Third quarter computer shipment figures are just in and we have finally passed a significant albeit inevitable milestone on the road to ubiquitous mobile computing and connectivity - the notebook has finally taken over from the desktop as the most popular computing platform, Fuelled by the success of the exploding netbook market, global notebook PC shipments rose to 38.6 million units in Q3 while desktop PC shipments declined 38.5 million units. In taking over as the primary computing form factor, the notebook is probably just holding the baton for a few years before its constituent sub-set of netbooks dominates the market. The emergence of the cut down, lightweight, cloud computing netbook has been the big story of 2008. Just 500,000 netbooks were sold in 2007, yet over 10 million will be sold this year and IDC predicts 40 million units by 2012. It has taken just 60 years to squeeze a computer which filled a room into a usable form factor of less then 1 kilogram and a price less than a weekly wage. One wonders what the next decade holds in store for us.
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