SAN FRANCISCO - The shift to smartphones and tablets became a landslide this year, crushing desire for laptop computers and pressuring manufacturers to adapt to the mobile Internet era.

The trend promised to gain momentum in 2013, with people using handheld gadgets to remain connected to the Web on the go and switching to sophisticated systems in homes or offices.

"Tablets will not kill PCs," Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett told AFP. "Tablets will force them to evolve."

Signs that the evolution is underway include Microsoft (IW 500/15) overhauling Windows to synch the world's most widely used computer operating system with tablets and smartphones as well as desktops and laptops.

Microsoft is even selling its own Surface tablet based on the Windows 8 software released in October.

"I don't think the PC is going away," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.

"What is clear is we are going through some turmoil; the market is resetting itself around new products."

While people opt for tablets instead of laptops for computing on the move, they will yearn for bigger screens and more processing power when they settle down for "real work," according to analysts.

"Your tablet can do so much that fewer people need laptops, but when you get to your desktop you want something that contrasts significantly from your tablet," Gillett said.

"I think we will ultimately see the reinvention of PCs."