have is playing around with an Android TV (i noticed how you avoided clarifying whether you own the Android TV you tested) and have NO experience with Android-on-the-desktop whatsoever (playing with a LiveCD for some minutes doesn’t count.

    And you know what? The market has decided. All the big brands (Sony, Asus, Philips etc) sell Android TV devices and don’t care about making a desktop our of Android (not before Google officially supports such thing), not caring about the wet dreams of freetards wanting to see Android on the desktoptaking out windows, while Android-on-the-desktop “MiniPCs” are obscure items sold on ebay and weird Asian sites, for people who want the absolute cheapest way to put Kodi in their TVs and little else.

    Also, my ODROID U-3 has been collecting dust in the drawer.After I figured out what can be hacked and what cannot be hacked-around, I found out I have no use for a lame quasi-desktop that forces me to do weird mouse movements because of the touch-centric UI. And if you had actually bought one of those MiniPCs you recommend, you would arrive to the same conclusion. But of course, you would never buy an Android MiniPC. At least the ODROID U3 will be converted to a cheap Xubuntu box for downloads, those Android MiniPCs have no baked Xubuntu images (with GPU drivers and all), so they are “married” to Android. This is why you would never buy one. But you happily recommend it to people. In a sense, you are like those salesmen who sell “electricity economizers” and “washing balls” but never purchase any of their fine goods for themselves. Think I misjudged you on that last one? Prove me wrong and buy one of the three Android-on-desktop devices you so much recommend. Do it! I will even let you install GNU/Linux on them for your extra amusement (again, this has to be done without any support from the manufacturer).

    It’s the device that’s important here. The OS can be changed/updated

    Also, the device (hardware) is NOT what matters. People want integrated stuff. Unless we are talking about devices sold on weird Asian sites most people (including Asians) will never care about. Now, I do not want to pretend guys who flash ROMs and install gnu/linux over Android don’t exist at all, but they are an ultra-niche and it’s not where “change in the market” will happen.

    what the legacy PC of a few years ago did for folks: replace the typewriter and browse the web.
    I will not comment on this absurdity, just so you can’t derail the conversation. But I will just point out that Android-on-the-desktop fails even on that basic premise. Chrome is not Chrome but the touch-version, for example.

  28. DrLoser says:

    OK, out of those three.

    Which one would you buy for “the little woman?”

    An innocent ask, I feel.

  29. kurkosdr wrote, “claiming that Android MiniPCs are a viable solution today is silly.”

    I have used a TV with Android built in. It’s very useful for the kind of work one does with Android/Linux. For a desktop, I would recommend the GNU/Linux + Android kinds or install GNU/Linux over Android. It’s the device that’s important here. The OS can be changed/updated. We have for ~$100 machines that can do more and better what the legacy PC of a few years ago did for folks: replace the typewriter and browse the web. Linux works well with keyboards. Many of the folks who sell mini-PCs make much of their money selling wireless keyboards/monitors/and other gadgets to go with. Several recommend adding keyboard and mouse. That makes it a desktop IMHO even if it’s Android. The Android 5 things do have multiple screens/windows. Why not? They have an abundance of RAM and CPU power to spare.

  30. kurkosdr says:

    Show Open Apps = Show All Apps (sorry)

  31. kurkosdr says:

    You know a person hasn’t spent some time with Android-on-the-desktop when he is recommending it for casual usage, or for anything more than a cute experiment or a cheap Kodi box (managed with a remote-control once Kodi has started, or better yet make Kodi auto-start with the OS).

    I have tried Android on the desktop. For real, not some android-x86 image which I live-CD-booted, played around a bit with and forgot completely. Here are my findings:

    1) The touch-centric interface doesn’t work well. At least with Windows 8.x you can install Classic Shell Start Menu and have good old Windows 7 (minus Aero). Windows 10 is not as good, with it being an unholy mix of metro and desktop, but it’s still miles and miles better than Android. Which brings me to:

    2) Mouse support is buggy and amateurish in Android. The scroll wheel sometimes behaves as you expect (inside Chrome), sometimes it’s inverse like on the new OS X (inside Play Store). It just differs from app-to-app. Context menus are activated by long pressing the left-click, right-click is the back button.

    3) The screen doesn’t scale well for sizes above 10-inches. You get giant lists, giant letters, giant textboxes, finger-friendly gestures such as swiping etc On most apps, third-party or not. I never figured out how to pinch-and-zoom with a mouse for apps that don’t offer a zoom button.

    4) Hardware keyboard support is hit-and-miss for some languages, for example I couldn’t make the Greek acute accent symbol (τόνος) to show up in Chrome properly, but it worked in the “Browser” app. It works with the virtual keyboard so it’s not a font issue. Before someone says something like “blah blah I am an monolingual USAian and only want to type English”, let me remind you that Pogson recommends Android miniPCs for the developing world, who probably do not speak only English.

    5) Had to download an extra app ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andmarios.greekhwkeyboard ) just to be able to write Greek at all, because the language was not in the layouts list. The narrow list of OS-provided layouts for hardware keyboards in Android shows just how amateurish hardware keyboard support in Android it is. It also shows that Pog is recommending to other people to use Android in a configuration (Desktop-MiniPC) even the vendor of the OS clouldn’t care less about. For casual usage. Uh-oh

    6) Lack of any official multi-windows or split-screen whatsoever

    7) Most games don’t do hardware keyboards, with the sole exception of Beach Buggy Blitz and a couple others. For some games you can hack it around by downloading TinCore Keymapper and map hardware buttons to touch controls, but some games like the Need For Speed games won’t even work with that.

    8) No keyboard shortcut for Home and Show Open Apps (at least not a documented one). You have to use the on-screen buttons.

    Dear Pogson: Notice how the above post has links to tips, apps and hacks related to Android-on-the-Desktop? This is how a poss by someone who has experience on the thing (aka by someone with a healthy disrespect for the idea of using Android as a desktop in MiniPCs) actually looka like. Instead, you have no real experience on the matter, and all your posts are about Beast, which runs GNU/Linux, not Android.

    Maybe google will get around to putting Android on the desktop next year or the year after that, and when that happens I ‘ll happily make a revised post with updated info. But claiming that Android MiniPCs are a viable solution today is silly. Much less that they are a viable alternatives to Windows or GNU/Linux. In fact, they are not an altenative even to Android tablets.

    Also, never buy an Android “MiniPC” without a remote control. Since Android MiniPC are essentially only good as cheap Kodi boxes, selling those Android MiniPCs as “desktops” is a trick by sleazy sellers to avoid including a remote control in the package and nothing else. I see that 2 of the 3 devices you link do have a remote control, so their sellers are honest enough to not try to convince buyers that their devices make good desktops.

    Bonus content: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/12/android-on-the-desktop-not-really-good-but-better-than-youd-think/

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