Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 15:09:47 +0900

Rich Bodo writes:

 > >  I think it's pretty likely that the next generation
 > > of phones (the ones that come with the mind-killer of TV) are
 > > going to kill personal computers as we know them pretty much
 > > dead.

 > Why will that happen?

It will happen because the number of people who actually want personal
*computers* rather than "interactive TV" is quite small.  The shift of
demand out of PCs to "interactive portable TV" will drive up the price
of PCs, etc.  See Tom Lord's post.

 > Not because computing power is no longer compelling: History tells us 
 > that compelling new applications lead to markets for specialized 
 > hardware, which will always be replaced by general purpose hardware as 
 > power increases.

Smart phones *are* general purpose hardware; they just are painful to
use as such.  People who are *paid* to develop for them will use
cross-compilers and the like, but can you imagine putting together a
150KB .emacs using a phone interface?  Casual hacking will be

 > The argument must be that compute-intensive applications are
 > shifting to remote server farms.

Nope.  Although the analogy to what has happened to the American farm
over the last century (compressed into a decade by Internet time)
gives me pause.