Personal computers, or PCs, may soon be a thing of the past--and sooner than technology companies once thought.
A new report from a technology research company says shipments of personal computers are lower than expected, though slightly higher than 2011. The company says the explosion of tablets and smartphones on the market are contributing to the decline, as we can now use them for e-mail, web browsing and social networking.
While PCs are still better for photo editing, word processing, and music creation, research is indicating that people are willing to make the trade-off for the convenience of tablets and smartphones.
Relief for the PC industry could come when Microsoft Corp. releases a new version of Windows later this year and PC makers design more machines that combine the convenience of tablets with the utility of a laptop computer.
Researchers are uncertain if these offerings will be compelling enough to get buyers excited about PCs again.
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