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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Actually what I'm seeing is everyone and their dog and their dog's squeaky toy have one or more x86 systems now and the things last so long there is just no point in buying another one before they break.

I mean what is the average user doing that won't work just fine on that Phenom I X4 desktop or core duo laptop? Nothing, not a thing and those are 6 year old chips.

So what I'm seeing is people buying these other machines to go WITH, not replace, the machines they already have. A perfect example of the "average user" is someone like my dad. 2 desktops (one at work, one at home) plus a smartphone and until he ran over the dang cord and cooked it a laptop, which he is planning to get a tablet and use that instead of the smartphone for the web because "the screen is too dang tiny". His GF has 2 desktops he had me build her (one in the living room for her, one in the den for guests and grandkids) and a netbook that she prefers over her smartphone, again screen size.

As you can see computers? Tons of them, more cycles than they know what to do with, but things like tablets fit different niches so those like dad will get one for sitting on the couch and checking his email while the commercial is on. Heck this is why I always keep a couple of late model P4s at the shop, that way even the poorest person can easily have a PC if they want one. Computers are everywhere and all these new forms are just filling niches that x86 didn't fit into well, that's all.

Oh and I agree with the author, netbooks aren't going anywhere as customers love the size and easy of carry. The 10 inchers might go though, as I see more and more heading for the 12 inch which seems to be the sweet spot for ultra portable netbooks.

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zima Member since:

Last I checked, there are ~1.3 billion PCs for ~2 billion PC users - a little less than "everyone and their dog and their dog's squeaky toy" or "Computers are everywhere" (and people with 2-3 PCs of their own are nowhere near average ...but I suppose such whims are what brings this insanity, and generally resulting in )

Meanwhile, there are more than 5 billion mobile subscribers...

Whatever the reasons for those differences (costs being of course a large one, but in a broad sense: "even the poorest person" absolutely can't easily have a P4 PC, if only because of the cost of electricity - not in a 'how much a kWh will cost me?' way, more like 'what kind of fortune for bringing a semi-reliable mains electricity to my home?'), large part of humanity is clearly more receptive to smallish, relatively inexpensive, mobile, battery-powered devices. And I suppose that large Android phones (but without the silly price premiums such models command now in the ~west) might become a dominating form of ~tablets of sorts - or "personal computer" (hey, we reinvented what that means few times already, really) - in the next decade or so; hardly a niche.
(also "Connecting the unconnected" section)

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