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Can Dell and HP Keep Pace With An Asia-Centric PC World?

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the anything-they-set-their-minds-to dept.

Businesses 218

MojoKid writes "If you've paid any attention to the PC industry in the past few years, you're aware that things aren't as rosy as they used to be. After decades of annual growth, major manufacturers like HP and Dell have both either floated the idea of exiting the consumer space (HP) or gone private (Dell). Contrast that with steady growth at companies like Asus and Lenovo, and some analysts think the entire PC industry could move to Asia in the next few years. The ironic part of the observation is that in many ways, this has already happened. Asia-Pacific manufacturers are more focused on the consumer electronics market and better able to cope with low margins thanks to rapid adoption and huge potential customer bases. Apple has proven that high margin hardware can be extremely profitable, but none of the PC OEMs have been willing to risk the R&D costs or carry new products for a significant period of time while they adapt designs and improve market share."

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PCs are dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922195)

windows blows and linux ain't what it used to be

Re:PCs are dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922241)

first *yawn*

i suppose you typed your cliche frist psot on some non-general-purpose computing device? please do tell me more.

Re:PCs are dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922655)

I didn't say Macs are dead, I just said the glorified game consoles otherwise known as "PCs" are long past their relevance.

Easily fixed (0)

hessian (467078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922211)

Start building them here in the USA.

If labor costs are too high, use robots.

Re:Easily fixed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922229)

Posted from your asus

Re:Easily fixed (1)

satuon (1822492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922245)

What makes you think robots cost less than Chinese labor?

Re:Easily fixed (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922345)

They certainly don't - for now.

But...
- the total cost of production for automated factories is decreasing rapidly (and will continue to decrease)
- the current cost of borrowing money to invest in capital is relatively low
- the current economic incentives to relocate manufacturing back to western nations is 'somewhat' significant
- the cost of Chinese labor is increasing (and will continue to increase)

The long-term outlook is good for robotic production. I don't know exactly how close we are to the break-even point, but I suspect it will be soon (for variable definitions of soon, of course).

Re:Easily fixed (3, Funny)

karnal (22275) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922585)

Use robot shells with Chinese laborers inside?

Profit!

Re:Easily fixed (1)

Selur (2745445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922257)

import robots from Asia,...

Re:Easily fixed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922349)

15 years ago, I would've gladly bought made in USA. But now I avoid buying American products as a matter of principal. The way I see it, part of the money I pay gets added to the American military and "intelligence" budget so they can make more wars. Given the choice, I'd buy Chinese, Japanese, or Korean every time. When USA goes back to a peaceful nation and starts cooperating with other countries instead of competing with them, I'll start buying American again.

Re:Easily fixed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922455)

But now I avoid buying American products as a matter of principal.

Is that because you don't have enough principal, or because your principal won't let you?

Re:Easily fixed (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922477)

Where oh where are my mod points when I really need them?

Re:Easily fixed (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922487)

Youre going to get modded down, but this is far more common than most Americans realize. Many of my European friends think the same; they refuse to buy american products until such time as the USA starts acting as a responsible member of the world community and stops with the wars and forcing their IP laws onto other countries. At the moment though they cannot ethically buy USA made products (not that there are many of those left....)

Re:Easily fixed (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922531)

They may be eating them though as the USA has a lot of agricultural exports.

Re:Easily fixed (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922693)

Meanwhile France and Germany are along the world's largest weapons exporters.

I vaguely remember a saying about those in glass houses.

Re:Easily fixed (1)

ChatHuant (801522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922935)

I vaguely remember a saying about those in glass houses

Hmmm... Those living in glass houses shouldn't try nailing their paintings to the walls?

Re:Easily fixed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923093)

You seem to be under the assumption that hurting the US economy will be translated into less war-mongering. You don't understand the US.

What will probably happen is:

US economy falters. Gas prices soar. Product prices soar.
Right-wing conservative hawks are elected in response. Half the country gets hopped up on jingoism, (which wouldn't take much).
Far more US military action world-wide.

You are much better off keeping the US fat and happy and waiting for more and more social-leaning leaders to be elected.

Re:Easily fixed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923139)

I agree and I'm American. See every election cycle we get these Republican assholes whining about how high taxes are on small businesses...so I figure I'll do them a favor and order from overseas then you and your small business won't have to worry about paying any taxes on my purchase. When "job creators" stop crying about taxes I might consider buying locally again, until then Europe and Chinese keep me supplied with all my needs. Business owners act like they're doing me a favor by being in business. No you're providing a commercial service. Since you feel so "oppressed" running your business I'll happily buy from Europe instead.

Re:Easily fixed (1)

Bomazi (1875554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922537)

What makes you think China can't do the same ? They are probably the one you'll be buying the robots from anyway.

Re:Easily fixed (3, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923333)

Start building them here in the USA.

If labor costs are too high, use robots.

No, market them here in the USA. Actually, that's all US companies really seem to do with any product (cars, etc.)

Asia /always/ had a rich and broad ecosystem of the latest / greatest new technology products when it came to computers, personal electronics, cars, etc. All US companies do is pick a few good ones and dumb them down into a handful of brands that can be effectively mass-marketed to the US. As an aside, it's remarkable how little branding means in Asia... products are mostly sold on specs alone. Even Nintendo game prices would fluctuate based on the MB of ROM in the cartridge and the market demand/popularity over time, and not based on how much Nintendo spent on the marketing campaign for the characters and agreed to fix prices with distributors over a long period of time.

So the shift really is that the asian companies are getting better at simplifying their product lines to market directly to the bulk of americans.

As for robotic assembly, maybe that would work for building widgets that never change, but technology products change too fast too afford to keep your robotic workforce up-to-date.

I'm afraid the only viable financial future in the US is in the collecting on and enforcing of intellectual property. Kinda like how Old Imperial Europe collected its money from colonial and trade royalties. But we kinda know how that played out eventually.

no (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922239)

Ubuntu £inux has fundamentally changed the game, forever. Soon the entire PC industry will be chucking out crappy low end PCs running Unity and unable to play any of the games I bought. I just got Aliens: Colonial Marines and it won't even play on Ubuntu, how can anyone use such a terrible product? Ubuntu was running on netbooks from dell but even the crappy dell company stopped selling those because Linux sucks so much for gaming.

Re:no (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922319)

linux sucks for pretty much everything except servers.

Any neckbeard using linux for desktop use has ego problems and is unwilling for his lordship to use a real productive desktop like windows or even osx. Instead they while away the hours mucking around with dependencies and half assed broken-source software poorly trying to imitate real functional windows software where even the original developer has long abandoned the sinking husk of a project.

But I guess this isn't really an issue because the average linux desktop user has little productive work to do but masturbate to cartoon ponies while leeching off their parents retirement money.

Re:no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922357)

Ahh, yes, I remember my first troll...

Re:no (1)

Loki_666 (824073) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922393)

I just modded this funny, then discovered that someone has modded it insightful! LOL.

I mean, Ubuntu is not my choice of distro. I'm currently switching to Mint, and yeah, its going to be a games box, playing mainly older windows games and some linux ones, but meets my needs.

The funny mod point was mainly awarded for the Aliens: Colonial Marines comment though, which is getting totally panned by all the games reviewers. You'd probably be doing yourself a favour by switching to Linux. :-P

Anyway, mod point gone now.

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922407)

You just don't Aliens: Colonial Marines. If you understood it you'd like it.

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922435)

You just don't understand Aliens: Colonial Marines. If you understood it you'd like it.

Now that I've fixed your dyslexic sentence I'd like to say that if you can't understand A:CM you have bigger problems.

Yes (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922247)

Just offer options that customers want! For instance don't only offer Windows's based notebooks, offer Linux as an option, imporve tech support so people can actually get help. Offer GREAT hardware, not just the cheap crap.

Re:Yes (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922325)

For instance don't only offer Windows's based notebooks, offer Linux as an option,

+1 Funny!

Re:Yes (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922621)

Well first off Dell has been selling Unix options for over 2 decades, they used to OEM SCO to have their own Dell Unix. Off and on they have offered Unix desktops. In any case, there are companies that sell Linux notebooks and desktops. If this were a truly big seller you would expect to see them doing more volume.

As far as tech support Dell and HP both offer better tech support as a paid option. Dell in particular had 3 consumer tiers and let consumers pick.

Finally on great hardware, consumers for Windows machines have consistently picked worse cheap hardware. Dell and Compaq (part of HP) both used to be premium brands.

Re:Yes (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922791)

Then whats the issue now? are they just failing in the market?

Re:Yes (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923345)

Too many pronouns in your question, I'm not following. Is who falling in what market due to which issue?

Re:Yes (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922631)

It would be simple enough to just make sure all the parts in the desktop, laptop, notebook, and tablet offerings can run a stock Linux. If some company trying to sell you parts won't make it work in a stock Linux, then it's crap and you should not use it because in the end it will break even under Windows. Then have options for the OS: (1) Windows 8 with full support, (2) Windows 7 with full support, (3) Linux Mint 14.1 with hardware support (labeled "geek special" ... they are going to replace it with Arch or Debian or Gentoo or Slackware, so don't worry about it).

Profit!

Re:Yes (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923375)

Tried it, don't work, why? Because what is stable NOW may NOT be stable 7 months or a year from now, see how Atheros was the "go to" for wireless then suddenly their drivers were broken for either one rev or two revs, can't off the top of my head remember which. Doesn't really matter because if I had sold Linux all my customers with Atheros would have had worthless laptops until it was fixed which is simply unacceptable.

Until you show me a Linux that 1.- Cost less than Windows, 2.- Can be installed NOW and have full functionality WITHOUT jumping through CLI hoops, Googling for fixes, or playing forum hunts 8 years from now? we retailers just can't use Linux. Any retailer will tell you after sale support eats into the bottom line and the more likely the system is to need after sale support the more likely you end up losing money. Home users WILL NOT buy support contracts so don't even start, look at how many scream bloody murder at Best Buy trying to push extended warranties, so that system you sell them better "just work" until/unless they screw it up by installing a virus.

So I'm sorry but your product just doesn't work on a desktop. it works on servers, on smartphones, and in embedded applications, but its frankly a piss poor desktop and always has been. Most of us can't afford to run our own repo like Dell does just to keep our systems from breaking and without doing something THAT radical they WILL break. Why they will break is obvious, Linux is NOT an OS, its a bunch of little programs written by guys that "do their own thing" and ignore what everybody else is doing. Imagine if Windows had a kernel by Oracle, graphics subsystem by AMD, Audio by creative, and another 300 or so companies making all the other parts and none of them sat down and worked up a plan saying exactly what each was going to do? Think it would be stable and solid? of course not yet you expect that same situation in Linux only with no budget added to the mix to magically work...it don't. The places it DOES work is where its stripped down (server) or where it will rarely if ever be updated (embedded) and has EXTREMELY limited hardware to support (smartphones) so the problems can be routed around.....that just isn't the case with desktops guys.

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922919)

Riiiight, that is why every retailer from Best Buy to Walmart, and nearly all the OEMs from Dell to MSI have tried offering Linux and now avoid it like the black death. You see as a retailer there is one little bitty thing the "FOSSies" as i call them seem to forget...if you don't stand behind your products you are dead in retail.

What does that have to do with Linux? Simple your drivers are deep fried shit (thus showing that yes you DO need a stable ABI, if you didn't then your drivers wouldn't be getting crapped on so damned often) and your updates remind of Win9X in that they break more than they fix. Don't believe me? Step right up and take the Hairyfeet Challenge!

You take ANY user friendly distro, PCLOS, any of the *Buntus that has what a Linux users considers to be a normal release schedule which seems to be anywhere from 6 months to a year and a half, take the one from 5 years ago (because as a retailer I can tell you the typical lifespan of a PC now is 5 years) and update it to current using ONLY the GUI, just as the customer who has bought Linux for the first time would be expected to do.

Know what you'll find? Linux IS BROKEN, I don't give a shit what Use Distro X! [tmrepository.com] you name, I have tried it on a dozen so far and its ALWAYS the same, you have multiple drivers BROKEN and a system that is just a mess, in fact many times if you actually just update the thing as you would expect a normal user to do what you end up with is less stable than Win95. Talk about amateur hour, dead WiFi, graphics drivers shat upon, again doesn't really matter which vendor as they all ended up shat upon, from Intel and Nvidia IGP to Nvidia and AMD discrete, all were crapped on by the updates,sound? Bwa ha ha ha, if you think Pulse is gonna survive I have a bridge to nowhere for sale, and even something as simple as basic wired networking can be hit or miss.

So I'm sorry but until you get somebody with a brain to be the head of a distro, one who'll flip the bird to Torvalds and just fork the whole damned thing and make a Linux distro where you can update the damned thing without shit breaking? We retailers would rather try to sell Vista than take that POS because it drives our after sale support costs through the roof. This is why the ONLY place you see Linux systems sold is online, because "all sales are final now fuck off" is pretty much the norm when it comes to online sales. this is the opposite of retail where if I told a customer whose PC wasn't even 2 months old "Go Google for a fix" I'd be closing my doors in under 6 months.

I really wish it wasn't true, that the state of desktop Linux wasn't so piss poor, but it is. why do you think I tried over a dozen "user friendly" distros with that test? Because I WANTED it not to be true, as MSFT gouges us system builders and having a free OS that actually ran well and could be put on all those XP boxes that come through the store? would have been great...too bad the product IS BROKEN.

Linux works in servers because not only do you have guys getting paid a high 5 figures to deal with broken shit and because frankly a LOT of the problem components just aren't there. You don't see servers running WiFi or even sound and most don't have full GUIs, same thing goes for embedded where you get the added bonus of most stuff is never updated.

And I apologize for the length but I am fucking sick of FOSSies trying to blame us retailers for Windows while they keep pushing a piss poor broken product that ignores what we retailers have to have to actually put your product on shelves. hell now Ubuntu is killing LTS and going rolling release, so it can break constantly! I swear Linux devs must like in the bizarro world, its like "Quick things am stable! This not good, our users won't feel leet if they not got broken shit to fix! We must throw out all the stable stuff, break the drivers, toss the DEs for alpha quality crap, then users feel am leet!"...sigh. I said a million times here what we retailers need to make your product usable, no need to rehash, but as long as it stays its current course frankly MSFT could put out "Windows Goatse with Smell-O_Vision" and it would still sell better than Linux because at least you could update the Goatse and the fucking drivers wouldn't break.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923101)

Blakeyrat, is that you?

Re:Yes (3, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923157)

That ended up as something of a rant, but it's all true. I've been periodically trying to use Linux as my desktop since the late '90s, and it has always ALWAYS sucked. To the point where I abandoned the RedHat distribution in 2001 because of self-contradictory package dependencies. For a while, it was simply impossible to have a sane system at all. I dumped it. I've used Debian since then, but even they have run into that same sort of idiocy. They're all better about packages now, but the driver situation is definitely a disaster. Linux supports a truly impressive array of legacy hardware, but too often, something somewhere is broken and has to be manually tweaked in a config file somewhere. WiFi never EVER works right.

And yeah, sorry, the whole sound subsystem situation is just beyond retarded. I don't even understand that one. I've been coding to music for almost 20 years now (the sound isolation is absolutely essential in an office environment), and I know I'm far from unusual in that respect, so why oh why is Linux audio an utter trainwreck? It boggles the mind.

So I use a Windows desktop, and run XWin32 if I need access to Linux GUI apps, and PuTTY for everything else, and it takes something like ChromeOS to finally get close to a Linux Year of the Desktop.

Re:Yes (1)

graphius (907855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923321)

I dare you to do the same with MS Windows, or even Apple for that matter.... Doing multiple updates IN ANY OS can cause problems.

Look for the problem within you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923339)

Your rant was pretty comical. Evidently you can't see what is probably obvious to everyone else just by reading your own description, namely that you have been so strongly programmed by your favorite operating system that you can't cope with any different one.

Just a moment's thought should have been enough to convince you that it's not the Linux distros that are broken, but you. The reasoning is extremely simple, but probably beyond you. It's that each Linux distro has umpteen thousands of fans who totally love it and for whom it works just fine. The fact that you've tried a dozen and judged them all to be unusable is therefore a dead giveaway that the problem lies within you, and nowhere else.

Re:Yes (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923495)

yes you DO need a stable ABI

That, right there, is the reason I went back to Windows in 2010 after using Ubuntu exclusively for over 2 years.

Last week I tried the live install CD of Ubuntu 12.10. The CD I just downloaded, from the official server. Guess what? No audio! And this is the exact same box I used back then with Ubuntu 10.10, in which audio worked. So, yeah.

Also: clicking a local drive doesn't open it within the live CD environment doesn't open. There's been a command line (command line!) workaround to fix the issue for months, but no fixed live CD. Go figure... ~double facepalm~

I love my SSH for doing interesting and productive stuff on servers, but for my main home desktop I want to double click and have the shiny stuff happening, no spare thoughts on it. Linux isn't ready for the desktop. At this point I've given up, it just isn't going to happen. So, Windows or OS X it is.

I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922249)

when they're referring to Dell & HP as "major PC manufacturers", is this for the home-PC or the business-PC market ? I always thought that when John Doe visits a PC store to buy a PC, he'll probably buy a custom PC that this store assembles & sells rather than a Dell or an HP. OTOH a company will strike a deal with Dell or HP because they'll probably offer extra support etc. That's the common "practice" in the european market at least. Is this true for the US market too? Is Dell's or HP's market share in the home PC larger than that of the custom built PCs ?

Re:I'm a little confused (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922267)

No most people in the US who are not enthusiasts will buy a name brand OEM PC from a Best Buy or Staples or maybe even Walmart. People who build their own rigs or even are interested in custom ones are enthusiasts.

Re:I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922377)

Remember, people in the US work almost 2000 hours a year or something like that, significantly higher than folks in Europe. We don't have time to have partly assembled PC's lying around the house.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922803)

says you! i just threw out like 5 a few months ago since i could now buy better hardware that costs less then it does to run them or buy parts for them.

Re:I'm a little confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923007)

The US consumer market is probably 75% laptops -- where name brands rule the roost.

The only people still buying desktops for home use are PC gamers -- and they usually BYOB.

Re:I'm a little confused (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922627)

In the USA, much larger. Custom PCs are rare. Most consumer PCs are bought mail order from the big manufacturers or store bough mass manufactured models.

Buy Direct (2)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922265)

"You can't get good chili in Taiwan."

Re:Buy Direct (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922505)

Re:Buy Direct (1)

burisch_research (1095299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922609)

That is so pathetic

Uh... that container ship sailed decades ago (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922271)

The summary seems oblivious to the ODM/OEM relationships that have existed for decades. Dell and HP don't *make* anything, they just rebrand things made by Arima, Compal, Uniwill, Quanta, Clevo, etc. Taiwan designs and manufactures everything, Dell and HP simply slap some stickers on them and retail them with the addition of whatever service/support package.

The whole market has belonged to Asia for a generation, and it's not going to change.

Re:Uh... that container ship sailed decades ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922351)

Pretty much this. No matter what the brand on your device claims(Apple, HP, whatever) it was probably made by Foxconn.

Re:Uh... that container ship sailed decades ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923461)

There are more ODMs and ECMs than just Hon Hai.

Based on revenue - you have about a 1 in 4 chance:
http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/company-search.html?nvind=1228

I bought a PC yesterday (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922275)

Never again. Really, it reminds me of setting up Suse circa 2003, so many problems! Who would have thought that a 3TB drive won't work in a machine because it needs some EFI bios? Or that the drivers won't install because the installer can't access the protected portion of the disk. Or that the BIOS upgrade won't work because it's for Windows 8 only. Or that the display is too small, and only digging into CCC do you find it's set that way by default by Radeon. That Windows 7 can't be bought now, you have to run around to find a shop with a copy left over. And so many versions of OS software, which one do I buy? Starters, Basic, Professional, Unprofessional, Ultimatomatoe? How about none of them!

I think the Asian makers are succeeding with Android, and I think the US makers are flopping with Windows and this is just the shift from Windows to Android shown geographically. It's just a mess in the PC world and that's largely at the door of Ballmer's decade at Microsoft. All manner of craptastic PC hardware, stuffed into boxes from the 1990's, priced way beyond their value.

Wife's not getting a PC, I bought her a tablet, my PC experience was/is just too horrendous and the tablet has 4 cores, a higher res screen, and lots of nice stuff like GPS and touch. I think many people are making the same choice, ditching Windows.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (3, Informative)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922289)

So you're ditching the Windows frying pan and jumping into the tablet volcano? Just load a Linux distro. Tablets can't get real work done without add-on peripherals anyway.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922573)

So you're ditching the Windows frying pan and jumping into the tablet volcano? Just load a Linux distro. Tablets can't get real work done without add-on peripherals anyway.

I find tablets quite adequate for research: reading Wikipedia and other sources. And the iPad's Safari's "reader" is awesome for just giving you the text of a website (the important stuf) without all the irrelevent shit that web developers/designers insist on using. - it's makes for less stress on the eyes and brain.

But that may not be real work and I'm not a real Scottsmann either.

But if I have to write or crunch numbers a lot - Desktop - better erognomcs. I can't fit it in the john, though.

Laptops, at least for me, are becoming the useless peice of equipment.

Then again, I'm an outlier, don't do real work, and not a real Scottsman.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922643)

You said the magic work so many times: reading. Try to use a tablet for software development, graphic design, creating 3d models, writing a story, creating a presentation, mixing down audio and / or video, or crunching numbers in a spreadsheet. Touchscreens so far are terrible at these things, you'll want a mouse and keyboard (at least a keyboard).

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (0)

wisty (1335733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922765)

> Tablets can't get real work done without add-on peripherals anyway.

A desktop can't either.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922793)

That's dumb and you know it, it's understood that a desktop includes a keyboard at minimum as a component. When they start selling you tablets with no screen let me know.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923325)

...and Linux can't get real work done, ever. Sorry, almost no pro apps of any value run on Linux.

Windows Number 2 (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923451)

...and Linux can't get real work done, ever. Sorry, almost no pro apps of any value run on Linux.

LOL ironically this year Android will have sold become most used OS in the world. Perhaps those "pro apps" you were talking about aren't that pro.

Re:I bought a PC yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922449)

So you bought a PC, which implies to me that it was a pre-built computer. Now I know what it takes to set up a modern PC in a box having done it recently for my parents. So as far as I can tell, you find simple shape/color matching, and pushing a button too difficult? Wow, people really are getting dumber.

And if you built your own computer, well, I have no pity for you, because as somebody who works in the embedded space, I promise you, that embedded device was a hell of a lot harder to get working than putting a PC together, you just didn't have to do it.

Not really new news (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922285)

The components have been made in the East for a long time now, particularly Taiwan was famous long before China. For those that missed the memo, the recent HDD crisis was due to floodings in Thailand which is in SE Asia. All sorts of optics and related electronics is heavily centered around Japanese companies like Canon, Nikon and Sony. The OEMs have mostly just been assembling systems from standard parts which is a commodity service.

Re:Not really new news (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922695)

Remember the capacitor plague of the early 00s. It was due to faulty capacitors coming out of Taiwan. These capacitors were cheaper than Japanese ones and worked as well . . . for a time. What wasn't known was that industrial espionage had allowed the Tawainese to copy the chemical formulation. But they didn't get the entire formula. They lacked a part that provided long term stability.

Dell will probably exit the consumer business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922323)

That's believed to be one of the drivers for them going private... so they don't have to answer to Wall Street when they unload businesses they don't want to be in, like HP had to when Apotheker made the announcement.

Irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922367)

The irony here is the outsourced labor formed their own companies and are now directly competing with their "partners", and beating them.

The natural state of Capitalism is tyranny; capitalism forces companies to reduce the cost of services and products, and all products and services are a function of labor. The easiest way to reduce cost has, and always will be, slavery; there are many synonyms we call it to make it sound polite. It's only when managers can come to some degree of agreement about what the cost of labor actually should be that actual innovation and progress occurs, as measured in less man-hours spent creating X products. China does not recognize the pricelessness of life, and without that recognition to guide its decisions, ruin is inevitable; You can improve economic efficiency but without a place for that efficiency to go, you end up in a viciously deteriorating economic cycle of debt, corrupted price signalling, and malinvestment that kills you when resource scarcity catches up.

In the last 15 to 20 years we've seen a dramatic shift in the way that innovation occurs away from think-tank research centers and towards placing staff in universities and on the factory floor producing incremental upgrades instead of groundbreaking advancements. Companies used to recognize incremental upgrades was a war of attrition and masturbation, now it's "how fast can we half cost and double performance?"; the problems from this way of thinking is piling up as STEM workers put forth the least innovative horseshit.

Re:Irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922479)

The easiest way to reduce cost has, and always will be, slavery; there are many synonyms we call it to make it sound polite.

You're full of bullshit.

http://www.umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/slavery2/adamsmith.html [umich.edu]

Re:Irony. (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922855)

Tt may not be slavery as adam defines, but low wages and externalizing the housing and food of the slaves and paying them pennies is what we are doing now. I have to disagree that the worker is free to do what they want. They are limited by their status, funds and education to say the least. So they are not free to do what they want, they do what they must to survive, just as everyone does today all over the world. You may be free to starve or walk to work each day, but given the option you would not do it if there was another option.

Re:Irony. (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922877)

This just in, income and ability are limiters!

Windows 8 (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922375)

Up until 2011 Microsoft's strategy was to drive up PC marketshare but controlling the low end. Microsoft was very worried about initiatives like Sun/Oracle's Java Desktop to use thiner client distributed software and lower end machines. Their strategy was to push the price of PCs down low enough so that there weren't meaningful cost saving is just using server based architectures and local program execution was the norm. This is the same reason they focused so heavily on getting control of web technologies and tying them to Internet Explorer / Windows.

With the success of open Web Standards the move towards server based services is happening. This has required a strategy change. Windows 8 systems to work well require more expensive hardware. Microsoft is reintroducing margin back into the business and driving the cost of hardware up. They are willing now to sacrifice the low end so that the total experience on rich clients is much much better than on thinner architectures. Dell and HP sell mainly to corporations. Corporations are still years away from migrating to real Windows 8 hardware as a norm. I think this is short sighted on Dell/HP's part because in 5 years there is likely to be margin in the business. They've now gone through most of the lean years and just as the market is going to go back to being high profit they are exiting.

Once other companies get the experience in making powerful multi paradigm machines it will be hard for these companies to reenter the market. That being said I think Dell isn't existing the PC market, rather I think they going private so they can undergo a restructuring without having to provide regular public scrutiny.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922563)

Windows 8 systems to work well require more expensive hardware.

How so? I thought Windows 8 had lower hardware requirements than Windows 7. The windowing system for WinRT apps is certainly much less CPU-intensive than WPF was for the desktop. And lots of Windows Store apps will be aimed to work on much lower-powered devices (e.g. ARM) than Win7 desktop apps were.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922567)

You need to buy a touch screen to get the best experience.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922649)

Touchscreen. And more expensive than touchscreen a hinge to move from laptop to tablet form. Generally a far better touchpad. And I suspect input is going to get more versatile more cool and more expensive during 2013.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922721)

Win 8 requires the same hardware as Win 7. There have been a number of improvements which have made it faster and more stable than Win 7. Win RT is not Win 8; it is specifically designed to run on ARM. Any programs compiled for RT will run on Win 8 as well; however, legacy x86/64 programs or programs today written for Win 7/Vista/XP will not run on RT. This is confusing and I anticipate many consumers being equally confused.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922653)

If you actually pay attention to what dell is doing and not just what you think dell is doing, you would notice that a. dell is well aware of the shifts in the pc market and b. their new long term strategy is _not_ the pc market.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922947)

Dell's restructuring strategy is private. For the last 10 years or so they've been trying to move up the value chain but still be selling systems. I don't know what their current private strategy is.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923039)

i'm talking about the public releases coming out of dell. they _aren't_ buying pc making companies...

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923105)

Stuff like this:

http://www.thevarguy.com/2012/11/13/exclusive-michael-dells-grand-plan-partners-included/

Re:Windows 8 (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923347)

I understand that. They already are a huge PC making company. They are moving up the value chain. But that's very different from getting out of selling PCs.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923501)

i never said they were getting out of selling pcs.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923041)

Their strategy was to push the price of PCs down low enough so that there weren't meaningful cost saving is just using server based architectures and local program execution was the norm.

OK, you got me. How did Microsoft push down the cost of PCs?

I think you have them confused with Intel.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923323)

OK, you got me. How did Microsoft push down the cost of PCs?

Not pushing up requirements and keeping licensing costs low. For example the original goals for Longhorn were:

a) Built in security system (palladium) for video control and manipulation.
b) A database filesystem like you have on minicomputers
c) A new GUI making use of faster video.

That is to say hardware capable of running a database server, while doing video manipulation and on a day to day basis using animated 3D effects (i.e. expensive video cards). On (a) and (b) they dropped these. On (c) they released Vista in a way that worked with much lower end machines and made 3D graphics support optional. Had they not done that Longhorn / Vista machines would have cost quite a bit more than XP machines and prices would not have come down.

Take that example times 10 others and that's how Microsoft drove down prices.

Face facts. America is dead. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922397)

How is this even a question? We're draining what little wealth we have into fattening up the poor with HoHos and 40s just to pay for their heart attacks so they can linger around Section 8 housing for generations. Our leadership is obsessed with banning firearms that kill less people a year than allergic peanut reactions. We talk about cutting pure R&D and education in place for maintaining troops to keep up the German occupation as it rolls up on 70 years since the end of the last war there. We pay upwards of 40k a year to keep pot smokers in jail while street crime is fueled by a blackmarket. All the while we send money to the same people who want to kill us.
 
Our leadership is useless, the man on the street is happily clueless waving his party's flag and those who actually still bother to care have no power. We're fucked.

It's because they're crap (1, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922415)

I've built around 150 PCs at my shop thus far and had 1 part failure ever in around 5 years. My computers are absolutely perfect and a 120GB SSD + Pentium G860 + 4GB of RAM system runs around $475, data transfer included. Good luck competing with that. I think people like me are in every town and we're putting HP and Dell out of business. Oh, and if you didn't hear, Best Buy is closing all retail locations over the next 5 years. Yay, we crushed them. Inferior products and services fail in free markets.

Re:It's because they're crap (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922617)

I've built around 150 PCs at my shop thus far and had 1 part failure ever in around 5 years. My computers are absolutely perfect and a 120GB SSD + Pentium G860 + 4GB of RAM system runs around $475,

Jesus Christ you must have a mountain of debt to still be in business.

Re:It's because they're crap (1)

gander666 (723553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922787)

Why oh why did my mod points expire yesterday?

Re:It's because they're crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923153)

How do you stay in business? Even at 20% margin(generous), 150 PC's at $475.00 each = $71,250 gross incoming. Assuming the 20% margin, that leaves you $14,250 gross income over *5* years. Even then, after taxes, your net income at 30% tax rate is only $9,975. I can't live on that.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I really don't understand how that is a successful business model. Are you selling support to increase your margin, or perhaps some other value-adds to keep you going? I love the small guy competing with the big guys, I am just wondering how you stay afloat if that is your primary income.

Commitment of a Leader (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922423)

In very large public corporations the CEO is concerned with "managing numbers & people".

To lead in a technology arena, you need to really focus on long term strategic leading edge R&D.

I don't see evidence of that at HP & Dell. It is too easy for their CEO to say "We are acquiring our technology by buying companies." Has that worked out well?

Re:Commitment of a Leader (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922657)

Michael Dell invented a whole new method of manufacturing. He's still alive and he's the one taking it private.

HP has moved away from its engineering roots, no question. But yes it does a lot of R&D.

Re:Commitment of a Leader (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922957)

Dell may not go private with 2 large stockholders resisting the deal. I still see no evidence of total commitment to unique products @ Dell, so they are just a commodity business. I hear no raves about Dell as a technology leader.

HP used to be that way. Carly essentially tossed a lot of engineering and development overboard.

Can HP save itself with a robust and market leading memristor technology, like ink-jet printing once did?

Re:Commitment of a Leader (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923285)

Dell never had unique products. What Dell had was a unique process for building products that allowed them to offer customized systems at commodity prices. They were a technology leader in how their computers were assembled not what was in them.

I agree that HP moved from a technology company to a services company. I don't think any particular technology can save them, they are too big. Technologies now exist to help them sell services. But I can see lots of areas where HP could be very very successful in selling services.

Rapid adoption, huge customer base? That isn't all (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922467)

Asia-Pacific manufacturers are more focused on the consumer electronics market and better able to cope with low margins thanks to rapid adoption and huge potential customer bases.

How about:

(1) Less greed,

(2) Being nimble

(3) Proper labor relations and management?

(4) The sense that, "We can beat them at their game?"

(5) Proud citizenry - Those Asians usually patronize Asian
    made goods. You ask a Japanese what the best car is.
    They'll tell you it's a Toyota! They then buy that!

Re:Rapid adoption, huge customer base? That isn't (2)

Moridineas (213502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922523)

I'll give you 2 (nimble), and 4+5 (local pride), but how does (e.g.) Foxconn exemplify less greed and proper labor relations and management? I guess for certain values of "proper labor relations" you could be right, but probably not what most people think of!

Re:Rapid adoption, huge customer base? That isn't (1)

neurocutie (677249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923003)

less greed? I doubt it...

proper labor relations?
you mean that workers are crammed into sweat shops, making $1/hr or less, no benefits or health insurance/care, sleep on cots and don't see their families for a month at a time... Here is where the real difference is...

Re:Rapid adoption, huge customer base? That isn't (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923433)

When Americans patronize American-made products it is a sign of bigotry.

Yes. (1)

Kostic (2754035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922503)

Find a new market. I for one would llike to have a truly open box (with coreboot and other free/open shit). And make it hacker-friendly. Hard to brick etc. And cheap. And kittens (or a piece of RMS's beard).

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922615)

back in your cage, aspie

No. (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42922557)

See above.

Try selling computers people want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922869)

I bought a new laptop 2 months ago, I searched for ages looking for something adequate. I settled on a Lenovo x230 for the ability to have 16GB RAM, mSATA SSD + HDD within a 12.5 inch frame 2kg. Spent USD$1000. I had reservations about Lenovo (Chinese company) but didn't really see many alternatives.

I don't think any other company sells anything anywhere near these features.

Why isn't it moving to AFRICA? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922925)

Anybody? LOL.

Of course, it's nothing to do with Africans' average IQ being around 70, is it. That would be 'racist', right?

By law, the cannot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42923493)

Extra! Extra! Fundamental law of the universe [wikipedia.org] predicts demise of American tech giants! Dell and Hewlett Packard preemptively declare bankruptcy! Assets liquidated and majority stakes acquired by Asia-Pacific manufacturing firms.

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