[opendtv] Re: IBM out of the PC business

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 09:08:29 -0500

At 12:45 PM -0500 12/6/04, Kon Wilms wrote:
>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.

What have servers got to do with this discussion? This market is 
driven by entirely different dynamics than end users boxes, whether 
for business of home.

>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.

Not me. And not because cell phones are popular.

As I tried to point out, the cell phone industry has build the 
hardware upgrades into their business model. This is a nice benefit 
for the folks that make handsets. For a period of time the PC 
industry was trying to do the same thing with bloated software. But 
they've been on a diet for the past few years, as the the available 
MIPs and Storage have simple overwhelmed the ability of programmers 
to use these resources. Bottom line, people are NOT upgrading PCs as 
often as they needed to a decade ago.

>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.

This discussion had nothing to do with professional computing 
installations. Those are businesses unto themselves. The discussion 
was about the sale of PCs to end users. You can be certain that IBM 
is NOT abandoning the server market.

>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.

And your point is? A 450 MHz CPU still works fine for web browsing 
and e-mail in the kids room.

Anyone buying a new computer is going to step in at the current entry 
point. And this should provide enough performance to handle most 
anything that will be developed for the next 3-5 years. The real 
question, however, is the following:

What benefits will I realize if I upgrade my current PC?

Don't get hung up with your personal views on this subject. The vast 
majority of PC owners do not ride on the bleeding edge, nor do they 
use their machines in data centers. They are typically taken out of 
the box, plugged in, and rarely upgraded (the hardware).

>>  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?

Since when is a pre-1999 analog cable STB a "digital STB."

Analog cable is a legacy product that has not changed significantly 
in years (other than the signaling used for two-way services). Why 
should the cable company retire working inventory?

What I was referring to is the fact that most of the first generation 
of digital STBs will be replaced in the next 2-3 years for two 
reasons: New codecs and new services.

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