The major development has got to be the way that the prices have dropped right down, the rate at which prices have dropped has accelerated. Other than that the main technological development has been the changeover from CRT monitors to flatscreen LCD displays.
Strong pound against the dollar – if goes the other way
As the notebook market has increased the flatscreen manufacturers have ramped up their production facilities and a lot of that capacity has been used to produce flatscreens for desktops.
They’re a big winner because people equate having a flatscreen with new technology, it makes them feel the technology has moved on. People feel a lot better having a flatscreen in front of them.
I don’t think you’re going to see any short term changes because they’ve got a lot of work to do, but if you look ahead three years you’ll probably see Lenovo becoming more aggressive and probably beginning to challenge people like Dell.
The dividing line between consumer and SMB products is pretty much imaginary these days. That sort of artificial barrier was created about ten years ago by computer companies trying to segment the market place. At that level of the market between SMB, consumer and prosumer, those barriers are really beginning to disappear.
Its routes to market, that’s the key thing. Getting to SMBs means that you’ve got to be present in as many different distribution channels as possible. The big challenge is not so much the product, it’s getting the product out to a wide range customers.
They are becoming more integrated into the SMB office environment, just like the phone or the fax machines, people are becoming more used to working with them. The networking capabilities of these machines used to be something of a dark art, but now it all tends to work straight out of the box, so it’s easier for people to use their machines in a more sophisticated manner.
You’re not seeing anybody replace their hardware just because the technology has moved on, unless there’s a specific need to so.
Manufacturers compete by producing more powerful hardware and lowering prices, buyers simply acquire what technology is current when they need to refresh their hardware.
The most important question is: what happens when it goes wrong? So it’s got to be about how quickly you can get backup and running again. That means that the product has to be good quality, and the supplier has to be able to deliver the necessary level of support. For small businesses it is absolutely disastrous if their PCs fail and they can’t get them repaired or replaced quickly enough.