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Why The U.S. PC Market is On The Decline 317

conq writes "BusinessWeek reports on the recent woes of Apple and Dell. One possible reason according to the article: 'imminent price wars'." From the article: "'There's a softness in the market that's building,' says Richard Shim, a senior research analyst at IDC. In the past two weeks, IDC cut its 2006 forecast for U.S. PC growth to 5.7%, from 6.8%. 'In '04 and '05 there was tremendous growth. In a market that's as mature as this industry is, there's no way you can maintain those levels.'"
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Why The U.S. PC Market is On The Decline

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  • Stupid Title (Score:5, Informative)

    by panaceaa ( 205396 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @05:45PM (#15721875) Homepage Journal
    The title of this article is "Why The U.S. PC Market is On The Decline", but right in the summary it says that IDC expects the PC market to grow 5.7%!! That's not decline.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @06:27PM (#15722130) Homepage Journal
    The people complaining about governmental budget cuts are still receiving MORE than they did last year, but at a lower rate of increase.

    Wrong. They cut NIH funding to one-quarter what it used to be. Basic science was slashed, even while the WH was saying they were going to increase it.

    Wake up and smell reality.
  • Why quad? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shawn Parr ( 712602 ) <parr@s[ ]nparr.com ['haw' in gap]> on Friday July 14, 2006 @06:41PM (#15722190) Homepage Journal
    My general use machine at home is a Blue & White G3 upgraded to a 550 MHz G4.
    If you have been putting up with a G3 that has been upgraded to a G4 (so it still has an ancient memory/ATA/system controllers) then why are you under the impression you need a Quad to replace it??

    Any current Intel machine will blow that so far out of the water it just isn't funny. I have a G4 933 (QS 2002) and just got a Macbook. The Macbook is portable, uses less power, and spanks my G4 around the block as far as performance goes. Even with Parallels running and 2 VM's going. Seriously a MB or Mini Mac Intel would more than be a super upgrade for you. Obviously you don't need wiz-bang if you have been living with the B&W that long. Especially since we have definitely entered the realm of most new computers being capable of way more then you will typically ever use. I even use Protools regularly, and on the Macbook it has plenty of power for most of the sessions I run. I'll never have a deskop again, except in very special circumstances (perhaps an installed machine in a studio, but that isn't necessarily considered a general purpose computer anymore).

    As another note, I have no idea what you are talking about with the $30 discount for Parallels with Windows, and I have checked their site. Their typical $30 discount, however, expires Tomorrow. So if you think you might go Intel in the near future you probably should act on it.

  • by Phillup ( 317168 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @06:55PM (#15722278)
    His first reaction to the better graphics, faster CPU is "the Internet's not faster".

    Wow... your internet connection must really suck for you not to notice the difference!

    I bought my wife a 266MHz G3 Imac with 384MB RAM when they came out. (still running OS9)

    I have a three year old TIBook (1GHz G4, 1GB RAM, OSX).

    The difference between the two systems when surfing the web is like night and day.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @07:06PM (#15722341) Homepage Journal
    I think when entire nations have already gone Gigapop Internet, as well as most universities, that it "is" normal people.

    But again, it's the killer app thing. No reason to upgrade.
  • by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @08:03PM (#15722589)
    He is also wrong in regard to the NSF.
    In a disappointment to the scientific community, the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget will decline by $105 million or 1.9 percent to $5.47 billion under the FY 2005 omnibus appropriations bill.
    But aren't we on track to double the NSF budget over ten years?
    Fiscal Year 2006 Budget For Office Of Science Technology Policy And The National Science Foundation
    The proposed budget for NSF is just 2.4% above last year for a total of $5.6 billion. This barely keeps pace with inflation. Most disturbing is the cut to education programs. This budget actually cuts education programs by 12%. Research is increased by just over 2% - which barely keeps pace with inflation. Yet, salaries and expenses goes up by 22%, and Major equipment goes up by 44%.
  • by Danga ( 307709 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @08:33PM (#15722714)
    It's not a PC. PCs care about that stuff. Macs just work.

    A firewire connection to the cable modem won't make a difference so I don't know why you keep mentioning it, any PC that has a network card for the last 10 years had at least a 10 Mbps card if not a 10/100 Mbps card which both will max out the cable modems downstream just as much as a firewire connection would. Cable ISPs just don't provide the bandwidth for a firewire connection to have ANY advantage. Firewire was great for bandwidth intensive devices before USB 2.0, but now that USB 2.0 is the norm firewire is just about pointless and I hope it disappears fast and we just have one standard port.

    Switching to the Mac mini - same basic firewire, same cable modem.
    No perceptible difference.

    Comparing an 8 year old PC to a PC now on non CPU intensive sites will give you "No perceptible difference." as well as long as both machines aren't bogged down by spyware/adware. Trying both PC/Mac setups on CPU intensive sites will most definitely have the newer machines performing much better.

    Anyway, you can keep paying extra money for your Macs and thinking they are the greatest things on Earth, I will keep spending my money on much cheaper hardware which has always been easier/cheaper to upgrade/custum build my own computer myself (I have heard Macs are getting better in this area, but I do not know for sure) and also "just work". I also don't have the pompousness that a lot of Mac owners (such as you) have which I think is much preferable.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Saturday July 15, 2006 @12:25AM (#15723432) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone have any information on that site?

    It's a hoax, I think, but I'd like to know the backstory / any corroborating information anyway.

    From the screenshots [virus.org.ua] elsewhere on the site (in Cyrillic), plus his bashrc file [virus.org.ua], and the site's hostname, it would seem to be a young Ukranian guy (handle "[Virus]" on irc.tsua.net, real name possibly Andrey A. Belashkov [virus.org.ua]).

    Particularly given that he's possibly an admistrator for a rather largish regional ISP, it's slightly embarassing that he hasn't disabled directory browsing...unless the whole thing is a slightly-more-elaborate hoax.

  • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Saturday July 15, 2006 @06:58AM (#15724152)
    Anyway having a camera's USB 2.0 interface not work correctly is the manufacturers fault, not the interfaces fault.

    So what? It's still a problem in the real world, that isn't a problem with Firewire.

    I also have hooked up many video cameras using the USB interface and they ALL worked just by plugging them in. To the OS's I use it just appeared as another removable hard disk, it was FAR from painful to get it working.

    I suspect you might be talking about those crappy low-res videos stored on a memory stick, or otherwise you are lying. The video is stored on a digital video tape. The video tape does NOT work like a hard-drive. You have to play back the footage in real-time to get a proper copy. How exactly does that work if the camera is seen simply as a USB mass storage device?

    If by "sucks" you mean takes a minimal amount of time more to copy the video off then you are correct. However if it only takes a minute or two longer to transfer the video using USB 2.0 people WON'T CARE or NOTICE

    By "sucks" I mean that "USB streaming" reduces the quality of the video. If it takes any longer than real-time, then frames must dropped, which is a big no-no for video. Consumers aren't going to be happy with stuttering video, or lower quality.

    Ok, I would bet 99% of users only have one device saturating the USB 2.0 interface at a time, so because it is shared is not a big hinderance. Most people hook up their iPod and transfer music to it or hook up their camera and transfer the video off of it, but rarely do they do anything else that is bandwidth intensive at the same time.

    Again, you show your lack of understanding. Transferring stuff to an iPod is tranferring files - it doesn't have to be real-time, and can deal with interruptions. You don't have to saturate your connection to drop frames in DV transfer. A small interferance can screw the whole transfer process. Transferring full-quality DV footage is not the same as transferring files from a hard-drive or memory stick. You have to capture every frame at full resolution the moment it is played back over the connection.

    You appear to be under the illusion that the crappy footage recorded in "memory stick mode" or one of those garbage MPEG-2 recording disc recorders is the same as real DV footage from a tape. Most people want to use the full quality that their video camera has to offer. USB compromises this.

    Firewire is not bad, but it just does not have the market share that USB already has or the price advantage and that is why USB is the better choice and will win out in the end.

    That does not make any sense. Why does market share make any difference to the functionality of something? Who would be so stupid as to choose something based on marketshare? It is also inaccurate. Firewire is on 100% of decent DV cameras, and on the majority of today's computers.

    The price difference also does not make sense, as we are talking a few cents on some quite expensive equipment. It's not very smart to compromise quality or convenience to save a few cents. Far more money would be saved by eliminating legacy interfaces that are still common, and far more money is saved by reducing frustration and increasing productivity.

    The idea of "winning out" is inane. Use the best tool for the job. It's not a competition.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley