Wintel Suffers Through Shortage of Hard Drives

While GNU/Linux will also be impacted, Wintel will really take a hit until third quarter of 2012 according to digitimes. The deficit in hard drives appears to be more or less 10% for about 3/4 of a year beginning in Q4 of 2011, which translates to a decrease in Wintel systems shipped for 3/4 of 2012. This will be a huge push towards mobile ARMed thingies, thin clients (which don’t need hard drives except on servers) and cloud services all of which make better use of scarce resources.

Worst, for M$, is that for a year or so the world will get used to using less of M$’s products before “8” will be released. Expect shipments of */Linux systems to greatly exceed shipments of that other OS. Intel can accommodate this pressure somewhat by supplying chips for servers but M$ has no joy because lots of servers and cloud services run on GNU/Linux. Expect consumers to demand ARMed personal computers of all kinds because they want small cheap computers and Wintel cannot meet demand.

While 2011 may have marked the peak of the career of that other OS, 2012 may mark a real decline.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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10 Responses to Wintel Suffers Through Shortage of Hard Drives

  1. oiaohm says:

    Ted Vista and XP are both SSD killers at the time. They lack wear leveling file systems or a interface to inform the SSD that blocks are released.

    This is why when XP and Vista was out the OS most commonly on SSD hardware was Linux.

    MS gained wear levelling support in Windows 7 with hardware based trim. Hardware based trim is a latter invention than Vista or XP.

    Linux still has the option of software based wear levelling for SSD without wear levelling hardware.

    This is why Linux is liked embedded Linux does not need Flash controller chips you can hook the flash straight up to the main cpu and have the OS correctly take care of it.

    Yes there is still a bunch of SSD hardware where making a Windows device in hardware is more expensive due to having to add a SSD controller.

    Yes some of MS indexing operations are still not healthy for SSD either. So windows 7 if you are on SSD you have to turn a few things off if you want the SSD to last.

    “Usgae pattern would have more bearing on battery life than storage type.”
    This is part wrong. This only applies to x86 processes in most cases. Also only applies to SSD with controllers not directly cpu connected SSD.

    ARM has a lot lower power usage. Spinning up a old style harddrive drive consumes more power than the ARM processor does. In fact spinning up something like a samsung you are starting a duel core arm to control it and a nice blocks of ram. Scary part is some of the large harddrive caches can be eating as much power as a duel core 1.5 ghz arm processor running at full load just to maintain storage.

    SSD have way simpler controller if they have a controller that will pull less power than most ARM cores you will wish to be using.

    The difference between the two becomes major once you are using power effective chips.

    Same metric done on arm tells a completely different story TED.

  2. Ted says:


    Yes, they have.

    Vista was an SSD drive killer that several makers complained about.

    “No results found for “Vista SSD indexing OEM complaint”.”

    The top result without quotes is this very page. This could make the suspicious think you just completely made that up, Twitter. Do you have any evidence for your claim that you or Roy Schestowitz did not write?

    Dell Inspiron Mini 9s came with an SSD and Windows XP. They also run Windows 7 acceptably. So much for “all”

    The power and weight differences in laptop SSDs and HDDs is slight at best. Usgae pattern would have more bearing on battery life than storage type.

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    I don’t say that it cannot run on these devices, if you are clever enough, but I do say that these devices are not featured by their manufacturers as general purpose Linux computers. Furthermore, the old Nokia devices that you link to are no longer current production as near as I can tell.

    Regardless of any actual availability, the insignificant uptake of these devices is hardly any reason for OEMs and core suppliers such as Microsoft and Intel to quake in their boots at the thought.

  4. No, Clarence, I am not confused. GNU/Linux has been on tablets for a while. see for example the MeeGo distro. MeeGo is GNU/Linux.

    Then there is Ubuntu/Linux will soon be on tablets. You have heard of them.

    Then there are the Nokia tablets running Maemo (Nokia stuff on Debian GNU/Linux).


    GNU/Linux is an OS that can run on almost any hardware.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    You mean organizations like…

    No. I mean people who buy computers in stores or on-line.

    BTW, who supplies “GNU/Linux” on ARM tablets? Are you confusing Linux with Android again?

  6. Clarence Moon wrote, “In the mean time, full versions of GNU/Linux and other free software has been ported to ARM and a dozen other chipsets

    And no one gives a hoot”

    You mean organizations like

    1. Intel and M$ who are spending huge amounts to move into ARM’s territory? Why would they do that if they did not care?
    2. HP which is spending big bucks to bring GNU/Linux on ARM servers to market?
    3. Linux usage is 4.44% on Wikimedia and 1/4 of that is GNU/Linux?
    4. Many OEMs produce GNU/Linux on ARM tablets?
    5. HTC permits GNU/Linux to be installed by buyers? Why would they do that if they did not care?
  7. Clarence Moon says:

    In the mean time, full versions of GNU/Linux and other free software has been ported to ARM and a dozen other chipsets

    And no one gives a hoot, Mr. twitter. You just never get a clue. You see people jumping through hoops and paying through the nose to keep Windows on their PCs and you persist in claiming that it is inferior to “GNU” Linux rather than making any sensible adjustment to your obviously inadequate frame of reference.

  8. twitter says:

    Has Microsoft fixed their SSD problems yet? File indexing in Vista was an SSD drive killer that several makers complained about. This is another reason reason all the Windoze netbooks came with heavy and power hungry hard drives while devices like the EEE PC came with an SSD. The other reason is that Windows is impossibly bloated.

    Both of these problems mean no verson of Windows will ever run on ARM. Each new release, they promise the same thing. Vista would run on ARM, 7 would run on ARM and now 8 will run on ARM some time in the distant future. When they actually deliver, as they did with WinCE and Windows Mobile, it’s always a half done job that runs none of the desktop software and it is always unstable. In the mean time, full versions of GNU/Linux and other free software has been ported to ARM and a dozen other chipsets.

  9. The SSDs are snappy and will arrive but they are still too expensive for most of us. I expect the hybrid drives will have to come down in price a lot to make this technology mainstream. Until this problem in Thailand, HDD was king. There are a bunch of ways the situation could go. Just raising prices might delay closing the digital divide but a lot of OEMs cannot afford that. They need the volume to multiply their skinny little margins. Pushing hard drives to servers could stimulate adoption of thin clients and/or smart thingies with flash drives. Either way, I think it’s good for FLOSS and bad for Wintel.

  10. Ray says:

    IMHO, I believe that the hard drive crunch would simply hasten the switch from HDD to those slick SSD

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