Economic downturn question

  • Posted: 26 July 2001 08:50 AM

    Okay, I apologize for putting this here, but I have no idea where this should go in these fora.

    We all know that the economy has slowed down over the past year+, and there are many factors for this: the .com meltdown, the over-stupidity in the stock market, far less infrastructure investment due to Y2K going away, gas prices (and thus transportation costs) shooting up, taxes rising faster than wages during Clinton’s administration, the labor market becoming too tight (I saw starting wages at McDonald’s advertised at $8 an hour here in Indy ... and living here is cheap), etc. To be honest, I saw this coming in February 2000. There was a small blurb in one of the Chicago newspapers, tucked away as filler in the business section, that orders in the leader-indicators of the industrial sector (machine tools, construction equipment, diesel engines, etc) dropped by about 10%, seasonally adjusted, in December 1999 and January 2000. For the last 100 years this has been the first sign that belts should be tightened. Even alleged idiot George W. Bush said this. (Al “inventor of the internet” Gore took an Alfred E. Neuman ‘What me worry’ approach, to complete the picture.)

    The consumer computing industry has been hit harder than most, for a few reasons. One, there are obviously going to be fewer people (and businesses) spending money on computers when the economy slows. Second, there isn’t really a compelling reason for people to upgrade, at least not within the range of their wallets. (I know quite a few who’d like to do digital video but can’t afford the new computer & other equipment for it.) Third, and I think this is the key, most Wintel people are still running Win98.

    We all know that WinME blows. Even Wintel mavens admit this. Some converted to Win2K, but most people heard about the problems with ME and decided to stick with 98. Maybe they added a little more memory, maybe goosed their hard drive, but that was it. They stuck with what they had, which was “good enough”. Now, when the OEMs ship with winME, that isn’t going to encourage sales.

    So, and I haven’t seen this question asked anywhere, how much of the slowdown in the PC sector is due to MicroSoft releasing a steaming pile of WinME? Things have certainly cooled down on the Mac side as well, but not to the extent that it has in Wintel-land. I’m just curious what y’all think. More, I’m curious what Mike Dell and Carly Fiorina would say to this after you got a couple drinks in them.

    “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
    - Gordon Jump, _WKRP in Cincinnati_

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tbone1 on 2001-07-26 11:51 ]</font>


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