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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 2, 2006 at 9:36 AM

Multi-core Monday, or “The Return of the PC”?

Today’s column talks about the potential of new processors to get software developers more interested in writing for the PC again.

I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of activity we’ll see around here if the PC industry revs up again. That may happen when Windows Vista is widely available in January. I think enthusiasts are starting to get excited about Vista, but what’s really got them going now are the new multi-core processors from Intel and AMD.

Thanks to the competition between the chip comanies, those processors are rolling quickly into the market. They’re also being priced at levels that make them accessible to mainstream PC buyers, and not just to the business and extreme gamer crowd that will pay $3,000 for a high-end machine.

Information Week ran a good story today on the topic that mentions the design details of the new dual- and quad-core processors. There’s a good debate over the design of multi-core processors; some are pieced together and not truly multiple cores on a single silicon die.

Regardless of how they’re engineered, I think the multi-core processors have people excited about PCs again. That may be just the results of the PC industry cabal’s advance marketing of the Vista wave, but it could create some interesting new opportunities for software developers.

Here’s the top of the column:

Maybe I’m stuck in the 1990s, but I think the PC is coming back after a long, dull spell.

Not long ago, it was thought that we’d do most of our computing on the Internet, connecting up through Web services and mobile devices. That’s where most consumer-technology startups are focused nowadays. They’re pursuing opportunities created by advances in wireless and broadband service that enable people to connect in interesting new ways.

It’s not surprising that these Web 2.0 ventures are attractive. Pipes to the home have gotten fatter, and today’s PCs can barely handle the videos, photos and other information we’re sharing and downloading nowadays.

But that’s changing, fast

Comments | Topics: Gadgets & products, Microsoft

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