Just when you think the concept of originality in the PC sector has been swapped for banality, everything gets turned on its head.
In the past two weeks, system builders' heads have been left spinning by the raft of new announcements flying.
From desktops to notebooks, the changes this year alone should help revolutionise a sector dogged by stagnating innovation and poor sales.
But following events at the recent Intel Developer Forum, notebook makers will have something new to offer.
Let's start with the Centrino mobile chip that provides five hours of battery life, if it's not running very intense networking applications.
Notebook users know that squeezing three hours out of their current device is as good as it gets. And this is not enough time for someone who relies on their mobile PC all of the time.
It's been this way for a while, but finally the Duracell notebook is about to be born.
By 12 March most of the big players will be launching notebooks based on the new chip.
To indicate just how starved of innovation the sector has been, Intel claims the demand for Centrino has been about four times higher than that for the Pentium M.
System builders can at last start making systems that are not constrained by the usual weight/performance/battery-life trade-off.
Intel also unveiled new notebook technology, including a polysilicon display that needs just 20 per cent of the power current screens use.
These will be in notebooks by next year. Overall, it's a good time to go mobile.
Things on the PC front have been stale for some time now. Apart from faster chips and tweaked internal components, not a lot has happened - at least nothing to change one of the most evil PC curses of all time: the system crash.
That might all change in the coming months with the arrival of Core Managed Environment (CME) from Phoenix Technologies.
The company behind the Bios software has branched out to offer a set of tools that will let system builders make more secure PCs.
Using a protected area of the hard disk drive, CME lets builders include system recovery software, security and internet access features which can be accessed after a system crash.
The notion that support disks could be loaded and accessed in the event of a crash has massive implications.
The cost to original equipment manufacturers and system builders will be just a few dollars and should not have an impact on the selling price of the finished product.
System builders are queuing up. Finally, we have the first miracle of 2003: good news in the PC sector.
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