I’ve seen a lot of recent articles proclaiming Win8 as The Reason for the slump in computer sales but all of those incredibly lazy-thinking writers ignore the other factors, like Lack Of Hardware Improvements, Small Growth of HDD Capacity vs. Their Incredible Price Hikes, the Lack of a GOOD Siren-Call Software Product or Service, and that almost every so-called innovation has as many steps-backward enforced on consumers as steps-forward.
[B]HARDWARE ADVANCEMENTS? WHERE?!![/B]
Four years ago, MSI put out their first i5 Notebooks and, for a brief introductory sales moment, their 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HDD, 2.2gz models were $520 plus a $50 rebate - $470.
Today, i5 Notebooks are selling in the same price range. True, these new generations of i5’s are “better” but Excel spreadsheets still have =(2+2) formulas equaling 4. They can consume less power, offer more battery time but twice as much? No. Ten minutes? Thirty minutes? 60 minutes? Who can tell - consumers aren’t paying that close attention to minutes when they’re contemplating New Money on No-Real-Difference-in-Hardware.
“Why am I spending any new dollars for stuff that works about the same on programs I still use?”
[B]HARD DRIVE INDUSTRY EXPERIMENTS WITH BIG-OIL’S PRICE-GOUGING EXCUSES[/B]
The Hard Drive Industry used the Thailand floods as their excuse to double and triple prices, stall HDD capacity growth delivery (the 3Tb Hitachi’s had been delivered into the retail channel at $139, with a 4Tb model predicted within months. Twenty-four months later, Hitachi was gobbled up by Seagate and 4Tb’s have arrived, but confusing pricings have been all over the map. Every consumer can ask, “Why does the far more expensive External sell much cheaper than a raw Internal? How am I getting duped? It feels like I’m getting duped.”
And HDD folks wonder why their sales are flat or worse?!! Capacities are flat with doomday’ers saying, “Probably no more capacity because the market isn’t there…” Yes, the Industry Leaders have slit their throats with Flood excuses and bad pricing models, and now wonder where the blood comes from? “Ask not for whom the bell tolls…”
[B]INTEL CHOKES US AND TELLS US TO LOVE IT… AMD THROWS IN THE TOWEL AND BEGS FOR MORE…[/B]
I won’t leave Intel and AMD out of this blame game.
AMD’s recognized SATA3 for three generations now, offering full SATA3 memory controllers while Intel has ignored the biggest single bottleneck in the computer world, cramming the oldest and slowest data-paths with their choâ€ªice of memory controllers. “We give you great speed to calculate 2+2, but we’ll waste even more of your time letting it be written in a SAVE operation.” Gee. Thanks. Step forward, step back.
AMD gives up and says, “We just can’t innovate. Our engineers aren’t good enough. We are stopping the consumer-benefiting CPU wars with Intel. We give up. Consumers should, too.”
And someone wants to blame the OS for THESE idiocies?!! Where’s a good pitchfork & torch when ya need 'em?
[B]WHERE’S THE GOOD SIREN-CALL APPLICATION? [/B]
I can’t find any significant improvements or new services offered by MS Office 2013. The Ribbon Interface requires more clicks for the familiar user than the old, customizable toolbars. (And none of those can match OpenOffice which gives Full Command customization to both toolbars AND menus, something that only MS WORD championed in Office 98, although Microsoft has refused to deliver their promised FULL COMMAND customization to EXCEL, POWERPOINT, etc.)
The Ribbon Interface is a forced multi-click menu substitute - NOT a toolbar substitute which offers one-click services.
What about those Cloud-Service Group Calendars?!!
Ah yes. And I suppose a phone-call is considered “new and revolutionary”, too, eh?
[B]ONE STEP FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK AND THE JOYS OF BUYER-BEWARE HYPE: [/B]
And finally, innovations requiring as many back-steps as forwards. SSDs with all the acronyms that make consumers shudder as Reliability Concerns have become marketed. MLC, SLC - “Buy one, and you’re stupid! Buy the other and you’re lucky!”
Yeah, great. A REAL siren call for consumers, eh?
(Informed consumers can understand why a company might have 20 different SSD models - all using different memory chip technology. Why can’t the vendors understand that offering beehive-like product catalogs only make THEM appear confused to consumers, and consumers have heard so many admonishments about “don’t buy stupid” that “don’t buy” is all they hear.)
And what about the great Optic Disc market? BluRay Media is as flakey and deteriorable as DVDs and CDs - where’s the “Forever” promise actually being delivered?
Heck, I can’t even get past the issue of “Scan vs Why Bother?” arguments!
[B]STREAMING. CLOUDS. GIVE US YOUR MONEY AND SHUT UP [/B]
Fanbois claim these are the greatest things ever, the ‘new revolution’, completely ignoring that we’ve had more Cloud Services go under in THIS century than are currently on the market NOW. And the fact that distributed computing - the Cloud - has been around soooo long that obviously the nincompoops simply are too young to remember, or too idiotic to read computer histories.
Of course, none of those defunct Cloud Vendors were named Microsoft or Google, but when Microsoft comes out and says, “Our Cloud is reliable, although we’re going to shut you down if your stored files are against our policy”, who can blame ANYONE for not wondering, “And exactly when do policies change? Every time the sun rises? Every time there’s a political wind shift?”
And every GMAIL user realizes that Google is reading INSIDE their mail-text to exploit advertisements.
Exactly how far does reading inside the mail go? “As far as Google wants to take it.”
And people laugh when the steenkin’ Red Chinese insist on governing Google instead of the other way around! It takes a dictatorship to know one.
Want to bring up DRM? Netflix is thinking about ditching Silverlight and its DRM, but promises DRM in HTML5. “You don’t own any of this - but give us your money anyway.” With HTML5’s DRM version, Netflix knows it can bring in dozens of the world’s Linux subscribers, too. Oh yeah.
Spend your money and get less, less, less!
“This is the year of Linux.” That was 1990, by the way. Every year since then has been The Year. “But this year, it’s completely different!!” Yawn.
[B]ROG - THE REPUGNANCE OF GAMERS[/B]
And a word about the pathetic mentality of Gamers. The biggest anti-productive lot, all being courted by software and hardware makers who might actually realize, “Hey - these idiots produce little or nothing outside of a convention, and there’s just so many times young teen boys want to idolize pot-bellied realities behind cutesy UserIDs.”
Look at all the “innovations” that the hardware world has made toward gamers:
Cases with windows, so a Computer user can spend all his time getting excited about blinking LEDs and spinning fans. Oooh…ahhhh… lookee - pweddy wights, pweddy wights!! Ooooh… ahhh…
LED fans! LED Power Supplies! LED Strips for “modders”. Oh sheesh…
Color-coordinated motherboards. (This is so nice when you’re strolling down the avenue on lazy Sundays, showing off your borzois and ROG’ers. “And mine’s 80-Platinum!!”)
Talk about a dead-end market! Is there any wonder that eventually even these lame, lazy gamers will occasionally wake up and say, “I could spend THIS thousand dollars on something else!” Like, get out of the apartment. (No, come to think of it, that’s never occurring to Gamers. Pass those potato chips and just buy larger sweats. du-uh)
Bill Gates was hailing the Gaming Industry as a “$4.7 billion dollar industry segment” as he hyped the XBox.
Yet the productive end-product has been either carpel-tunnel surgery, eye-glass increases, Google auto-cars photo’ing our front-doors… or Drones flying over, taking pictures of our backyards, too.
Yessirree, those ‘advancements’ really bring the food to the table, eh?
It’s a Do-Nothing Accomplish-Nothing Segment that gets tons of attention from hardware vendors, and NOW those same vendors are wondering where their markets have evaporated to? Go ask the Gamers - see what answer THEY give.
[B]AND WHAT HAVE REBATES REALLY DONE TO RETAIL SALES?[/B]
Does someone want to argue the impact that Retail Rebates have on the consumer world, too? “Give me more money and eventually, I’ll send you back a little bit.” How many consumers walk in, seeing the Big Printed Price only to hit the checkout lane and discover they need to pay the Small Print Biggest Price, and then collect all the correct paperwork, submit it by snail-mail, and eventually they’ll get something in return. Maybe. Possibly.
How many Sticker Shock episodes does a consumer endure before saying, “No - no purchases at all”? Ask CompUSA… Best Buy… dozens of other brick-n-mortar stores. The Rebates have gone on far longer than I ever expected, frankly. But anyone walking thru a local Fry’s will notice a plethora of empty shelves NOW. “No rebate needed!”
Rebate THAT, how’s about?
I dislike the direction that Win8 seems to be taking us in.
I hate the idea that I must pay Steve Ballmer for every App that I use - pay for it with money, or pay for it in cloud-processes as he tracks my usages, or syphons off more money from lowly developers, eager to buy his Hype Machine because he promises them that HIS streets are paved with gold!! “Sign up with us! Develop Apps! Make MILLIONS!!! ALL of you!!” Riiight.
And Madoff is in prison, eh?
I hate the REALITY that I can’t personalize MY working computer environment the way I want to, that I’ll be stuck with WinStore Themes Only, that every user’s Start Screen can be vastly different, increasing administrative costs as well as training costs, all deprecating End User Productivity, one error at a time.
While there’s a recent murmur that maybe Win8.1 offers a default Desktop option, there’s a heartier warning that Win9 or Win10 will castrate out the existing Start Menu folder structure as well as every Screen-Element Color Setting from the Registry. THEN we will be completely at the mercy of Ballmer’s sense of colors and fashion. We’ve seen how ‘innovative’ he is. NOT.
The lazy writers can find the convenience of scapegoating Win8, but these are some of MY beliefs in the deteriorating computer-sales marketplace.
Hi-Fi’s were The Hot Thing for suburban jungle-types in the late '50s and into the '60s, but by the early '70s, JVC and the Japanese vendors delivered ‘all in one’ component sets. That lasted into the early '90s when “stereo stores” were as frequent as Starbuck’s.
Now where are they? I think this could be the rather natural life-cycle of the so-called clone or boutique computer industry, too. By having AMD and Intel refuse to deliver great advancements in hardware, by having the Storage Industry inflict unreliable and slower-gestating improvements, those are bigger factors killing off consumer interest in Constant New Purchases.
Throw in Win8, and I don’t know if we have a perfect storm. Yet. I have faith that these idiots can create an even worse scenario.
[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2684786] Does someone want to argue the impact that Retail Rebates have on the consumer world, too? “Give me more money and eventually, I’ll send you back a little bit.” How many consumers walk in, seeing the Big Printed Price only to hit the checkout lane and discover they need to pay the Small Print Biggest Price, and then collect all the correct paperwork, submit it by snail-mail, and eventually they’ll get something in return. Maybe. Possibly.
I agree with you on this is a way for a company to get some of your money interest free to use for a while. Sometimes permanently.
Sell me the product for the price your company wants & don’t [B]steal[/B] the use of [B]my money[/B].
Still overall I feel I have done better than most at actually getting the rebate back. This let’s me know the only two I didn’t was [B]theft by the company.[/B] I know how & where to cross the I’s & dot the Ts or is it the other way around.
So I’m going to give those companies a hit here.
One was Office Max . They claimed I sent the incorrect UPC bar code .
The one they wanted me to cut off the box . Which I did . That sure made sure I couldn’t send it a second time.The real kicker is I had bought 4 items with a rebate from them at the same time & I got the rebate on three of them.
The other one was many years ago. I bought a game console in the very end of its’ life cycle . A Mattel Intelevision from Toys R Us. The full price was $38.00 with a $20.00 rebate .So I thought $18.00 was a good price. BTW I still have it & it still works. The rebate was a dual one in that the “rebate form” had both Toys R Us & Mattel on it. I even called their toll free numbers & even got Mattel to say they would send the rebate. I guess snail mail is correct I think it was 1985 & I’m still waiting.
I agree with nearly everything stated above.
Disagree with progress of cpus, although Intel and amd have hit the wall in regards to clock rates and single core performance, and it’s taking its toll.
At this point, software needs to work on using more threads to get results faster, so it’s also a bit of lazy programmers.
All the recent development has been in low power chips, which have huge performance to power ratio, so by Intel and amd already at the limit for performance per core, and increasing core counts, they only have the option to increase cores and lower power to compete, otherwise, they’ll simply lose to clusters of low power Arm chips.
At any rate, cpus are much more powerful than the majority of people require, and the future will likely be in seamlessly renting CPU processing via cloud.
That said, cloud storage is a night mare for the world. It’s cheap, and it’s pricing all your eggs in the one basket. Eventually, I can imagine that one mega storage provider will be selling the same storage array through thousands of dealers … and then one day an intern his the wrong button …
The argument about “hitting the ceiling of performance with CPUs” is mostly based on materials used, I presume, as I still see DigiTimes articles about quality and quantity yields out of wafer fabs. (I believe they should be using true Bazooka bubblegum to stick those things together, not that chiclet knock-off stuff, but who knows - we’ll [I]NEVER[/I] see those test results).
When BeOS first arrived (about Win 3.1 time), there was talk about 64-bit and eventually 128-bit programming and OS’s. Anyone heard of ANY 128-bit news in the past decade? I haven’t - not outside of the local grad programs, and those are always followed by puns, Gilbert & Sullivan references and hearty guffaws). I of course would be first-one-on-bandwagon, too. Heck, we don’t even hear “64-bit programming” news hardly. I suspect we hit a programming-knowledge-ability ceiling long before Silicon & Heatsink Limits were approached. “Why bother with 64-bit programming? We can barely debug 32-bit. Just create more cores and make the compiler programmers figure out sequencings.”
(Ah yes, the TRUE cost of having ‘computers’ as the Youth Industry, where the experienced programmers are tossed out for the next wave of kajillionaire wannabe’s, and those of us who saw dBaseIII promises ducked our heads under Clipper, FoxPro and VB hype.)
One factor for not buying new computers and upgrading to W8 is something I should have remembered from work and school: the cost of new proprietary software or the absence of new Windows 7/8 compatible proprietary software. With many places, especially universities on fixed and in many cases decreased budgets, updating software for dedicated instruments is usually the last thing that happens.
This article is what reminded me of the problems with proprietary software costs:
One additional corollary to the idea that the hardware needs to improve:
Why can’t we transfer more than one group of files or one large file folder without choking transfer speeds? It seems ludicrous that we are still watching the little paper graphic fly from one file folder to another at seemingly glacial speed whenever more than one folder is copied from one place to the next.
YOJ, yes. Every user we’ve migrated to Win7-8 have spent far more money in commercial software purchases - from the outset - than they’ve done in 10 years or more. That’s part of the ‘sticker shock effect’, I think.
It’s not that they didn’t spend money on software, but for many of our clients, they have been dropping in New Faster Clearly-Better Hardware with “just transfers and reloads”. Now they have transfers, New Purchases and Conversions If Necessary.
And because it’s an All At The Same Time Effect, we see even more foot-dragging.
Customers are complaining a lot about these new versions of commercial software, too - “These aren’t like what we’re used to and it has the same brand-name! I’ve got to re-learn everything! I’ve spent thousands and for what? To start over from scratch? How is THIS an upgrade?!! I still need to do the same thing and now I can’t without training tortures and making errors and mistakes that I never made with the old stuff!”
Most users won’t announce this to the world, but in User Conferences, this is what’s being passed around. “If I had the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t upgrade. I get no new services that I can use, I pay a lot and actually feel like I can do less because the new compatible software strips away useful services, or makes me click many more times to wade thru their menus instead of giving me toolbars.”
We can offer up scant recompense - “Well, those 8-cores are used so much more efficiently.” Fortunately, most of them don’t immediately counter with a sneered “yes, by fattened-up bloatware” comments.
YOJ, I do enjoy Win8’s file-transfer “speedometer” window. That’s soooo cute! “Can this thing do piecharts, too?” I can only imagine the additional graphics and memory cycles used to plaster such cutesy images on the screen. “That’s what 8-cores are good for!” Yeah. Right.
ChristineBCW I agree completely. Having spent more than Â£1000 on software to use my machine productively, learning most of the tricks and shortcuts only to have to do it all over again.
This is not progress. I write this on a home upgrade computer running XP and see no reason to change as it does every thing I want for the moment.
Ruth has a laptop running Vista and I am going to build her a better desktop for her business as the old machine is too slow for her needs but it looks likely that we will put windows 7 on it. It looks as though I will have to buy M$ office for her as well. I know about the free office programs out there but she has been using M$ for some time and doesn’t want to find her way around something different.
When folks migrate from Office 2003 into 2007, 2010 or 2013, the Ribbon is going to be vastly different. I hate it, conceptually. It requires far more clicks to do a single task that my customized Toolbar offered. Toolbars NEED to be a one-click operation - NOT “one click brings displays further options to click on” - that’s what Menu’s do.
I am much more productive with a couple of rows of customized Toolbars than I am with the floating Ribbon-Menu system.
As for the Freebie OpenOffice-LibreOffice, their customziation of Toolbars AND Menus is outstanding. I can install more Tool Buttons than Microsoft ever allowed, giving me a greater productivity. It took me a few moments to understand what the Add Item To Menu/Toolbar did -it’s not exactly Drag-n-Drop - but it gives me access to far more Tools and once I understood the pattern to customize, it was easy enough.
If someone emailed me pix of their Word, Excel, Office toolbars, I could send them back templates in LibreOffice that mimic those, and a discussion to speed along the understanding of how to do more customizations.
I feel comfortable on Office2013’s Word & Excel, but it takes me longer to accomplish tasks than Office95-98-XP-2003 because of the paucity of one-click tool buttons. We keep it mostly for Format Conversion Insurance, being certain we can receive any document and use it from that point.
Microsoft’s change to the Ribbon-Menu from Single-Click tool buttons fascinates me. Since when is “Click, Look & Scroll, Locate New Choice and Click Again” faster than “Single Click”? But that’s what Microsoft says their research showed, and that’s what the Ribbon does.