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When trying to estimate whether or not notebook shipments will overtake desktops shipments, most IT analysts agree that it’s no longer a question of if, but when, it will happen.

While analysts disagree on the exact quarter or year when this crossover will occur, they do agree that the result will mark a significant shift in the way consumer and commercial users think about computing.

The major vendors—Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba and Apple—are beginning to shift their strategies to meet the needs of this new market with an emphasis on technology, style and ease of use.

“It’s been pretty drastic so far and you can see it in the types of form factor that are out there now,” said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC who follows the notebook market.

“We’re seeing a great variety out there with smaller notebooks, tablets, 13- and 14-inch portable PCs, 14- and 15-inch notebooks and just a very wide variety of form factors… There are a lot of things that manufactures are doing now and they have become much more flexible from a design standpoint.”

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