Thanks to AnandTech, they have an amazing article on the evolution of the home computer. It seems that convergence and simplicity is in style!
Small Form Factor Article
The author had some interesting discussion with himself:
Regardless of the explanation, the fact remains that until recently, I had read plenty about SFF cases, but I had never actually touched one. Why would anyone want to spend more money for a system that had less expansion possibilities? I certainly couldn't see a reason for it! After all, if a new CPU socket came out, your case would now need to be replaced along with your motherboard and CPU.
Some thoughts on their evolution:
Things have slowed down now in terms of computer progress - at least from my perspective. It's also good to see that many of the truly bad examples of computer hardware have begun to fade away. Gone are the days (mostly) of spending hours trying to get a resource conflict resolved; or to get two machines to talk to each other over the network; or tweaking and hacking your config.sys and autoexec.bat files in the hope of optimizing memory usage so that some new program would run properly. Computers have now matured to the point where any person with a moderate level of computer knowledge and a willingness to learn would have little difficulty building a computer.
Overall, the article is great. It talks about the whole SFF computer phenomenon. Give it a read. You may want to ditch that desk-eating computer case and go small, once and for all! I've had my Shuttle SN41G2 for 20 months now. The longest I've owned a single computer... it's only had one teeny upgrade in this whole time, too!