07/15/2004: Over at his official Commercial Appeal blog...
Eric Janssen has some interesting thoughts on the maturity of the PC: The Disposable PC:
As I think back on my virgin PC purchase I'm struck by the contrast between that experience and my experience from last Sunday. I did virtually no research and, since I also own two Macs, I know less about PCs now than I ever have in the past. I think I'm noticing an increasing trend among PC purchasing that has resulted from the removal of the fear of Obsolescence. Today, unless you're a serious gamer or video editor, any PC you buy will be able to perform just as well as the next and will be adequate for several years. It's no longer focussed on the actual system specs but on the peripherals. What kind of scanner can I get? What size flat screen monitor can I afford? What is the best mouse?
In a way, I see the PC becoming more and more like Cell Phones. Most people don't really care about the details of their phone, they just want one that works and does so without fail. What they care about is added features like service plans, ring tones and posting photos to the Web. Cell Phones, for the most part, are disposable. Customers aren't buying the phone, they're buying the features. I believe that as prices continue to decline in the PC industry we're going to see the emergence of the disposable PC. The focus is already shifting from the specs to the features. AMD's shift away from the Intel-style processor race has done much to end the focus on specs. Skyrocketing hard drive sizes have also contributed to the end of the importance of specs.
Welcome to the dawn of the Disposable PC.
Len on 07.15.04 @ 08:10 AM CST