For years, if computer users wished to have the greatest sound quality on their machines, they would install a sound card into their computers, but, in recent years, the integrated audio components of motherboards have been advancing, so I am wondering about the future of sound cards.

Will sound cards remain an appealing option for users who seek the best sound for their computers? Will they be able to remain competitive with integrated audio? Also, I am wondering about the specific case of Creative Labs, my favorite manufacturer of computer audio products and one of the early pioneers of computer audio with their Sound Blaster line; what does the future hold for them?

What does everyone else say about this? What does the future hold for sound cards?