The PowerPC has been "killed off as a desktop processor" The Guardian declares this morning.

Apple's announced move to abandon PowerPC and its RISC architecture effectively ends the history of the architecture on personal computers - though it still dominates the market for phones, PDAs and recent news from console games manufacturers shows it will soon dominate within that market as well.

The Guardian has published an in-depth look at the history of conflict between the PowerPC and x86 architectures, and reports: "The PC market now has no real (processor) competition". Intel has 80 per cent of that market, it claims.

But when the RISC architecture first emerged in 1987, its protagonists proclaimed it would wipe Intel from the desktop. Since then Acorn, HP, Sun, IBM, Motorola and Silicon Graphics have all delivered - and hyped - their PowerPC-based offerings.

Despite these attempts, the strategy has not delivered, it notes: "The Risc players thought they were going to replace Intel, but now Intel is replacing them."

"Technofreaks may be incensed, but it's what customers are voting for in the only way that counts - with their wallets," the report concludes.