The next PC upgrade cycle for consumers is likely to be driven by the demand for entertainment, PC games, photos, video and music, according to NYTimes.
As the average price of a new PC continues to fall – to $835 last year, roughly half the outlay of six years earlier – an army of power-hungry software programs are beginning to explode the boundaries of what those computers can do.
Those who see the tide turning make this case: high-performance applications like Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition are transforming computers into ever more sophisticated music studios, digital darkrooms and video-editing bays – even so-called entertainment servers that can record and play back television shows with the touch of a special remote control.
But such uses require up-to-date operating systems and processors. And the very volume of digital photos and music that consumers are using PC’s to store and transfer to and from other devices is also feeding a demand for bigger hard drives.
“An ever increasing multitasking lifestyle and a set of killer applications in music and video as stand-alone products are definitely driving greater appreciation for power,” said Ralph Bond, Intel’s consumer education manager. He said that owners of low-powered computers only three to five years old often face a phenomenon he calls the “multimedia oven”: the computer becomes so overwhelmed by a power-intensive task like making a music CD that it cannot do much else for an extended period.