The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

Everyone knows that the economies of United States and a number of European (and even Asian) countries have been struggling lately. What's new is that the struggle is starting to hit the tech market hard as well, especially after the bailout failed to pass congress in the United States.

One of the companies hit hardest is Apple (AAPL). Apple's market segment is rapidly decreasing with the rapidly increasing price of oil and, in turn, food and other goods. No longer can some people afford Apple's expensive computers and electronics (even if they are of good quality).

But other companies are taking a hit as well. Hewlett Packard, IBM, Google; it seems as if no company is immune to the effects of what is a recession. It does seem that with computers becoming less affordable due to the increase in the prices of other goods, as well as the computers themselves.

This brings to mind netbooks and subnotebooks (as discussed in The Netbook Trend, published September 21, 2008) and nettops. This recession could foreseeably cause a reactionary response from the computer companies. Clearly, technology plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. At the same time, there are now new and more cost effective ways for technology to play those roles.

For one, perhaps Sun Microsystem's model of slim clients accessing a remote server may become economically viable again, as less well-to-do families, who in my opinion definitely deserve access to computers and the internet, may no longer be able to afford even a cheaper computer of their own.

Perhaps online services will become even more popular. Instead of storing files on their computers, users may turn to online storage, if it is cheap enough, for their files. Movies and televisions shows could be available on the internet accompanied by advertisements so that the producers can still make money (a number of television studios are already doing this).

At the same time, subnotebooks and cheaper computers will become ever more widespread. Many users don't use all of the power that their computers have - and the OEMs can take advantage of this.

At any rate, it seems highly likely that the changes in the economy will result in changes to the computer industry and the way it operates. But it is my belief that technology will continue to play an extremely important role in the everyday lives of many people throughout the world and, hopefully, even more in the future.


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