The chances are that your PC is starting to look dated. The hard drive's getting crowded, the processor may be lagging and that 17in screen no longer looks so impressive when set against the 19in and 20in models now selling for a pittance.

But look at your previous PC and you’ll see how far technology has come, driven by demanding software and innovative hardware. Such progress means the beige box sitting sheepishly in your study is now something of an embarrassment.

So with computing advancing so quickly in such a short period of time, how will your PC look in five years' time? It's an almost impossible question for most computer users to answer, but what about those who work in the research labs at the world’s top IT firms? Over the following pages, we reveal their views on the changing shape, form and capabilities of the PC.

We've spoken to Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Hitachi, nVidia, ATI and others to find out what they're planning to bring to your desktop, living room and shoulder bag in five years' time. It’s PC Advisor’s exclusive look into the future.

We predict that you can look forward to using a PC with enough cores to make Intel's four-core chip seem a laggard, sufficient media capabilities to render your current setup obsolete and enough storage to hold your growing number of rich-media files. And when you’ve finished, try not to sneer at your current PC setup – you're stuck with it for now…

The future of desktop PCs

The future of storage

The future of operating systems

The future of entertainment PCs

The future of processors

The future of screens and graphics

The future of computing: the odds