Mobiles to push PCs aside at TechX

As if anyone needed further evidence that the PC industry is on the skids, consider that it can't even command its own trade show anymore.

As if anyone needed further evidence that the PC industry is on the skids, consider that it can't even command its own trade show anymore.

The long-running PC Expo program is now part of TechX NY, opening Tuesday in New York.

The name change is more than symbolic, as desktop PCs will be a low-priority item at the show. Attention instead will go to a range of devices, from tiny USB hubs to home entertainment products, PDAs and notebook computers.

"I don't see how slow sales is not going to affect people's enthusiasm" at the show, said Stephen Baker, a research director with NPD Intelect (formerly PC Data). "It just seems like you're going to see people being not as aggressive as they would have been" last year.

Coming during the worst year ever for desktop PC sales, the show is likely to reinforce that it's an increasingly mobile world we live in, with personal digital assistants (PDAs), notebooks and wireless products stealing the spotlight from desktop PCs.

PC makers Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba, for example, will all announce new notebooks at the show.

Compaq and Toshiba will announce a variety of systems based on Intel's Pentium III chip, and HP will officially launch a new Pavilion notebook using Advanced Micro Devices' 1GHz Athlon 4 notebook chip.

Palm, whose CEO, Carl Yankowski, will give the opening keynote address Tuesday morning, will announce new information about partnerships. Also on the PDA front, Sony is expected to announce a pair of new Clie devices at the show.

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