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Gartner predicts biggest change in PCs for a generation

Well, for 20 years....

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Analysts at Gartner are predicting the next few months will see the biggest technology changes to PCs for 20 years. Because of this they say decisions made now will have an impact on operations for a decade.

The changes are in hardware, software, and in how technology is managed, the company has been telling delegates at its ITxpo conference in Florida this week.

Gartner research vice president Stephen Kleynhans said: "Vista is the largest and, potentially, the most disruptive change in operating system space since Windows 2000. Organisations will discover that Vista cannot be adopted without a careful examination of its impact..."

On the hardware side, Intel's release of chips based on Core architecture means traditional measures of price and performance are useless.

Gartner predicts continued moves away from desktop computers to laptops - it believes corporate spending on notebooks will match that for desktops by 2008.

Management of machines will also change. Gartner predicts not just a blurring of lines between corporate and consumer computing, but that users will increasinly own their own equipment.

Gartner principal analyst Ranjit Atwal told the Reg: "There's a fundamental divide between IT departments and users - IT departments want to control and tie things down while users want to use their devices any way they like. But the next generation of users will demand more freedom. Virtualisation is one way round this - multiple footprints on one machine will give users freedom but keep control of company data."

Atwal believes Vista will be Microsoft's last big operating system launch: "There will be five flavours of Vista and in future it will be even more modular - more tailored to different users." ®

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