EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.01.08

A Gradual Fall of W|Intel… Thanks to OLPC?

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Hardware, OLPC, Windows at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s down to margins, not quantity

Here’s an article that seems innocent enough, but we do not link to it directly. In this article, Intel seems to be expressing regrets about its race to the bottom, notably sub-notebooks.

“The price-fixing era which the class action lawsuit has exposed is coming to an end.”As investors are probably aware, Intel’s (and Microsoft’s) stock sank sharply after Intel had issued warnings. It’s not reassuring. My brother-in-law, who works at Intel, says the company no longer hires. And why? Well, the whole collusion around Vista may have something to do with this (remember that Ballmer will have been deposed by the end of the year). The price-fixing era which the class action lawsuit has exposed is coming to an end. To quote comments that are attached to the above article:

“The netbook concept is the proof that for most needs (e-mail, web and basic office work) a processor and platform like the Atom is more than enough. Vista has been a failure, GNU/Linux is still widely unknown to many people, and Apple is out of reach ($$$).”

(Full comment here)

“The message is still the same: Are you sure that you want something like this? And if you really are, would you be willing to wait until ‘some time in the future’ (when W7 is out) instead of buying one now (which might be running Linux).”

(Full comment here)

“This product has low margins, so we really wish people wouldn’t buy them. And we really wish Asus had never been so dang insistent on . . . *competing* (horrid word) that they started selling them in the first place. We’d rather sell low-end chips than no chips at all so we’ll keep on supplying, but this is all just too terribly awful for words.”

(Full comment here)

Intel gave its wares to ASUS very cheaply in order to harm OLPC, among other reasons. It’s spinning out of control at the moment (margins decline) and ARM is entering this race with superior chips that are simply not as 'porky' as Intel or Windows.

Notebook

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

9 Comments

  1. SubSonica said,

    December 1, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Gravatar

    Same here:
    http://www.osnews.com/comments/20592
    In this case coments are the most interesting part, they highlight how netbooks are another crack in the WINTEL monopoly-upgrade-mill-business model dam (pity that AMD is not willing/capable to enter the game, I hope VIA can grab the opportunity here http://www.tweaktown.com/news/10706/vias_nano_cpus_to_become_dual_core_in_2010index.html):

    Comment by Luminair
    by Luminair on Fri 28th Nov 2008 15:06 UTC
    Luminair
    Member since:
    2007-03-30

    amd representatives said that amd is ignoring the netbook phenomenon for one reason: because amd is not able to compete in that market yet.

    And intel is even worse. Have you ever seen a company speak so negatively against a growing market that it has the monopoly in! Do you know why they’re doing that? More than a few analysts and investors know too.

    Intel plays down the sales and impact of the netbook for a different reason than amd: they play it down because their cheap netbook sales are cannibalizing their more expensive laptop sales.

    There is an important thing to note here. The reason behind the cannibalization phenomenon: not everyone needs newer faster processors regularly. In the past software has gotten slower with time, thus fueling the purchase of processors just to keep up with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Windows. That ground to a halt with the failure of Vista and the stagnation of the windows PC. XP still runs well on slower hardware. Circa 2003 speed hardware. Which happens to be the performance level of a $9 intel atom processor.

    Computers are becoming like toasters. You don’t need a hotter element to toast the same bread anymore. Yet for decades the chip companies have made their fortunes on the demand for more speed.

    So what does this mean today? It is the reason Intel doesn’t provide mobile dual core atoms. It is the reason they don’t provide pci-express slots on their dual core atom mini-itx motherboards. Because people replacing their fast expensive hardware with slow cheap hardware is very bad for business.

    And breaking the global illusion of needing more speed is even WORSE for business. So they have to put down the netbook. They are only good for an hour.
    Reply Permalink Bookmark Score: 16

    v RE: Comment by Luminair
    by moleskine on Fri 28th Nov 2008 17:13 UTC in reply to “Comment by Luminair”
    moleskine Member since:
    2005-11-05

    Yes, very well said. The netbook phenomenon took the big boys by surprise, Microsoft as well as Intel. Tells you all you need to know about what they really think of innovation, which in their case seems to mean being anti-innovation if it threatens monopoly rents and their cosy ways of stratifying the IT market. Intel had a plan for Atom and it didn’t work out the way Intel thought. Rather than revise the plan (not least in the face of a severe recession) or count their blessings from selling lots of chips to netbook-makers – sales that have come from nowhere compared to even a couple of years ago – they whine.

    Still, others have gained from this, notably Asus which has come on hugely thanks to the EEE line.
    Reply Permalink Bookmark Score: 2

    v RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
    by Luminair on Fri 28th Nov 2008 18:19 UTC in reply to “RE: Comment by Luminair”
    Luminair Member since:
    2007-03-30

    it is always the innovators that find great success in unfilled niches.

    the members of the status quo call this “disruptive innovation” because it causes them harm. the rest of us just call it innovation.
    Reply Permalink Bookmark Score: 2

    v Anti-consumer sentiment may kill the x86 ISA
    by MacTO on Fri 28th Nov 2008 15:08 UTC
    MacTO
    Member since:
    2006-09-21

    If we’re talking about a market that only wanted desktop and laptop computers, then yeah the x86 ISA would be here to stay. It would simply cost too much money to create a competitive architecture and create the software base that consumers demand.

    But there’s a hitch. It is doubtful that many people go out and purchase a laptop or desktop computer because they want a general purpose computer. Rather, they want to buy a device that does something for them. That may be surfing the web, listening to music, watching videos, playing games, producing videos, doing accounting, programming software, or whatever. Once those needs have been met they start looking at other features. Yes, performance is one of those needs. But form factor is another need.

    When companies like AMD and Intel say that they aren’t going to focus on the netbook market or they portray it as some sort of fad, even though the market is clearly saying otherwise, they are really displaying an anti-consumer attitude. They are really saying that they know the needs of their consumers better than the customers do. Which is pure baloney.

    If they continue to display these attitudes, they will face the same problems that the behemoths of prior generations of computing faced. It doesn’t take much of a genius to figure out that there are entire classes of devices that use non-x86 architectures, of which Intel only sells a subset, and that those devices are becoming so sophisticated that they are starting to fill in some of the niches of the computer world. And it won’t take long until someone introduces one of these devices with a large enough screen to read comfortably on, and possibly a large enough keyboard to write comfortably on.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 1, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s similar situation with Vista vs. XP. I cited a previous post where Mark Shuttleworth is quoted as saying that he had heard of $0 Windows. Office 2007 seems to be on the dumping as well these days (many promotional E-mails with sub-$100 licences).

  3. Michael said,

    December 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Gravatar

    This is really quite interesting – it could be the trigger for something of a collapse of the whole business model. The need to upgrade just isn’t there anymore, and there are no compelling software reasons either. Sure there will always be the need for big number crunching or game playing boxes, but that was always just a niche, and the cash-cow of selling ever more powerful desktop pc’s to business who don’t need them just isn’t sustainable. Let alone all of the other fronts they are being attacked from (alternate devices).

    The whole rush to the bottom was interesting as well. First, the whole cheap-mini-notebook idea was a business opportunity that was never taken up for a reason – they couldn’t ever make a lot of money off it, and it would drag sales from elsewhere so probably lose them money overall. But they did it anyway to compete with the perceived thread from a new player who saw the cost of technology getting to the point that not only could it be done cheaply, it could provide a capable platform as well. So the consumer was first held back by a monopoly player who didn’t want to give them useful product because they weren’t going to make enough money on it, and then they through that all out of the window to try to crush a competitor.

    Funny how it comes back to bite them. Even more funny is how this fed into the whole vista/xp thing too. The technology and capability of machines has gotten to a point that nobody really needs to upgrade anything, particularly the os. I guess we should expect to see more articles along the lines of ‘users not satisfied with performance of netbooks’ that I recently saw, as the marketing machine gets behind trying to discredit them.

  4. G. Michaels said,

    December 1, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I would be very weary of taking comments on websites as proof or support or anything Roy says, considering one of his entourage is a notorious Slashdot troll that operates more than a dozen accounts used to actively shill for this blog and his own comments. Who knows where else he plays these games. The link on my name contains more information, if anyone is interested.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  5. pcolon said,

    December 2, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Gravatar

    One of the reasons there is such strong opposition to “higher pricey, more performance” units is GNU/Linux/FOSS. It will run on just about any hardware. The WINTEL “charity killer” monopoly badmouthed, undermined and sabotaged OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), peddling lies continually boasting of their innovation. Intel ridiculed the XO, which was using the AMD geode chip, but that was because it was going to be an embarrassment to them at CES. Intel had nothing on hand that could compete in its class. Microsoft definitely had nothing that could run on the XO, as configured, for Fedora-based Sugar.

    Innovate or stagnate; they chose to be barriers to innovation. Whatever you may think of OLPC project, it was the real birth of the netbook revolution.

    Some bloggers and commenters have said these giant “innovators” of the industry had the resources to manufacture the netbook on their own. Judging by the initial Linux powered netbook success, they’re tripping over themselves to crank out their own XO counterfeits.

    Microsoft keeps choking progress, pulling back the reins of innovation, by dumping an 8 year old “trojanware OS” on the netbook. They have no way to shed the proprietary cost structure they’ve “innovated”.

  6. SubSonica said,

    December 2, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Gravatar

    And yet another crack in the monopolistic dam:
    http://gizmodo.com/5100660/good-os-launches-a-cloud+centric-version-of-their-linux-os-calledcloud
    Seems like a tablet-pc done right by the competition and at 1/5th of the price…

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 2, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Gravatar

    No Vista.

  8. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    The current netbooks are rather close to what I, when asked, would be the the ultimate travel notebook — years ago.

    I’m seeing a computer mouse-sized puck, the Neo Freerunner, which has basically everything I want and more, except a 13″ screen, in a netbook. It runs on an ARM with GSM GPS, GPRS, Bluetooth, and wifi. The puck is a tablet computer just over 1cm thick. But if the components are spread out horizontally, the device could possibly be made 0.25 cm thick.

    Add another USB port or two, a decent-sized keyboard, more battery (or more nokia batteries) and a 13″ screen and *that* would be a real netbook.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Screen and keyboard can be projected. The technology already exists, but it’s expensive. If taken into mass production, however…

    There is also voice dictation…

What Else is New


  1. More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is



  2. Beware Team UPC's Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Claims that a Unified Patent Court (UPC) will commence next year are nothing but a fantasy of the Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, who keeps telling lies to French media (some of which he passes EPO money to, just like he passes EPO money to his other employer)



  3. Diversity at the EPO

    Two decades of EPO with 16-17 years under the control of French Presidents (and nowadays predominantly French management in general with Inventor Award held in France almost half the time) is "diversity at the EPO"



  4. Orrin Hatch, Sponsored the Most by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Tries to Make Its Patents Immune From Scrutiny (PTAB)

    Orrin Hatch is the latest example of laws being up for sale, i.e. companies can 'buy' politicians to act as their 'couriers' and pass laws for them, including laws pertaining to patents



  5. Links 17/6/2018: Linux 4.18 RC1 and Deepin 15.6 Released

    Links for the day



  6. To Keep the Patent System Alive and Going Practitioners Will Have to Accept Compromises on Scope Being Narrowed

    35 U.S.C. § 101 still squashes a lot of software patents, reducing confidence in US patents; the only way to correct this is to reduce patent filings and file fewer lawsuits, judging their merit in advance based on precedents from higher courts



  7. The Affairs of the USPTO Have Turned Into Somewhat of a Battle Against the Courts, Which Are Simply Applying the Law to Invalidate US Patents

    The struggle between law, public interest, and the Cult of Patents (which only ever celebrates more patents and lawsuits) as observed in the midst of recent events in the United States



  8. Patent Marketing Disguised as Patent 'Advice'

    The meta-industry which profits from patents and lawsuits claims that it's guiding us and pursuing innovation, but in reality its sole goal is enriching itself, even if that means holding science back



  9. Microsoft is Still 'Cybermobbing' Its Competition Using Patent Trolls Such as Finjan

    In the "cybersecurity" space, a sub-domain where many software patents have been granted by the US patent office, the patent extortion by Microsoft-connected trolls (and Microsoft's 'protection' racket) seems to carry on; but Microsoft continues to insist that it has changed its ways



  10. Links 16/6/2018: LiMux Story, Okta Openwashing and More

    Links for the day



  11. The EPO's Response to the Open Letter About Decline in Patent Quality as the Latest Example of Arrogance and Resistance to Facts, Truth

    Sidestepping the existential crisis of the EPO (running out of work and issuing many questionable patents with expectation of impending layoffs), the PR people at the Office choose a facts-denying, face-saving 'damage control' strategy while staff speaks out, wholeheartedly agreeing with concerned stakeholders



  12. In the United States the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Which Assures Patent Quality, is Still Being Smeared by Law Firms That Profit From Patent Maximalism, Lawsuits

    Auditory roles which help ascertain high quality of patents (or invalidate low-quality patents, at least those pointed out by petitions) are being smeared, demonised as "death squads" and worked around using dirty tricks that are widely described as "scams"



  13. The 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) Hype, Propped Up by Events of the European Patent Office (EPO), is Infectious and It Threatens Patent Quality Worldwide

    Having spread surrogate terms like “4IR” (somewhat of a 'mask' for software patents, by the EPO's own admission in the Gazette), the EPO continues with several more terms like “ICT” and now we’re grappling with terms like “AI”, which the media endlessly perpetuates these days (in relation to patents it de facto means little more than "clever algorithms")



  14. Links 15/6/2018: HP Chromebook X2 With GNU/Linux Software, Apple Admits and Closes a Back Door ('Loophole')

    Links for the day



  15. The '4iP Council' is a Megaphone of Team UPC and Team Battistelli at the EPO

    The EPO keeps demonstrating lack of interest in genuine patent quality (it uses buzzwords to compensate for deviation from the EPC and replaces humans with shoddy translators); it is being aided by law firms which work for patent trolls and think tanks that propel their interests



  16. Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner Find the Courage to Express Concerns About Battistelli's Ugly Legacy and Low Patent Quality

    The astounding levels of abuse at the EPO have caused some of the EPO's biggest stakeholders to speak out and lash out, condemning the Office for mismanagement amongst other things



  17. IAM Concludes Its Latest Anti-§ 101 Think Tank, Featuring Crooked Benoît Battistelli

    The attack on 35 U.S.C. § 101, which invalidates most if not all software patents, as seen through the lens of a Battistelli- and Iancu-led lobbying event (set up by IAM)



  18. Google Gets Told Off -- Even by the Typically Supportive EFF and TechDirt -- Over Patenting of Software

    The EFF's Daniel Nazer, as well as TechDirt's founder Mike Masnick, won't tolerate Google's misuse of Jarek Duda's work; the USPTO should generally reject all applications for software patents -- something which a former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO seems to be accepting now (that such patents have no potency after Alice)



  19. From the Eastern District of Texas to Delaware, US Patent Litigation is (Overall) Still Declining

    Patent disputes/conflicts are increasingly being settled outside the courts and patents that aren't really potent/eligible are being eliminated or never brought forth at all



  20. Links 13/6/2018: Cockpit 170, Plasma 5.13, Krita 4.0.4

    Links for the day



  21. When the USPTO Grants Patents in Defiance of 35 U.S.C. § 101 the Courts Will Eventually Squash These Anyway

    Software/abstract patents, as per § 101 (Section 101) which relates to Alice Corp v CLS Bank at the US Supreme Court, are not valid in the United States, albeit one typically has to pay a fortune for a court battle to show it because the patent office (USPTO) is still far too lenient and careless



  22. Buzzwords and Three-Letter Acronyms Still Abused by the EPO to Grant a Lot of Patents on Algorithms

    Aided by Microsoft lobbying (with its very many patent trolls) as well as corrupt Battistelli, the push for software patenting under the guise of "artificial intelligence" ("AI") carries on, boosted by Battistelli's own "Pravda" (which he writes for), IAM Magazine



  23. The United States is Far Better Off With the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), So Why Do Lawyers Attack It?

    The anti-PTAB lobby (which is basically the pro-troll or pro-litigation lobby) continues to belittle and insult PTAB, having repeatedly failed to dismantle it; in the meantime PTAB is disarming several more patent trolls and removing from the system patents which were granted in error (as well as the associated lawsuits)



  24. Links 12/6/2018: Neovim 0.3 and Wine 3.10

    Links for the day



  25. Corrupt Benoît Battistelli Promotes Software Patents in IAM's Patent Trolls-Funded Event in the United States

    With less than 3 weeks remaining for Battistelli's term he engages in gross revisionism, lobbying, and even looting of the patent office



  26. The EPO's 'Expert' Georg Weber is Still Advocating Software Patents in Europe (But He Disguises Them Using Buzzwords)

    The EPO's overzealous support for software patents continues unabated while the European Parliament looks the other way; this is part of the plan to expand patent scope in Europe and flood the continent with low-quality patents (causing a ruinous litigation boom like in China)



  27. Battistelli's EPO is Outdoing North Korea When It Comes to Propaganda and Abuses Against Staff

    Battistelli’s ‘scorched Earth’ approach — his sole legacy at the EPO — has left many workers in mental breakdowns (if not dead), but to celebrate the ‘Battistelli years’ three weeks before the end of his term the Office issues new propaganda material (pertaining exclusively to the Battistelli years, 2010 to 2018) while Battistelli-leaning media offers ‘cover’



  28. IPBC, a Patent Trolls-Funded Event of IAM, is Advancing the Attacks on Section 101/Alice

    Andrei Iancu preaches to the litigation 'industry' in an event (lobbying opportunity) organised by the patent trolls' lobby, IAM



  29. PTAB Carries on Undeterred and Unabated, Courts Are Becoming Less Tolerant of Low-Quality Patents

    With the shift away from the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) and with PTAB applying growing levels of scrutiny to patents the likelihood that abstract patents will endure at the patent office or the courts is greatly diminished



  30. Apple v Samsung Not Over, Hearing on a New Design Patent Trial Next Month

    Apple's legal battles against phones that have Linux inside them simply aren't ending; meanwhile, there's more evidence that Apple would be wise to simply push for patent reforms, namely further restrictions on patent scope


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts