Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has predicted that personal computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system are in a permanent decline.
At the D: All Things Digital conference in Los Angeles, Jobs said Windows computers would decline in popularity as people used other means to connect to the internet, consume content and work.
Jobs was referring to the rapid spread of smartphones and other internet-connected devices, such Apple's newly-launched iPad, which he said would continue to evolve.
Jobs cited security issues, poor battery life and difficulty in use as drawbacks to the PC laptop.
His assertion has been met with support from executives and other technology and entertainment companies, according to the Financial Times.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, said he had stopped using a laptop in favour of an Apple iPad and a BlackBerry, made by Research in Motion (RIM).
Dan'l Lewin, the Microsoft executive who manages relations with Silicon Valley allies, said that many more types of hardware would come into use, but that this did not necessarily mean a decline in revenues for Microsoft as the number of users continued to increase.
Apple recently surpassed Microsoft in stock market value, marking a significant comeback this decade, which Jobs described as "surreal" after several failed products in the 1980s and 1990s.
In April, Apple reported 2010 second fiscal quarter revenue of $13.5bn and net quarterly profit of $3.07bn, a 90% increase in profit compared with the year before.
Apple sold 2.94 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing a 33% increase over the same quarter the year before. iPhone sales were up 131% to 8.75 million units.
Sales of Apple's iPad have continued to exceed expectations, with the company reporting more than two million units sold in just under two months since the product was launched.