2009's key Windows and PC trends

Randall C. Kennedy looks back at technologies and events that shaped the enterprise desktop

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Netbooks in business: When I first wrote about business-class netbooks, the idea was still relegated to the IT fringe. However, as the economy continues to lag, IT shops are discovering that, for many users, a beefy netbook is really all they need, allowing them to refresh their installed base while conserving scarce budget dollars.

Meanwhile, I've personally explored the limits of the netbook lifestyle, spending months at a time with a business-class netbook as my only system. Though there have been compromises along the way -- tabbed browsing plus heavy Adobe Flash animation tends to overwhelm the underpowered Atom CPU -- the convenience of long battery life and true, toss-it-in-your-briefcase portability has sold me on the business netbook form factor. Never again will I force myself to lug a 10- or 12-pound "mobile" workstation through airport security.

Closing thoughts: 2009 was an interesting year in IT. There was some genuine innovation; however, it was tempered by a shift toward the value side of the cost-performance equation. Looking forward, 2010 should be an equally interesting year, and covering the arrival of Office 2010 and Google's Chrome OS are already marked on my to-do list. In the meantime, I wish all of my readers a wonderful holiday season and a bright, hopeful new year.

This article, "2009's key Windows and PC trends," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments on Windows 7, netbooks, and multicore processing at InfoWorld.com.

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