Will portables outpace PCs?

Will portables outpace PCs?

Portable information devices will rival PCs for computing, networking and entertainment use by 2003, the George Washington University Forecast of Technology and Strategy predicted last month.

That was the No. 1 trend identified in the university's top 10 list of tech trends, posted on the Web at www.gwforecast.gw.edu. The university site tracks the outlook for about 100 emerging technologies by polling scientists and academics in various fields.

About a third of industrialized populations will shift to portable devices for surfing the Web, sending e-mail and documents, and making conference calls by 2003, the forecast said. The No. 4 trend was mass customization like that pioneered by Dell Computer Corp. for PC ordering.

The forecast said such virtual custom shopping would amount to a third of the U.S. economy by 2007.

The No. 5 trend was so-called teleliving, or watching large wall monitors at work and home to follow streams of information, by 2010. No. 6 was the evolution of sophisticated software assistants to write documents, manage files and screen calls, by 2007.

'Christopher J. Dorobek, Susan M. Menke and Tony Lee Orr

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