Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 27th Aug 2012 13:53 UTC
Editorial The dream of inexpensive computing for everyone has been with us since the first computers. Along the way it has taken some unexpected turns. This article summarizes key trends and a few of the surprises.
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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 28th Aug 2012 16:28 UTC
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"Back in the 1990s, who would have thought that smartphones would popularize computing?"

Where do people get this stuff? By the end of the 90's nearly a trillion computers had been sold. It's safe to say computing was popular long before the introduction of the "smartphone".

"Given that Raspberry targets consumers, I'd recommend consumer packaging. Add a case. Offer a bundle that includes the required cables, charger, mouse, keyboard, etc. Consumers want plug and go, not a naked circuit board.

Not that I don't agree, but please note that the Raspberry Pi is selling like mad. This proves that, right now, the target consumers want what is being offered, no matter if it has downsides.
The interest in Raspberry Pi was far greater than than the foundation anticipated, but that has not translated into massive sales. The majority of people who showed initial interest didn't actually buy one. More potential customers left due to the unavailability and ridiculous lead times on orders. The Raspberry Pi is doing better than expected, no question. But, to say it's selling like mad is misleading.

And yes, there are certainly some downsides to the device. A lot of people thought they were buying one thing and found out it's not what they expected. The Raspberry Pi is absolutely no replacement for a desktop, laptop, tablet, or otherwise. The thing has little computing power and is slow (which is why everyone cross-compiles for it). There's no gui/desktop acceleration (yet) either. The Raspberry Pi reminds me of a mid range cell phone without cellular capability or a case.

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