Re: Congratulations PC makers!
Heh. Well, it's what they wanted...be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
Consider Dell, for the moment. This is good, hold on. Got one of these postcards in the mail from them (I used to recommend them, long time ago); for $299.99, I can get an Inspiron 15.6" laptop with an Intel Celeron processor, Windows 8, 4 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB HD. Now, after you've stopped laughing at those specs, let's talk about what's wrong with this offer: Everything!
Let's see here. Windows 8, highly controversial, yet strangely the least unpalatable part of that offer. Intel Celeron processor...something of a mystery, with no model mentioned...and it's a Celeron...kind of chasing the bottom of the market there. 4 GBs of RAM...on a Windows 8 machine....I don't know if that's sad or funny...especially considering the laughable price of RAM these days. A 320 GB HD...might even be 7200 RPMs...which is really not useful for anything more than bottom of the barrel storage / performance (well, assuming it's 7200 RPMs, that would be about middling performance) these days. It's basically the cheapest machine they can produce, can barely run Windows...and will probably crash / fall apart under any kind of load. Probably not very upgradeable either.
Now, compare this to the laptop that is actually sitting on my desk. An HP Envy 17...complete with a real video card, 2 drive bays plus some room for a mSATA device...optical drive....i7....16 GBs of RAM....Windows 7....and it cost me probably less than $2K. Oh, a 240 GB SSD, and a 1 TB 7200 RPM HD. And so on.
Dell's entire flier here is built around cheapness. They can never upsell their customers (who buy Apple, I guess, when they want something nicer) because their product line is crap. I looked at their desktop line yesterday, the Inspirons, and the higher-end model seemed to max out at 12 GBs of RAM. This is a desktop, mind you. My desktop is maxed out at 32 GB of RAM. What more, every minor upgrade on Dell's website is a money soak. Want a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate instead of Windows 7 Home Premium? That'll be $180...the exact cost of an OEM copy of Windows 7 Ultimate from Amazon / Newegg. Want a printer? It will have last decade's features, and bleed ink. It's all crap. Purely the razor blade model to doing things.
And after a while of using low-end crap, where every minor performance upgrade costs a ton and delivers little, of course the customer is going to rebel, and only buy the bottom of the barrel crap! They've never driven a Porsche, do how the f*ck are they going to know it's better than the Lada they're currently driving?
The reason tablets are competitive with laptops / desktops, or so the marketing types think, is because the laptops / desktops that people have been buying / have been allowed to buy / are forced to buy are such crap, they are actually competitive in terms of performance! Drop the bottom of the barrel PC lines, mandate use of SSDs, and shoot anyone who thinks that continuously dropping features is the way of the future.