More on how and why netbooks might impact consumer electronics.
After re-reading my post, Will
PCs (Start) to Replace Consumer Electronics?, and reading the first
comment I realized the title could be easily misinterpreted. One
interpretation of the title is that consumer electronics will move to
a "PC software model" where consumers install and manage competing
applications on a single device. The notion I was trying convey was
quite different - that with netbooks we will see dedicated, single
function PCs (or their equivalent) filling roles that used to be
filled by "devices" and that consumer electronics will move to a model
where generic Intel x86 based hardware replaces the custom, usually
non-x86, embedded hardware that dominates now.
As a software developer this is interesting because we will have the
opportunity to enter the consumer electronics space with an (almost?)
pure software play. Developers will be able to do consumer electronic
like things without taking on the burden and risk of designing and
producing custom hardware. A key part of being "consumer electronic
like" is making the software disappear. This is why the availability
of small, cheap hardware is key. Once the hardware is cheap and small
enough that it can be dedicated to a particular application the
software can become much simpler, easier to use, and generally user
I think a lot of this depends on the continuing improvements to linux. Take Tivo for example. It's a linux box. I interviewed a candidate a while back who was telling us how his current work was in moving a device from windows to linux. Basically it came down to cost. The cost of installing windows on each on of their units was eating into their profits. It seems clear to me that the future lies with linux in general. And I'm really not a big linux geek. I'm fairly indifferent to the OS I'm using but I don't see how Microsoft and Apple will justify the cost of their operating systems in the near future.
One of the challenges, though, is that people might still expect netbooks to provide the user experience of a typical laptop. Just as people have graduated to larger screen sizes, and Web sites design and even applications adjusted to that, netbooks now push us back to the era when you had to design a Web site, or some other consumer UI, to various screen sizes. This sort of fragmentation is already a big issue on traditional mobile devices, and this just adds to the complexity.
I recently purchased a Apple MacBook Pro 17" online. It costs me $2299 plus shipping. If thr unit should have an issue over the next few years I want to be fully covered so I will be purchasing the Consumer Priority Service extended warranty as well. The online dealer offers a 2 year or a 3 year for about $100 more, Is it worth the extra money for the 3 year warranty?
I think a warranty of about 2 to 3 years is enough to buy, whether it is an Apple Mac Book or for that reason, any other accessory. Spending something around $100 is a profitable deal considering the importance and cost of an Apple Mac book. You are not going to buy it everyday, hence it is better to buy an extended warranty and get the problem sorted out if there exists any, rather than to spend even more money in purchasing another notebook.