No More Pencils, No More Bics

TravelNote C100, the new tablet PC from Acer

Moore's law holds that computers will continually get faster, but there's no corollary that says users will bother to buy them. Consumers no longer feel the need to upgrade to the latest hardware every time Intel unveils a speedier microprocessor or Microsoft releases a heftier version of Windows. According to the consumer technology-research firm Odyssey, home users nowadays are perfectly willing to go almost five years between PC purchases. Meanwhile, the computer industry, mired in its worst-ever sales slump, is desperate to dream up a compelling innovation that will put the forced back in forced obsolescence.

And that...

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