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re: Can Windows 8 rescue the PC?
mcgrathdylan   10/11/2012 6:46:08 AM
Steve, I agree with you on both counts. The graphic does look pretty foreboding. Still, the first decline in 11 years is significant. Not a collapse, but as you say, this may well mean PC shipments have peaked.

Steve Schulz
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re: Can Windows 8 rescue the PC?
Steve Schulz   10/11/2012 12:44:49 AM
The IHS graphic is indeed visually misleading - it sure looks foreboding, but in fact the "decline" is merely 1.2%. The real story is more that the PC industry has hit it's peak in shipments... which is a totally different message than an industry "collapsing".

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re: Can Windows 8 rescue the PC?
subman   10/10/2012 11:48:53 PM
Agree fully with the previous poster. The death of the PC has been mis-characterized ever since the iPad came out. That IHS graphic presents a distorted picture, in that it shows bars starting from something other than zero. People visually integrate the change on a bar chart, and the graphic violates some basic principles of presenting data. Very non-Tufte, and a pretty poor graphic to boot. To paraphrase Dona Wong, a bar chart starting at something other than zero is like a misspelled word in a headline. Paint the picture correctly and the situation doesn't look so dire, it looks like noise in a flat market.

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re: Can Windows 8 rescue the PC?
Bert22306   10/10/2012 9:39:04 PM
There are two questions here: (1) whether Win8 would help boost PC sales, and (b) whether tablets and smartphones are taking away from PC sales. For a laptop or desktop PC, everything I've read about Win8 says that it offers no improvement over Win7. On the contrary, if anything. One problem a lot of people seem to have is the lack of the "start" button. Then again, there are third party apps that restore that start button, in Win8. Win8 appears to be tuned for touch screen type devices, and everything I read says that when used with keyboard/mouse and more distant screen, it is or feels compromised. As to tablets and smartphones, my take is, only the Surface or similar, which can work like PCs, would potentially take away the need for PCs. Or the smartphone/PC hybrid concept: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/hiner/poll-are-pcsmartphone-hybrids-a-key-part-of-the-future/10539 Aside from these hybrid devices, which IMO could take away from bona fide PC roles, if PC sales are slacking off it is because people are spending their holiday money on portable toys instead, and/or because the PC market may be reaching saturation? I'm curious, actually. Is the rate of toaster sales increasing rapidly? I doubt it but don't really know. And yet, few people would conclude that toasters are no longer in demand! (My wife likes "toaster ovens." So maybe that's a wrinkle, similar to comparison between desktop and notebook PCs? Overall, I doubt the sales of these devices is increasing.)

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As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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