asked readers for some suggestions about ways to play the constant PC upgrade cycle. Here are some of your thoughts:
Any play off of shipping companies like
that handle the shipping and processing of purchases off of sites like
. Especially any with guaranteed contracts with Internet service providers.
I think the "Next Great Thing" works for a few weeks or quarters at best. Ultimately all of these gizmos that add functionality to the box and the Net only add long-term value to the companies that own a franchise:
That said, if I want a better display and more bandwidth and I'll pay up for them. I want the package to work better and be more fun!
How about a Web site that a user can go to for info about updated versions of software, hardware, etc.? Most companies seem to be terrible at notifying customers. For example, I signed up with
a few years ago to be notified of new versions of Communicator. If they did notify me, I think it happened once, and it was weeks late.
Craig L. Mische
I will tell you that being tied to my desk is getting old, laptop or not. I want headsets with peripheral vision minicams so I can bake a cake, run down to the lake, do my life. Maybe a neural appendage -- or so. Really, the appliances market is where it's at, let's hope it is evolutionary and on a fast track.
I don't see how you can lose with companies that upgrade connection speed, especially as media on the Web gets more extensive and elaborate, thus bigger and requiring more bandwidth. It will dramatically improve e-shopping when some of the applets that allow you to manually rotate and inspect 3-D product images become ubiquitous. I think the potential is still underestimated. If you pick the winner in high-speed access.
I am currently playing the upgrade cycle by being long the retailers that sell them. Instead of trying to pick who has the best, fastest, cheapest, most popular and most profitable widget, I'm going to play the guys who sell them to us. I think they stand to reap the benefits here.
I'm currently long
, and looking at
and all the other chains that sell hardware/software.
The future of home multimedia is being foreshadowed right now with the advent of MP3. The concept of miniature, chip-based, no moving parts, infinitely reuseable and transferable storage is in its infancy.
What somebody needs to market is a universal format that's kind of like a little super-charged floppy. No moving parts. Reams and reams of storage space on a chip of some sort. You can stick it in your computer and download an album. Then put it in a slot in your stereo system and a perfect reproduction is replayed on your speakers. It would also fit in your camcorder. Then take your home movies and play the video on your TV.
People don't want to have to wire all their things together because the computer and the TV/stereo and the camcorder aren't usually in the same place at the same time. So you need a handy way to move a lot of entertainment/information easily between devices. Build it and they will come.