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Re: Lucent Technologies & Sun Microsystems

> >	And Intel! If the NC model based on a virtual machine gets the
> market, Intel will loose the monopoly on CPUs!
> There is virtually no likelihood that the NC model will succeed.  It's too 
> incompatible, too limited, and the much-ballyhooed cost savings simply aren't 
> enough to justify the dead-end, limited-function, crippled/brain-dead NC 
> machine.

	I don't agree with you. PCs are a nightmare to administer,
with so many things that can fail. Moreover, most people using
a PC in a corporation uses only two or three programs, let alone
the typical case in which the PC is executing only a client

	NCs avoid most of the costs associated with PCs, are simpler
to manage, and really take advantage of the powerful storage systems
used in servers. If a user's hard disk breaks, it doesn't help so much
to have a wonderful RAID in the server; it will take a long time to
replace the user's disk, install everything... while replacing a NC
is a matter of unplugging one and plugging another.

> >	And I don't think they [Intel] can compete with other designs.
> That's preposterous, take a look at Intel's earning statements and their 
> production and R&D capacity and then try to say again (believably) that 
> any of 
> their competitors are going to put Intel out of the business.  I think that 
> competition by AMD and Cyrix will siphon off (just) enough money to force 
> Intel 
> to not be *too* abusive.

	Intel has lived in an ideal situation until now. The ONLY argument
they have against any potential competitor is Windows compatibility.

	When the PowerPC was launched, it costed a third, used about
half the power compared to the Pentium. Why didn't the PowerPC 
take the market? Only for one reason: there's a critical mass of users
using the awful MS Windows. But if NCs based in a virtual machine,
such as Inferno or Java suceed (and remember, they don't need to 
completely replace the PCs, just replacing the PCs used by people
with the "simplest" jobs -Sorry, English isn't my language. It's not
meant to sound bad- would be a huge market share).

	Just think about being a NC manufacturer, choosing between
two CPUS similar in performance, but one costind a third of the

> The place where CPU competitors *can* make a significant inroad, 
> however, is in 
> dedicated niche markets that Intel hasn't targeted.  For example, the new 
> Quantum "bigfoot" hard disk drives have *the* simplest drive control 
> electronics 
> board that I've *ever* seen... and I suspect that a good part of the 
> reason for 
> that is the "Lucent" chip as one of the (only three!) ICs on the board.  I 
> presume that this part is one of Lucent's new DSPs, which I suspect does damn 
> near everything to run this new (and VERY cost-effective) drive in software.
> Another example of a niche (but still VERY large) CPU market is the 
> ubiquitous 
> Rockwell chipsets used in nearly every modem and fax machine out there.
> Still another (upcoming) huge-but-niche market is the new Texas Instruments 
> DSP 
> (which executes up to 1.6 Billion instructions per second, going to 2 Billion 
> shortly) and which costs (in quantity) less than $100.  One-tenth the 
> transistors of a Pentium (simple but fast since it does the 
> parallelization and 
> optimization at COMPILE time, then uses a VLIW where each word contains as 
> many 
> as eight separate instructions which can all be guaranteed executable in 
> parallel), runs on only 2.5 volts (two flashlight batteries!) and capable of 
> doing a 1024-point Fast Fourier Transform in just 70 microseconds!  Texas 
> Instruments is betting a bundle on this chip, and I suspect based on 
> what I've 
> seen it's going to be an enormous hit... unbelievably fast, and very, very 
> cheap.  (Anyone here know if Inferno has been brought up on the TI DSP yet?)  Of 
> course, this chip isn't intended to replace the Intel-family machine in PCs.
> As for beating Intel at *INTEL's* game, I wouldn't count on that... we've 
> seen 
> huge press blitzes over the years about Sparc, HP/PA, Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, 
> and 
> God knows how many other CPUs that were going to "revolutionize" the 
> architecture of the personal computer, and none of them have gone anywhere of 
> any consequence (other than to near-oblivion, in most cases).
> Even if some tiny company were to manage to create a CPU just as good (and 
> marketable!) as Intel's... they probably (a) couldn't produce it in 
> Intel-equivalent volumes, and (b) would be so outspent in R&D by the enormous 
> financial capacities of Intel that any later-generation product would have 
> Intel 
> regain (or at least come damn close) the upper hand.

	Intel's game are *only* CPUs that run WIndows. In any other markets
they must compete, and they don't have a very significant market
share, except, perhaps, in microcontrollers. Sparc, HP/PA, MIPS, Alpha...
thet aren't really competitors against Intel because they don't run

	And I don't think Intel's R&D is so effective. Their CPUs
aren't bad, but other manufacturers with a smaller market share
produce much better designs. Just having money doesn't mean that
you have great products. Take Microsoft, as an example. A company
tht is perhaps the biggest software company, with a guaranteed monopoly,
and with a R&D that develops absolutely nothing! Other companies do
research, Microsoft don't. They simply write standard applications
which have been already invented. 

	One example: How many people have worked on Windows NT in
Microsoft? Lots, according to Microsoft. How many people have
worked on Inferno in Bell Labs? Not many. Which of the two is a
new operating system with new concepts? Which of the two is a 
standard "textbook" OS without any special functionality or idea?


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