I am not the only one to detect a crack in Wintel.
see Intel, Microsoft may face strong challenge from ARM/Android (Digitimes).
Intel hedging with GNU/Linux and M$ dabbling with ARM are indications that Wintel is weakening. Intel no longer sees its future tied to M$ and M$ no longer sees its future tied to Intel. The world of IT does not see its future tied to Wintel. It’s all good.
Consequenses of this diversification are
- less up-selling in the mainstream of IT
- more competition on price and performance
- better software, and
- better hardware
Gone are the days when anything with Wintel in it would sell. Now folks look at other considerations like:
- power consumption, and
Two minute boot-times are no longer acceptable as are re-re-reboots and five fans in a box the size of a mini-refrigerator. All-in-ones, smart-phones, netbooks, tablets and notebooks all will be mainstream and will find a place on retail shelves regardless of OS or CPU.
This change which has now reached the consciousness of builders back in China will reach a crescendo by this time next year so I make a few predictions that would have seemed extreme only last year:
- M$ will see negative or very small growth in units shipped in 2011 in spite of increasing shipments of all kinds of personal computing,
- netbooks will have a resurgence as up-selling dies,
- smart-thingies will have more connectors to allow them to be replacements for other kinds of PCs,
- desktop and notebook PCs will fall in price because that’s the only way they can compete,
- GNU/Linux will have major retail space, and,
- servers, thin clients, netbooks, notebooks, desktops and tablets with ARM will be mainstream.
The basis of my optimism is that M$ would not be dabbling in ARM if it did not see the writing on the wall and was struggling to delay the inevitable. I would bet that M$ will be too slow to market a product for ARM. The explosion that happened in 2010 with smart-phones was just the primer for a much larger change in 2011. Wintel may be able to hold a few niches like business and USA but the rest of the world will dramatically change in 2011, limited only by production capacity and not monopoly.