Tuesday, October 26

Affordable computing

Many companies are trying to bring down the cost of computing. The definition of a PC is not what it used to be. The computing world which used to run on the clock speed game has run out of the GHz. Why the hell do you need a Terra GHz machine to run couple of office utilities and browsing. ? As somebody from IBM at the early stage had made a holistic statement that in this world only few Universities and Defence organization needs computers and why somebody would need it at home. Now the PC industry is doing the same thing that users needs more Speed and Bits and MIPS to run those intensive calculations, alogorithms and bleeding eye games.

Most of the people simply need some kind of access to the internet, mobility, simple spreadsheet and word editors and thats it.

* Slashdot | How Cheap A PC Can be
* AMD launches campaign for $249 PC
* Intel targets developing countries

Rajesh Jain writes an interesting post affordable computing solutions :

Last week has an interesting one from the point of view of affordable computing solutions. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer talked about the need for $100 computers, and AMD announced a $185 computer ($249 with monitor). I will discuss the significance and impact of these developments. But first, let us look at the motivation that is driving the need for computers for the next users – what I will refer to as Massputers (a term coined by Om Malik).

There are two key factors which are making computer makers finally wake up to the opportunity in emerging markets:

Slowing Growth in Current Markets: The developed world is awash in computers – there are over 500 million users across these countries. This is now primarily an upgrade market – almost everyone who needs a computer has one. While computer growth continues to be strong (176 million computers will be bought in 2004, according to ZDNet which quotes IDC), this is being driven by two factors: depressed growth in previous years, and increasing offtake in emerging markets. The next new fast machine is no longer a driving factor in purchase, as evidenced by Intel’s decision to de-emphasise clock speeds for its processors.

Increasing Demand in Emerging Markets: The developing countries of the world are where the next users of computing are going to come from. China and India are emerging as two hot growth markets. China overtook Japan in 2003 to become the second largest PC market with sales of over 13 million units (US led with 51 million units), according to ITFacts.biz. India is expected to have sales of about 3.5-4 million computers in 2004. Affordability is going to be increasingly important in these markets.

The emerging market opportunity was elaborated on by Om Malik in his Massputers blog post: “Technology’s biggest opportunity that is staring them in the face. It is what I call a Massputer a computer that costs $300 for the computing hungry masses in emerging economies like India, China and Brazil. Users of this massputer should be able to do basic tasks like writing documents, Internet surfing, email and perhaps some business-related tasks like data entry. There are nearly four billion people who live in these emerging markets and assuming that only 10 per cent of them can afford $300 it is still a market of 400 million.” ..........