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Gartner: New tech will transform PCs

The personal computer is about to undergo a wave of technological advancements not seen in 20 years that will result in “fundamental changes” to PC architecture, according to analyst firm Gartner.

The research group said this progress was being driven by the shift toward a more user-centric environment, as customers demanded more consumer-like usage models that leverage technologies they already use on a day-to-day basis.

“Because of the scale of the changes and the speed at which they are happening, enterprises need to understand when major technology shifts will occur and when certain decisions must be made regarding technology implementations,” commented Stephen Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.

The firm has developed a road map that identifies changes in platform infrastructure, the adv-ent of virtualisation and the dawn of a user-centric era as the three stages that will characterise the industry between now and 2012.

It said over the next two years changes in hardware, operating systems (OS) and connectivity options, such as the release of Microsoft’s Vista OS and Intel’s Core microarchitecture processors, will mean companies need to focus on technical details to a degree that has not been necessary since the late 1990s.

“Organisations will discover that Vista cannot be adopted without a careful examination of its impact on their overall end-user management processes,” commented Kleynhans.

Between 2009 and 2010 the trend towards virtualising all aspects of the client management will begin to take hold as a means to “fundamentally” chan- ge management and security concepts, Gartner said.

It added that mainstream tools will begin to emerge that embrace and enable virtual, rather than physical, technologies for software deployment, environment management and device interactions.

One of the biggest challenges facing IT organisations that will take hold around 2011, Gartner claimed, is the blurring of the line between corporate and consumer platforms.
Users will demand a single computing environment that enables them to embrace multiple roles.

“Users will move seamlessly among the devices carrying their settings, as
well as transferring the state of their session as they move,” added Kleynhans.

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