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PC as a platform. . .


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i don't agree with this story. in 10 years, hardware will not be almost free.


surely it can be a lot cheaper than it is, but a lot of work goes into computer components. your computer probably only has $20 worth of actual material in it, but figured into the cost are research, development, testing, prototyping, manufacturing, assembling, shipping, marketing, and sales. there are a lot of people that need to be paid for computers to be possible.


an alternative to this that i heard mentioned a couple of years ago was that it will soon be possible to print your own circuit boards. ...which, with more technology (there are a lot of parts on boards) could lead to being able to download your graphics card, and print it out on a special printer. cost of the graphics card $4.99. cost of the printer to print it $499. this could potentially save money by allowing the guy who designs the card to sell it directly to the consumer. ....or instead of people downloading illegal software, you would be downloading illegal hardware.


i heard the argument awhile ago that a guy downloading mp3's to build his music collection for free, was not really building it for free. he now needed broadband, a better computer with larger hard drive, a better sound card, a stereo connection, a cd burner, and a mp3 player. all of which can be purchased for cheaper than any decent music collection, but still not free. just different people getting his money. personally i think his story was crap because he would have bought hte computer and broadband for porn anyway.


...another thought on this might be the technology actually changing. not just new operating systems that compete with microsoft. this is actually already happening. new processors that run 100x faster than todays, that are constructed out of compressed silicon that reflects light around ....or something like that. but still, the cost for the research and development will be passed to the consumer.


microsoft, while squashing their opposition, while they have security holes, while they over charge, really does not deliver that bad of a product.


....how is apple better?


only apple can produce apple hardware. they are blocking competing companies from developing music, image, dvd authoring, movie authoring software. it is called iLife. they kicked adobe in the shin by making all of their apps write pdf files at the operating system level, eliminating the need for acrobat. i could go on, but i am just trying to prove my point, they play dirty also. ......but they do look pretty doing it.


i find it hard to believe that their will ever be a hardware market that can be free like there is a software (linux). software does not require manufacturing and shipping.


maybe i am wrong, but i will bet you a dollar that in 10 years hardware will not cost next to nothing.

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Its good for the shareholders to hear Gates/Jobs sounding excited about "the future". Cast your mind back to c1994 when CDrom multimedia would replace books, teachers, TV etc (remember the "twinkle" drive in Disclosure) and you know how seriously you should take their prophecies.


As for free computers, I would always pay if there was a machine that offered the potential to render quicker than my competitors...within reason of course.



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