Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 26th Nov 2004 19:57 UTC, submitted by Dave Finger
SGI and IRIX The company is Silicon Graphics Incorporated, or SGI, which once was famous for its high-powered graphics and 3-D workstations but has fallen on hard times of late. SGI now focuses on supercomputers, but there's a tiny coterie of fans dedicated to keeping the company's aging but high-powered workstations alive. On a similar note, the every-three-months maintaince release of Irix is 3 months late.
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What happened to SGI?
by Anonymous on Fri 26th Nov 2004 22:26 UTC

Rick Belluzo.

This guy steered the company straight onto the rocks - He decided Windows NT and x86 was the future for SGI, and started building x86 workstations with integrated graphics that were class-leading in the 6 months after they were released but were doomed to fall behind the performance curve incredibly quickly.

A special SGI version of NT4 was required which meant Win2K/XP don't work properly, and basically the whole range were lemons.

Instead of capitalizing on the strength of their MIPS-based workstations (Try moving uncompressed HDTV on anything but an Octane2 or better), they basically put their MIPS and IRIX development on the backburner, triggering a massive exodus of talented engineers.

The famous SGI logo was changed to what I regard as a truly retarded, ugly design, and this is indicative of the mindset that architected SGIs doom.

Rick Belluzo then left the company to go work at Microsoft, leaving SGI with a seriously outdated workstation product line, a massive gap to make up in MIPS development and an industry full of customers who figured if SGI was going to do x86 beige-boxes, they could get them cheaper from the guy down the road so thats what they used.

I own an SGI O2, which is a true multimedia computer - with video and audio I/O, 3D acceleration and UNIX OS that made the whole package a rock-solid pleasure to work with.

Sadly, I can't see SGI returning to it's workstation roots anytime soon, and they will simply have to make what money they can from their Itanium-based designs.

I, among many others, are very sad to see SGI fall, and will always remember them fondly.