Are desktop PCs going the way of the dinosaur? A recent market study seems to suggest they might be, reports MSNBC. "They have been, to a degree," says David Daoud, research manager for IDC’s U.S. Quarterly PC Tracker and Personal Systems. IDC’s latest report found that among all buying categories–consumers, as well as small and large businesses, government, and education–notebook shipments exceeded 55 percent in the third quarter, making it the first time "in the history of the industry" that desktop sales didn’t dominate as the PC of choice. Home users have been "ahead of the curve compared to the entire market for a long, long time now," he said. So far, this year, notebooks represent 64 percent of the consumer PCs shipped to the United States. The popularity of notebooks is owing, in part, to the continuing growth of wireless internet connections both inside the home and out, the mobility of laptops themselves, and their continuing price drops. Last year, the average price for a consumer notebook was $1,000; this year it’s $888, Daoud said. Desktop prices have dropped, too, of course. "Right now you can get a desktop for $300," he said, but "there’s really not room to lower those prices. It has reached a certain plateau, so it’s really not benefiting from price decreases as much as what we’re seeing on the laptop side." By 2012, laptops will account for more than 80 percent of the consumer market, he said…

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