It could be called the Vista Bounce. Here is how it works:
First, you have to understand that a good desktop computer costs about $3,000 and always will. A good laptop costs the same.
If you believe differently either you have been believing the ads or you do not know what a “good desktop” or a “good laptop” is.
The reason that a computer is said to cost a certain amount, say “$1850.00” or “Under a Grand” but actually costs $3,000 is this: The less expensive computer does not have something important, like memory, or a screen, or enough of a hard drive, etc. When you add that stuff on to the computer the price goes up. Also, the less expensive computer, while theoretically possible, is not the computer at the sweet spot. The sweet spot is the place on the price-performance graph (the more you pay the more you get graph) where if you go down in price the decline is gentle, but if you go up in price the incline is steep.
Why would you buy any piece of hardware that was not at the sweet spot?
The sweet spot for a desktop taking into account all of the important factors of processor power, speed, memory, storage, and screen, is $3,000.00. Always has been, always will be.
Laptops are the same exact price because you don’t want and/or can’t afford the same exact processor, memory, and storage configuration for the laptop without going way above the sweet spot. So you settle for less, get less, but because it is a laptop, and laptops (notebooks/whatever you want to call them) cost more per unit mojo than do desktops.
But, there is this OTHER number … the price you can actually “get something for” … the price many of you will send me hate mail about (“You moron, I got MY desktop with this and that and that and this configuration for nine hundred dollars and hooked it up to my TV”) … but you won’t post this in the comments (below) because you are afraid you are going to look like a wuss for having such a crappy low powered excuse for a computer.
These “you can get it for” or “I only paid….” prices are usually about half the actual price you need to pay for a non-wuss functional piece of hardware. But these days the price is dropping even farther than that, especially for laptops. At last, some of the hardware/price limitations for laptops have been reduced by the technology. Also, since all processors currently made are way faster than you could possibly use, there is some pressure off the laptop technology.
This is why we are seeing these strange beasts such as a $100.00 laptop, or an “under a grand” laptop.
This brings us to the Vista Bounce.
Imagine the following graph: From left to right is time, and there is a line dropping, dropping, ever dropping as time goes by, reflecting the ever-decreasing “you can get it for bla bla bla” or the “now available for under some-number-or another” price. Cool. Laptops have trajectories pointing to well below $1,000.00, and that is a good thing.
Once laptops reach a price of about one hundred dollars a piece, then everyone in the third world will be able to do what you and I do … spend somewhere between one and two month’s salary on a new, basic machine. (Well, in some cases, $100.00 is closer to a year’s salary, but these tend to be in regions with no electricity of any kind, so if you live there, no laptop for you…)
OK, so here’s the bounce. The line of dropping laptop prices happily trends down and to the right as long as the laptops are running Linux or some other efficient operating system.
But the moment you try to run, oh, say, Microsoft Vista on any of these laptops, well … that just does not work. As the laptop price drops below a grand, the ability to run Windows diminishes very quickly and completely to zero. The line for “windows-ready laptops” hits a certain horizon … maybe about $2,000 or more for a laptop, and bounces right off, incapable of penetrating that threshold at this time.
The Vista Bounce.
By the way, recent reports from various technology labs indicate that Microsoft XP SR 3 is going to have a 10-15% speed improvement. The upcoming service release for Vista will not have a speed improvement.
… bounce … bounce … bounce …