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PC Makers Eye All-In-Ones In Living Rooms

3/26/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – The all-in-one (AIO) PC is
being credited with helping save the desktop
computer category, but the devices may
offer computer vendors a pathway to another
category: the TV.

This would not be the first time a computer
vendor tried to bully its way into the
television category. Hewlett-Packard, Gateway
and Dell all rolled out televisions over
the last decade, only to eventually pull out
of the category.

However, this time around the entry
would be more in response to TV vendors
introducing smart TVs, which offer the user
a walled Internet experience via widgets
supplied with the TV.

On the computer side of the equation, the
situation is now much different.

Frank Chang, Acer’s Pan America director
for desktops, said he would not be surprised
if long-term the AIO starts directly
competing in the smart-TV space. He pointed
to larger screen sizes coming online,
such as the 27-inch this year and larger
models in 2013.

These changes tied to the upcoming
Windows 8 operating
system, which is
designed for use on
touchscreens, and the
advent of gesture control
could make the
AIO into an even better
smart TV.

David Daoud, IDC’s PC and green IT research
director, said the AIO does have a
chance to nudge out the dedicated TV in
certain applications.

“Certainly there is room for AIOs to take
away from TV, in places like say kitchens,
bedrooms, etc. — a lot less in living rooms,”
he said, adding that the AIO’s touchscreen
gives them the advantage here.

In the living room, Daoud sees the situation
reversed, with smart and Internetconnected
TVs putting pressure on AIOs
and desktop computers. Here even the
limited web access will be enough for
most consumers as they will have some
Internet access and able to do activities
like Google TV or Google docs via a web
browser.

Daoud said PC vendors will have to figure
out to maximize touch technology in the
AIO for it to play in a living room setting,
and he still is not certain how Windows 8
will play in the AIO touch space.

While this could happen down the road,
right now smart TVs have not infringed upon
PC sales, said Xavier Lauwaert, Hewlett-
Packard’s manager, product marketing,
worldwide desktops.

“Smart TVs are not selling well now mainly
due to the limited web access,” he said.

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