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Out of sight, but never out of mind: The new Desktop environment is evolving fast

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There’s a moment in the hit TV series about 1950s and 60s advertising, Mad Men, when the Madison Avenue firm installs a computer to analyze data. It’s the classic early behemoth: whirring tape reels, an array of flashing bulbs, big switches and buttons, and it fills an entire room.

A character stands at the doorway listening to the beeps and squeals of the valves as they process the code. He is impressed; “Gee, these computers are getting so small!” he says with a sense of wonder.

At around the same time, computer scientists and visionaries were looking into the future – the future we’ve been building for over a generation – and they talked about ‘ubiquitous computing’.

It sounded like science fiction, but it’s turned out to be a most definite scientific fact. The idea is simple: computers will be embedded in every aspect of our daily lives and the technology – the devices, sensors, connections, networks etc. – will be almost invisible.

We’ll be so used to using them and encountering them that we won’t see them. They’ll just work in the background and our interactions with computers will be seamless.

Don’t discount the desktop

The arrival of the smartphone, powerful broadband and Wi-Fi, the Internet of Things, and a burgeoning range of digital assistants is fulfilling that prophecy. But, the last area where that trend toward smaller, less visible, and more intuitive computing seems to be having an effect is the desktop.

And it’s actually the most important place. It’s where most of us do our work every day. If technology is increasingly ‘out of sight, but never out of mind,’ then it’s time that the same thing could be said of the desktop. It’s taken a while, but it’s happening.

Fujitsu’s ESPRIMO range has been a big part of the desktop’s journey over the last three decades. The models have been at the forefront of key landmarks in the evolution of the desktop PC; from steady improvements in energy efficiency to the reduction of noise and, of course, rising performance levels.

We’ve made good use of breakthroughs in graphics, chipsets and operating systems made across the entire ecosystem.

That’s why we believe that the ESPRIMO line-up is able to deliver what people want and need right now.

Our Human-Centric design principles are embodied by the ‘less is more’ principle: smaller, more compact devices, fewer wires, less clutter, and lower noise contribute to a more attractive, collaborative, and enjoyable workplace.

ESPRIMO – transforming the desktop setup in offices

ESPRIMO is all about making life easier and better for people at work. The range is key to the creation of what we call the ‘Future Workplace.’

A vision of a truly digital environment in which desks are clean, lean spaces which facilitate focus on the task in hand, be it creative, administrative, or technical. The work is what counts, not the technology.

So, our PCs are less obtrusive; they’re compact, leaner, and more attractive. But, critically, they’re also more powerful.

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They can run more applications effortlessly, deliver more processing power, and offer smoother graphics, thanks to the latest processors from Intel and (optional) NVIDIA graphics cards.

Mini PCs, for example, are relatively much smaller than tower or SFF PCs. That means you get more bang for the ounce, liter or gram; whichever way you measure it.

It isn’t all about ergonomics though – it’s also about sound business principles. I believe that’s what makes the ESPRIMO range so important.

It’s delivering on multiple fronts: better tools for people, the evolution of the workplace of the future, less clutter more focus, AND sustainability. ESPRIMO represents a step-change in energy consumption. That helps combat climate change – which is a fundamentally good thing – but at the same time, it saves your business cold, hard cash.

Every day, on every desktop, via every machine.

Being green makes business sense

The return on investment is a multiple one: reduced costs, increased productivity (higher revenues), and a boost to your corporate citizenship. The World Economic Forum recently pointed out that the combined ICT sector pumps 1.4 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year – 2.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and more than aviation.[1]

That desktop PC, those screens, and the array of mobile devices we use each day are contributing to global warming. Reducing their energy footprint makes a significant contribution to combatting climate change. That’s good in itself. But, as I’ve already stressed, it’s also good for business.

On the energy efficiency front, at Fujitsu we started with a target of 100 kWh/year in 2012 (average energy consumption over all shipments for typical configuration) and achieved 46.5 kWh in 2018 (basis ENERGY STAR® Version 5.0; from 2015 ENERGY STAR Version 6.0; from 2018 ENERGY STAR Version 7.1).

In 2019 the energy consumption target for our ESPRIMO devices is 45 kWh, and I am pretty sure that by the end of the year the actual number will be much lower.

In simple words, this indicates our commitment toward green technology – we set energy efficiency targets, which were anyway much lower than ENERGY STAR limit - 135 kWh/year, and consistently kept surpassing it over the last seven years.

The ESPRIMO PC products come with highly energy-efficient power supply units (with up to 94% efficient power supply). Many manufacturers claim to offer high levels of energy efficiency, but the data doesn’t usually back them up. We’ve worked hard to ensure that our machines deliver tangible results.

And when you think that a large organization might be purchasing 3,000 desktops at one time, then the more efficient energy usage will make a huge difference to its bills. Less cost means better margins. That makes a big difference in a tough trading environment.

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Invest for the long term

It’s a logical argument. Save the planet, reduce operating costs, boost profits. But that's not all: it’s also about improving the wellbeing of employees. Lower noise leads to reduced stress levels and better working conditions, and can eventually contribute to improved productivity and innovation.

Even our security measures make using the ESPRIMO range more ergonomic: PalmSecure offers a simple, secure, biometric (and hygienic) way for users to gain access to devices with a natural, very human movement of their hand. The world of work just opens up with a simple movement.

Over five to ten years the cost-benefits become very significant. It’s important to look at the ESPRIMO effect over the long-term; that’s when the real benefits accrue.

At Fujitsu, we are committed to eliminating the use of harmful and potentially harmful substances in our products as well as production processes. We use halogen-free printed circuit boards (PCBs) in our products and our mini-PCs use PVC-free cables with an option for PVC-free AC cable.

Recyclability is, of course, also important. We’re using more recyclable materials – like Low-Density Polyethylene which is much easier to re-form into a new product. And the majority of our products are recyclable once they’re obsolete.

Our EraseDisk technology enables you to hand over a desktop confident that there’ll be no data or personal information left on its hard drive. The EraseDisk functionality basically allows easy and secure recycling of end-user devices, such as PCs and workstations, and helps companies with compliance measures necessary in many industries. In addition, it also provides time and cost-savings and environmental benefits.

Check out the ESPRIMO range – it’s designed to help you evolve your workplace so it meets the demands of the present and the future AND deliver both hard business benefits in terms of costs and productivity whilst contributing to saving the planet.