[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: PowerPC desktop -- asking for trouble?

Em Qui, 2005-01-06 às 08:44 +0100, Ingo Juergensmann escreveu:
> Yeah, indeed... it really seems that IBM doesn't want Power(PC) to be a
> successor.

	I assume you meant simply success, as you didn't point successor to
what -- I'd assume successor to the IA-32.

>  But that's somewhat IBM typical. Remember OS/2. There's a long
> term support for OS/2, but over all the years, IBM failed to really make it
> popular. 

	Not only OS/2, but also PS/2 and various generations of POWER.
Remember the IBM PowerPC workstations and notebooks running OS/2?

> Freescale aims at a different market than IBM. IBM goes for big iron systems
> and midrange servers, Freescale for embedded systems and low end. 

	Yeah, but these Genesi systems really look underpowered.  I'd still buy
them if I could -- would have done if I hadn't lost my job in
Switzerland --, but they really offer no competition to mainstream PCs.

	And IBM simply won't go cheap enough.

> Whereas it would be better for the users when there would be a competetive
> market with several vendors to make the prices drop, it might not be that
> good for the vendors (and in the end for the users, too). 

	Hm, looks like a disguised argument for anticompetitive, economically
inefficient behaviour...

> I've some serious 3D graphics background and used Alias PowerAnimator on
> SGIs and made the transition to Maya. [...] CEO driven expedition into x86 land and
> returned to their core business. Luckily Beluzzo left SGI to join MS
> somewhen. But the workstation market is now gone. The sales driving need for
> Maya has gone for ever. 

	I fear this is not relevant to the discussion at hand... what you told
is just a tale of corporate stupidity, or perhaps not; you didn't
mention what perhaps drove SGI to that course of action, namely
diminishing competitive advantage.  Granted it is stupid to react to
diminishing advantages by shedding any advantages (substituting Wintel
for Unix and RISC).

> So, overall it might be a wise decision of Apple and IBM to protect their
> niche market. They have a sort of fanatic userbase that are willing to pay
> higher prices which you need to develop a low-number-sales arch. 
> On the first look this high price politic seem to be bad for the user, on a
> second look it's good for the user because it ensures that the vendor stays
> in the market and can afford development of new hard- and software.

	But how bad would be to IBM workstations and Apple Macintoshes if we
could buy GNU/Linux, white box G5s if they already have their fanatical
user bases?

	Apple will still have their integrated, proprietary Mac OS X and
Macintosh.  IBM would still have AIX, DB2 etc.  But we'd have cheaper,
more powerful, more energy-efficient machines, and both Freescale and
IBM would have a much easier time selling chips, patents licences,
whatever.  The whole platform gets validated, the tide rises all ships.

	See how Intel has so much success even with absolutely mediocre, even
antieconomical designs.  It all comes down to scale, and one reaches
scale only by having a healthy economical system with good critical
mass.  The PC system is so strong today that it would survive even Intel
floundering, while any player in the POWER space would be a huge miss.

> Having cheap hardware is not always a benefit to the user. Sure, they can
> obtain hardware quite cheap, but on the long run PC market showed that the
> quality begins to drop. Quality assurance of products is expensive and can't
> be done anymore when you compete on a below dollar per component sales
> margin. 

	This is an elitist argument -- but anyway it is false.  You do can buy
high quality PCs, with ECC RAM, dual SCSI buses, multiprocessed Xeons or
Opterons and what not, and these will be expensive.  So the need for
high quality stuff is no excuse to block the existence of cheap stuff.

> And because such a high competition market as the PC market is, you need
> fast release cycles and always be present with new and shiny products, so
> that the users are sometimes (increasingly) punished with buggy and not well
> tested devices. 

	Again, not quite true.  If users are punished, it is their fault for
believing the MHz hype.  But true competition would even enable nobler
competition, because different architectures would make
performance-based measurements the norm -- even Intel felt the need when
introducing the Itanic -- and open standards would allow us to focus on
reliability and performance instead of just keeping pace with Redmond's

> But because I don't like all these Apple bubble plastik designs, I'm happy
> that there are now other vendors that enable me to migrate from x86 based
> computing to PPC based computing. And I don't need that high speed big iron
> CPUs of IBM for my machines at home. Even the G3 is idling at over 90%
> during the day. Why should I then have a higher speed CPU that idles even
> more but consumes much more electricity? :-)

	What about having a dual G5 at the basement to serve a terminal or two
at each room, including the kitchen?

	And it's not about my personal needs, but the whole market.  Great
performance is needed to validate a platform for gamers, programmers,
scientists and engineers.

> Long posting, short summary: I'm quite happy about the current situation of
> the PPC market. Let Apple/IBM do the G5 stuff and Genesi/Freescale the rest.
> :)

	Still too few sources, and too limited combinations.  There need be
more sources and more distinct products -- or at least configurations of

Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete Dutra <leandro@dutra.fastmail.fm>
Maputo, Moçambique                        +258 (1) 360 360 ap 404
http://br.geocities.com./lgcdutra/              +258 (82) 097 281
Maringá, PR, BRASIL                              Soli Deo Gloria!

Reply to: