In October of last year I flew to Texas to attend what is called Project Bar-B-Q. It is promoted as "The premier interactive music think tank" and that pretty much sums it up. It is a gathering of 50 people from the computer audio and music industries to talk about the future of computer-oriented audio. Some of the topics this year covered audio for games, the quality of audio coming from PCs, standards for software/hardware interfaces, DRM, etc. I found it a very useful conference. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of people in the industry and learn about a lot of exciting trends. If you are involved in PC audio or music, consider attending. It's well worth your time.
The reports from the 2006 are finally available. I was a participant in the working group and editor of the report on audio system configuration. My particular group had a wide variety of participants from companies involved in codecs, pc systems, software (me), and microphones. We discussed what it would take to make configuration of audio simple for a variety of scenarios including home theater and laptop communications. You can find our report here.