Tablet growth impacting PC's future
A special report from research firm Gartner suggests that tablets, which are quickly picking up steam in both consumer and business sectors, are having a profound impact on people's computing habits and will reshape the way we interact with technology.
Gartner estimates that tablets are still 5 to 10 years away from mainstream acceptance. By that point, the tablet will likely no longer be a novelty or a technology used by the select few, but a media device that has become nearly as commonplace as the laptop or desktop PC.
With this growth, tablets will influence other areas of the PC market. For example, multitouch interfaces are already creeping into the computer market at large. Within the next decade, Gartner predicts, multitouch will become the standard interface for electronic devices and PCs.
Tablets may also go as far as replacing a number of electronic devices. This is already occurring among netbook computers, but it could eventually extend to devices used for gaming, watching video and various work tasks.
Several experts and industry observers note that the tablet's growth means PCs need to evolve to stay relevant. Developments in portability and productivity are currently underway, but whether these advances can spark new life into the PC market remains to be seen.