Markets keep getting more and more efficient, and that means there are fewer and fewer "tricks," by which I mean consistently getting a better price without working at it.
None of which is to say you "ought" to work for lower prices - how much is your time worth? You could almost always save another dime by waiting and looking more. Just check a few different products at a few different sites, and you will do OK. Don't settle into a rut, like "oh I have Amazon Prime so I just get everything from them," unless the convenience is worth getting milked.
If Microsoft is flagging, I actually don't think it's lack of research, in their case. They are way out in front of every movement in industry (hence the patent fees), what they lack is the design and marketing to capitalize on it themselves.
Granted we are just comparing individual companies. Apple is an American company and has done amazingly well. But, personal opinion here, Apple's magic is not very substantive, and people are very fickle in what is considered cool. (Not that Apple's products aren't good, but their success in recent years has been way out of proportion to how good they are - the quality created a fad - and that won't last).
This. The overseas chip manufacturer sells their current stock, then perhaps makes whatever changes are needed to make the chips work with the drivers, or providing altered drivers, with practically no financial burden placed on them for their actions. There's really not much in the way of legal pressure that can be exerted on them, and the end customer has no leverage to force them to make things right. In the meantime, the customer is out the $30 or so to buy a device that hopefully uses legitimate parts.
Let's say you take your car into a dealership and they flash the ECU so that the car won't start. No physical damage was done, so it's all good.
Not only that, but the odds are better than even that there's not any recourse through the manufacturer/vendor - they can't seriously think that a Chinese vendor is going to do anything at all to rectify the problem for the customer beyond possibly sending a replacement device that will have exactly the same issue. FTDI, with all their money, can't stop the bogus chips from being sold in the U.S. They know for a fact the consumer is screwed, and will end up having to buy another device, *hopefully* with a real FTDI part in it. They're laying the entire cost of this little exercise squarely on the consumer.
Up to this point, they *did* work. What about the thousands of devices already sold?
Anyways, that's just it... there's no social pressure without eye contact. It is too tempting to websurf during a teleconference.
So I want to have stable, low-latency, 20-way video conferencing before I hear anybody claim more bandwidth wouldn't be useful.
(Of course even then telecommuters have to download big files often enough).