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Comment: Re:monster market (Score 1) 390

by philospher (#27470973) Attached to: ARM — Heretic In the Church of Intel, Moore's Law

Of course it's better to own your own computer. Would you be happy just going to a cybercafe?

As to why they don't buy a pc, they are a lot more expensive than the netbooks would be, and besides there is there is the electricity problem.

I remember people making similar arguments to yours when people got the idea of selling cell phones to the masses in developing countries. "Poor peasants and slum dwellers are not going to buy them," but they've been an unbelievable success.

Comment: Re:monster market (Score 1) 390

by philospher (#27470899) Attached to: ARM — Heretic In the Church of Intel, Moore's Law

If there are 6 people in the family that's on the order of $2000 a year. Might they be interested in paying $75 for a computer the whole family can use? Oh, and for those poorer there surely will entrepreneurs who will rent them out by the hour, day, or week. I stand by my original numbers.

Comment: monster market (Score 5, Insightful) 390

by philospher (#27462649) Attached to: ARM — Heretic In the Church of Intel, Moore's Law

I think the ARM netbooks are going to have a monster market, like eventually over 100 million a year.

That may sound crazy, but you have to look at the demographics. There are about 6 1/2 billion people in the world. About 1 1/2 billion are in the developed world or the richer parts of the developed world. They all have computers. At the other end are about a billion who are are desperately poor.

That leaves around 3 billion who are in-between. These are the people who have enough money to buy things like bicycles, motor bikes, televisions, and cell phones. A great many would love to own a computer, and indeed many of them spend a lot of time at cybercafes. But they can't afford the price. And there is another problem, namely that half of these people live in areas with no electricity, and for most of the rest the electric service is very eratic.

The first generation of netbooks was too expensive for this gigantic potential market, and besides they used too much electricity. But the new ARM netbooks will be enough cheaper for perhaps 500 million more people, and they will use far less electricity, too. Furthermore prices are just going to keep going down. Pixel Qi is planing on designing $75 models in a few years. Every time prices drop another huge group will join the market.

This all is a huge problem for Microsoft. On the one hand, it would hate to charge the very low license fees it would need to get anywhere in this new market, on the other hand it can hardly afford to ignore it.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun