The PC market among the under 15s will be split equally between standard and touch-screen units by 2015, according to new predictions from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that more than half of all PCs sold to users under the age of 15 will have touch screens, and that this will create the first real customer base for such devices as the long tail of legacy mouse use comes to an end.
However, while teenagers will rush to the devices, enterprise interest will be much less enthusiastic, according to Gartner.
"What we are going to see is the younger generation beginning to use touch-screen computers ahead of organisations," said Leslie Fiering, research vice president at Gartner.
"We are predicting that fewer than 10 per cent of PCs sold to organisations in 2015 for mainstream knowledge workers will have touch screens."
This growth will come about as more devices arrive on the market, and will be led by Apple's iPad and iPhone, along with touch-screen mobile phones and slate devices.
Gartner suggested that many schools will use touch-screen units as part of the education process, and that a lack of exposure to legacy ways of interacting with computers will also help adoption.
However, Gartner said that "muscle memory" associated with using a mouse and keyboard will make it hard for workers to transition to touch screens, at least in the short term.
"As with many recent technology advances, touch adoption will be led by consumers and only gradually accepted by the organisation," Fiering said.
"What will be different here is the expected widespread adoption of touch by education, so that an entire generation will graduate within the next 10 to 15 years for whom touch input is totally natural."
Gartner added that the change will be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, in the enterprise.
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