[opendtv] Re: IBM out of the PC business

  • From: "Kon Wilms" <kon@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 12:45:49 -0500

> In the glory days of the PC growth curve, people were upgrading at 
> 18-24 month intervals. PC shipment volumes were growing at double 
> digit rates for more than a decade.
> Now a PC can easily work for five years or more, and companies are 
> much more conservative about upgrading. And the only segment of the 
> "home" market that is still driving upgrades is the gamers.

Well lets move back to say, 1999. AMD was in K6-III land with the 400Mhz
chipset. Intel was on 450Mhz Pentium 3's. Server drives were at the 9Gb
SCSI-UW mark. In 1998 the clock speeds were 266-350Mhz - Pentium 2's and
K6's. Windows 98, Windows NT, and Redhat 5 were running on servers.
128Mb RAM was considered 'a lot'.

What do you think server folk are doing with the Win2k3 release? Running
it on a P3-450? Pfft.

Look, I'm sure you still have that Win98 box running at home, but just
because you have one doesn't mean everyone else does. You're wrong on
this one, sorry to say. Companies are conservative about upgrading these
days because of the economy and longer release cycles between windows
versions -- not because cellphones are popular.

You yourself say you have never owned a PC. It would probably be
accurate to guess you aren't working in a datacenter. Context. You have
none. The big push for datacenters as of late has been virtual machine
hosting. You can't do that on a 450Mhz CPU. Those were gone a long time ago.
> As for wireless phones and PDAs, the growth rates and replacement 
> cycles look more like the old PC business, except for one VERY 
> IMPORTANT factor. The phone guys have built product replacement into 
> the business model. We expect to get a new handset every few years, 

Microsoft, Intel, and the big software providers build in replacement by
way of software system requirement specs (it has always been this way).
Example - AOL client development is done on the latest and greatest PCs
-- so that users are not forced to upgrade, but will get a better
experience if they do. Schools and universities do budgetary upgrades to
keep in line with the 'real world'. This 'forces' the students to
consider upgrading their systems at home. Try teaching Java development
on a 450Mhz CPU - ain't gonna happen. Intel doesn't have a group devoted
to upping software system requirements to meet every new CPU release for
the heck of it. 

> month. The same thing is happening (although the replacement cycle is 
> longer) for the digital STBs needed for cable and DBS services.

Must be. I guess that's why most cable STB's are rentals and your
pre-1999 analog cable STB still works like a charm, huh? 
> IBM does not need to compete in the commodity marketplace...they make 
> far more money by adding value to computing services.

Obviously, because they couldn't even if they wanted to. Heck, Fujitsu
does better than they do.

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