PC In Your Pocket, But Only In China

Poor Beast… Except for his huge hard drives and gigabit/s networking, Beast has nothing on this new smartphone:
“The new Huawei Honor 6 is packs with 5 inch screen, 3GB of RAM and this is the first smartphone that powered by Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 920 octa-core processor made of four A15 cores and 4 A7 cores which Huawei thinks compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset.The Huawei Honor 6 has officially release in Beijing on June 24th, 2014.”

The significance of such pocket-PCs is not that they are more powerful than a good modern ATX box or even a notebook but that with many millions of users of smartphones being perfectly satisfied with performance, this kind of performance in a pocket or purse will surely end the idea that one needs a desktop/notebook PC to get “real work” done. If you hook a monitor/keyboard/mouse to one of these you will also be able to get a lot of work done, real work. Add to that the mobility people love and the lack of environmental impact and I can see a world with a lot fewer desktop/notebook PCs. Those are for slaves to Wintel, apparently.

See Huawei Honor 6 Review: new flagship smartphone with Kirin 920 octa-core processor.

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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27 Responses to PC In Your Pocket, But Only In China

  1. ch says:

    Mr Pogson,

    “Wikipedia: “Microsoft kept the version number, but renamed it MS-DOS. They also licensed MS-DOS 1.10/1.14 to IBM, who, in August 1981, offered it as PC DOS 1.0 as the default operating system for the IBM 5150, or the IBM PC.””

    Yes, it was the Default – for a few months. That changed soon, however, and if you had read “In Search of Stupidity” – as I suggested a while ago – you would even know why,

    Here’s my quote from WP:
    “Although the company expected that most customers would use PC DOS IBM supported using CP/M-86—which became available six months after DOS—or UCSD p-System as operating systems. IBM was correct; one survey found that 96.3% of PCs were ordered with the $40 DOS compared to 3.4% for the $240 CP/M-86.” WP:IBM_PC#Success

    “especially when M$ went out of its way to make sure its OS was “a little different” from the other?”

    How did you get this strange idea? In fact, DOS was way too similar to CP/M – so much so that porting software from (8-bit) CP/M to DOS was rather simple. There were some differences to (16-bit) CP/M-86 – no surprise since DOS was written before CP/M-86 was released. However, None of this mattered as much as the shere Price difference. Please remember that in those early days both DOS and CP/M were separate purchases – the PC itself came with neither, and without a harddisk you couldn’t preinstall anything.

  2. DrLoser wrote, “the contract was not exclusive on the IBM side”.

    Wikipedia: “Microsoft kept the version number, but renamed it MS-DOS. They also licensed MS-DOS 1.10/1.14 to IBM, who, in August 1981, offered it as PC DOS 1.0 as the default operating system for the IBM 5150, or the IBM PC.”

    Now, what “Independent” software vendor would not programme for IBM’s default OS, especially when M$ went out of its way to make sure its OS was “a little different” from the other? That’s a monopoly by any definition. No one would buy or offer to sell an application that would not run on the defacto PC. Unless DrLoser can provide the text of the contract with IBM, I’ll stick with my interpretation. I’ve never heard of M$ agreeing to be open in a deal with an OEM in those days. M$ accepted a very low price for the deal exactly to gain monopoly. Once that was achieved IBM, the ISVs and retailers and other OEMs had to sell M$’s product or die.

  3. DrLoser says:

    Perhaps, before you take that long-overdue course in Computer Science, Robert, you might consider a course in Modern History instead?

    M$ had a monopoly from Day One of the IBM PC. They had an exclusive contract with IBM. That made all ISV’s and hardware makers ship stuff for M$’s software.

    Manifestly untrue, even if we accept a slightly spongy (yet reasonable) definition of “Day One.”

    First of all, the contract was not exclusive on Microsoft’s side. Microsoft were (intentionally) free to supply QDOS or MS-DOS to another hardware supplier … and IBM made the mistake of believing that Compaq would never come along.

    Normally you froth and foam about this sort of iniquity. Odd that you should remain silent this one time, just because it suits your argument.

    Secondly, the contract was not exclusive on the IBM side, either. It’s been a while since I read In Search Of Stupidity, but I seem to recall that, on “Day One,” the IBM PC shipped with either MS-DOS or CP/M. Possibly one other choice as well … I forget.

    So, then, the contract was not exclusive on the part of either side. It just so happened that IBM was short-sighted and stupid, and Bill Gates was not.

    It’s possible to prove anything with blatant misrepresentation, Robert. Is this really an essential tool in the Linux evangelist’s armoury?

  4. Yonah says:

    As a former Amiga user for over 10 years, I can tell you the machine was never a serious competitor to IBM compatible PCs. Personally, I share the opinion of some that Commodore itself is mostly to blame for that with their aforementioned terrible marketing strategies and inept management. Not to mention their juvenile rivalry with the Atari ST. Microsoft didn’t kill Commodore. They killed themselves. I believe one former Commodore employee was quoted as saying, “We’re a company that values short-term profit over long-term sustainability.”

    The Original and Enhanced chipsets in the Amiga did NOT support 24-bit color. It was 12-bit. The release of the AGA chipset in 1992 was late to the game but did provide a full 24-bit palette, though limited to 256 colors or 262,144 in HAM8 mode.

    Using an Amiga 500 to browse the web in 1997 was what finally pushed me to jump to the PC side. Browsing web pages at 640×480, interlaced, with only 16 colors was headache inducing.

  5. oiaohm says:

    The problem here Android 5/L will be here soon. KNOX will become default. Other-words selinux for android. So every android device will be DoD grade. Just like cheep android poisoned the low end this will also poison the top end. Microsoft means to keep on customising is going to get expensive.

    Of course a lot of people fail to notice that places like CIO mag and other magazines targeting management are talking about migrating desktops for windows to Linux or using more webbased applications that don’t care.

  6. ram says:

    Well, since you guys are talking about ancient computer history, I’ll add my two cents:

    Amiga didn’t succeed because they had strange notions of “distribution”. Basically, they would not sell directly and their retailers were in many cases hundreds of miles away.

    IBM OS/2 v1 was total garbage
    IBM OS/2 v2 was still unuseble
    IBM OS/2 v3 was barely useable
    IBM OS/2 v4 “Warp” was really good, but it was too late. Finding printers, modems, graphics cards, and monitors that worked with it was a challenge.

    My company, and most of our customers, never used Microsoft products. We used SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and DR-DOS (on the small machines). Later our small machines were running OS/2 v4 and our larger machines moved to Linux. Now we are strictly Linux with the exception of some legacy (but still operating) OS/2 boxen.

    We note that our competitors who went the Microsoft route are now all out of business. Could have something to do with the complete lack of security inherent in Microsoft products.

  7. kurkosdr wrote, “Do you admit Microsoft faced stiff competition in the 80s and early 90s, and succeded because they offered better value for money compared to compeitition?”

    Nope. M$ got the bye from IBM and got all the ISV’s to surrender independence or die. They had to do things M$’s way if they wanted their software to run on IBM’s PC.
    e.g. “FTC investigators also concluded that in order to sabotage DR DOS, Microsoft had carefully written and hidden a batch of code into tens of thousands of beta copies of Windows 3.1 that were sent to expert computer users in December 1991. When someone tried to run one of these Windows 3.1 beta copies on a PC using DR DOS (or any other non-MS-DOS operating system), the screen would display the following message: “Nonfatal error detected: error 4D53 (Please contact Windows 3.1 beta support.) Press C to continue.”” See A 1993 Article on Microsoft and the FTC and DOJ Answers Some of Judge Motz’s Questions

  8. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr the 1980~ competition from the small computers like the c64 and amiga was still strong. Even into 1994 they were still strong.

    Windows 3.xx had not shut down competition.

    The collapse and Microsoft becoming dominate is Windows 95. The marketing in 95 worked that well that people bought box sets of it that did not even know what a computer was or had a c64 like machine at home that would not run it.

    The problem you run into is amiga for example don’t have large cpu units, Large GPU units(by those days standard) but not cpu units in fact amiga is where you find your first gpu offloading integer processing operations. A GPU on a amiga was 24 bit color and a lot higher resolution than the early 95 machines.

    Amiga could not run microprocessor less printers or modems. The win only printers and modems put a lot of cheaper hardware on the shelf the other cheaper competitors Microsoft could not use. But the x86 computer itself was more expensive than amiga. So it a bit hard to say better value for money. It fairly much balanced out.

    Then Microsoft also gets lucky with a good application combination.

    kurkosdr your idea of value for money is partly right. Printers and modems die more often. Amiga is one of the ones Microsoft did not offer better value for money for over all. Amiga gets done in by the fact it ends up locked out of hardware and applications.

    kurkosdr like it or not poisoning of the addon market is why Microsoft got to where they did. In fact pushing printer processing and modem processing back on to CPU under Windows in fact had nasty effects on system performance. To the point amiga with less powerful cpu would run rings round it.

    The cheapest is not always the best option. A lot of people stop using win modems. Regulators fairly much forbid them today. You cannot make a software only 3g or 4g or adsl modem. You are not allowed to by regulators. Why software only turns out to be unstable. You must use a decanted micocontroller. Yes the software router part of a adsl modem is independent to the modem part receiving the adsl signal.

    Those makers attempting to make quality for end users never wanted win only modems the issues where known back then. So existence of win only modems is greed nothing more.

  9. kurkosdr says:

    @Pog

    Yes, Windows 95 was a clean sweep of the competition, much like Android 4.x was. Or Windows 3.x was, take your pick

    Do you admit Microsoft faced stiff competition in the 80s and early 90s, and succeded because they offered better value for money compared to compeitition? (including CP/M, OS/2, as well as Apple computers and Amiga computers).

  10. dougman says:

    KUKU, won’t consider desktop Linux…HAHHAHA.

    Its already here fool, Android and ChromeOS are in the street and they are beating feet! Perhaps you missed the memo, but M$ just put out an Android phone.

    Regarding drivers, Linux has the most amount of drivers already baked into the kernel. I dare someone to reinstall Win-Doh’s from scratch and tell me its just as painless.

    Windows 7/8 with a fresh Install, no network drivers…..umm hello brand new brick. No worries, whip out that Android smartphone and get to browsing.

    Eh..

  11. kurkosdr wrote, “pretending there was no compeition in the 80s and the 90s is just stupid”.

    Court’s Findings of FACT: “That Microsoft’s market share and the applications barrier to entry together endow the company with monopoly power in the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems is directly evidenced by the sustained absence of realistic commercial alternatives to Microsoft’s PC operating-system products.
    54. OEMs are the most important direct customers for operating systems for Intel- compatible PCs. Because competition among OEMs is intense, they pay particularly close attention to consumer demand. OEMs are thus not only important customers in their own right, they are also surrogates for consumers in identifying reasonably-available commercial alternatives to Windows. Without significant exception, all OEMs pre-install Windows on the vast majority of PCs that they sell, and they uniformly are of a mind that there exists no commercially viable alternative to which they could switch in response to a substantial and sustained price increase or its equivalent by Microsoft. For example, in 1995, at a time when IBM still placed hope in OS/2’s ability to rival Windows, the firm nevertheless calculated that its PC company would lose between seventy and ninety percent of its sales volume if failed to load Windows 95 on its PCs.”

    That’s restraint of trade, pure and simple, not competition.

  12. kurkosdr wrote, “I don’t consider Desktop Linux as an option. I won’t pretend it’s an option for the mainstream” after having written, “Then Google came and commoditized computers even more, to their credit.”

    Google used Linux to do that…

  13. kurkosdr says:

    BTW, this is the reason Microsoft was so liked up until and including the XP era, despite the occasional clusterf?ck (like the security of XP security or Windows Me).

    How many other companies tried to turn a luxury industry selling overpriced products into a commodity? Apple, Amiga and even IBM sold overpriced stuff (one of the reason OS/2 was so expensive is so the price difference between IBM PCs and clones was masked under the excuse OS/2 was included in the purchase price of every IBM PC). Unix? How much did SCO charged for a license, for the ugly mess that was X Window System and an ugly GUI?

    The honeymoon ended with Vista and it’s ridiculous price (with Windows 7 following), which made upgrading a luxury, but purchasing a Windows PC was still the most afforable option (compared to Macs)

    Then Google came and commoditized computers even more, to their credit.

    PS: As you can see, I don’t consider Desktop Linux as an option. I won’t pretend it’s an option for the mainstream, sorry. Tell me when it gets binary backwards compatibility for apps and drivers, closed and open source, and maybe I will consider it.

  14. kurkosdr says:

    everyone is selling = everyone else is selling

  15. kurkosdr says:

    “M$ had a monopoly from Day One of the IBM PC. They had an exclusive contract with IBM. That made all ISV’s and hardware makers ship stuff for M$’s software. ”

    So, IBM OS/2 never existed? Is it MS’s fault that IBM charged manufacturers an insane amount for a license, or the fact the thing needed double the RAM? Or the fact OS/2 was basically an attempt by IBM to wrestle control of the PC market from clone makers? (the version for other manufacturers didn’t have all the apps the IBM version had, despite being so expensive)

    Apple computers didn’t exist back then? Is it MS’s fault Apple sold ovepriced underpowered hardware?

    Amiga didn’t exist back then? Is it MS’s fault they couldn’t run the company?

    Unix didn’t exist back then? Is it MS’s fault that Unix in the 90s was fighting itself, with each version being a little different, a little incompatible with the other versions, and Unixes had crap GUIs based on X Window System (colormap flash and insane RAM consuption, read the Unix Haters Handbook -it’s free- for the rest).

    Seriously folks, pretending there was no compeition in the 80s and the 90s is just stupid.

    MS-DOS and Windows in the 80s and 90s was what Android is today, gaining a huge market share just because everyone is selling overpriced hardware or doing so badly.

    Will Google abuse their marketshare like Microsoft did? (remember, both are companies with a share price to uphold, aka wall street weasels to please, and don’t care about ethics). Discuss. (instead of arguing about what is documented history).

  16. kurkosdr wrote, “Microsoft took advantage of their dominant position before they had one, by having hardware manufacturers release Windows-only hardware.”

    M$ had a monopoly from Day One of the IBM PC. They had an exclusive contract with IBM. That made all ISV’s and hardware makers ship stuff for M$’s software. M$ even sabotaged software from competitors. How could they do that if there was competition in OS?

    This excerpt gives a measure of the depth of lock-in that M$ had on the market (1995):
    “My nightmare scenario is that the Web grows into a rich application platform in an operating system-neutral way, and then a company like Siemens or Matsushita comes out with a $500 “WebMachine“ that attaches to a TV. This WebMachine will let the customer do all the cool Internet stuff, plus manage home finances (all the storage is at the server side), and play games. When faced with the choice between a $500 box (RlSC CPU, 4-8Mb RAM,no hard disk, …) and a $2K Pentium/P6 Windows machine, the 2/3rds of homes that don’t have a PC may find the $500 machine pretty attractive!”

    Back then they envisioned the ChromeBook/netbook/ARMed small cheap computer and realized they were overpriced by a factor of 4 or more. Even though the prices of desktop PCs have declined 4 fold since then, M$ still takes the same ripoff because they have a near-monopoly with OEMs and retailers.

  17. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson yep by 1997 the poisoning is that bad there was no options for OEMs any more. The market was fairly competitive right up to 1995.

    In under 2 years Microsoft gets to a domination position. This is not natural. Toxic effect of Microsoft only hardware. If Microsoft growth had remained natural the antinomian would have been some where around 2005 if Microsoft did get domination.

    Of course there are other toxic effects like browser wars. Microsoft got the market share they did by a stack of toxic effects.

  18. kurkosdr wrote, “anyone who says there wasn’t any competition during the real OS wars of the 90s (and the 80s) is an idiot.”

    What competition was there when M$ could tell OEMs what to install and what not to install, when all the popular applications were M$-only and when retailers offered nothing else? I was around in those days and I saw nothing else for sale.
    HP to M$ (1997):“This situation must change. We find Microsoft’s control over our Customer’s Out of Box experience totally unacceptable.
    Our Customers hold HP accountable for their dissatisfaction with our products. We hear for the cost of returns of our products. We are responsible for the cost of technical support of our customers, including the 33% of calls we get related to the lack of quality or confusion generated by your product. And finally we are responsible for our success or failure in the retail PC market. We must have more ability to decide how our system is presented to our end users.
    If we had a choice of another supplier, based on your actions in this area, I assure you would not be our supplier of choice.”

  19. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr win only hardware appears for Microsoft before Microsoft has dominate position.

    There is logic to it. Win/Dos only hardware of the 1990-2000 was cheaper for hardware makers to produce why because logic was pushed back into the CPU. This meant micro processor chip in likes of modems could be completely missing. The microprocessor chip was a very large part of a printer or modem price. The win modem sold for less than normal modem but still more profit for the hardware company that made it than a full modem containing a microcontroller.

    kurkosdr manufactures were not crazy. Its like companies making iphone cables before iphones took off.

    The issue is the contamination of market. Yes Microsoft gained from this. A win only modem or Win only printer looked identical to a multi OS print or modem.

    kurkosdr basically its all profit. So if a hardware maker is making a premium on making Microsoft only stuff or apple only stuff or linux only stuff why should they not. Microsoft only hardware case is odd because the price to consumer was less yet the profit to hardware maker was increased.

    This is what happens hardware vendors in fact don’t expect the win only stuff to sell as much as it does. The hardware vendors also underestimate the confusion it causes for end users resulting in them thinking that any OS that was not Microsoft was incapable so leading to Microsoft domination position. Effectively creating the magic believe today that Windows is massively hardware compatible.

    Small amount of market poisoning has huge effects.

  20. kurkosdr says:

    “Thank you for basically reiterating what I already had stated.”

    Dear dogbrain, you stated: ‘where they succeeded there wasn’t any competition in the sense of the word.

    As my post said, anyone who says there wasn’t any competition during the real OS wars of the 90s (and the 80s) is an idiot.

  21. kurkosdr says:

    “Win modems and Windows and other exclusive hardware brought the competitors to Microsoft down.”

    Yeah, Microsoft took advantage of their dominant position before they had one, by having hardware manufacturers release Windows-only hardware.

    The fact Apple MacOS came with overpriced underpowered computers, the fact IBM OS/2 required double the RAM and was very expensive (back then, computers were expensive, and those costs were added on top) and had a thing called SIQ (single input queue) which meant if one app froze, all of them did, and the fact BeOS chose the wrong architecture initially (Apple’s PowerPC instead of the multi-vendor x86) and charged OEMs more than MS, all these never played any role.

    Stop a moment and think before calling other people wrong, dear brain-dead hamster. When Microsoft didn’t have a dominant position, software and hardware manufacturers would be crazy to release their stuff only for Microsof’s platforms and not for others too.

  22. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr wrong as normal. Win modems and Windows and other exclusive hardware brought the competitors to Microsoft down.

    You have to remember ARM is another survivor of the desktop wars. “Acorn RISC Machine” is their original name the processor of the Acorn Computers.

    ARM wants its old market back. This is a problem. ARM is not the group from the desktop wars of the 90~ that is making a come back.

  23. dougman says:

    Thank you for basically reiterating what I already had stated.

  24. kurkosdr says:

    for the 90s = of the 90s

  25. kurkosdr says:

    “Win-Dohs tried for a very long time to become top dog in mobile, but where they succeeded there wasn’t any competition in the sense of the word. ”

    Com’ on, be rational. Windows survived the real Desktop OS wars for the 90s. Apple MacOS, IBM OS/2, BeOS, even Amiga still had a foothold. Microsoft got there because Windows 9x and Windows NT were just so good value-for-money.

    See, in order to take advantage of your dominant position (Microsoft did that a lot), you have to GET TO the dominant position.

    Microsoft failed in the mobile market because they didn’t understand it. Expensive handsets, and confusing UIs. But they did understand the desktop and office (and the Xbox), something they stopped doing with Windows 8 and the Xbone.

  26. dougman says:

    Lets not tarnish the term ‘smartphone’, with the Windows-centric term ‘Pocket-PC’ ok?

    Win-Dohs tried for a very long time to become top dog in mobile, but where they succeeded there wasn’t any competition in the sense of the word.

    Just read back at the massive effort they did with WinCE and at best estimates lost $500M in doing so.

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