Part of the DaveNet Mail website. San Francisco CA USA. 1/4/97.

Let's Have Fun -- Now! A QUIET BOMB

Sent:1/4/97; 1:51:55 AM
From: (Richard Sucgang)

Hey Dave,

I guess I have never written to you, although I have been quite an avid reader of DaveNet, and I consider you one of the more respectable opinionated people as far as the computer industry is concerned. You have the ability to see some of the glossed over crucial elements in this age of press releases - I like to see that you are on track.

Anyway, there is something that was released today that marks a quiet trend that I have been tracking lately. Amidst all the furor of MacWorld Expo and the Apple/NeXT merger, Packard Bell *shipped* 120 mhz Pentiums, with 33.6 modems and 16 megs of RAM, _and_ and monitor for $999. And they are not the first, just the most "branded". Monorail is shipping a sealed box PC also at that price point, comfortably decked, as is Everex. The fact is this: the industry will slowly wake up to the realization that the magic entry price point is NOT $2000, but sub-$1000. I predict that this will occur over the next few months.

The target audience of this trend is the remaining majority of homes that do not have a computer. Apple was supposed to target it with Pippin, but I think the Mac community in general will see market share erode even more, not because of a loss of growth, but of a lowered perception of value. I mean, why get a game machine (Pippin) when I can get a full fledged computer (with a cool name like Pentium) for maybe $300 more?

Maybe this is a wakeup call. For the cloners, for Apple. But certainly not something to be quiet about. Because, value or not, Macs can't compete at that price point. Not since the Classic.

I have been mulling over the idea that Apple should LET System 7 GO. Release it to an open standards body, and devote all energies on the next great thing. Let go of the licensing thing, let it just go. Not directly for the sake of profit, but for the sake of the Mac community. I am sure that you as a developer (and I am learning the fine points of UserTalk as I write heh heh) sometimes think that Apple is the limiting element at this point. Certainly Quix thinks so. And probably Connectix. And just about anyone who is ramshackled by hidden APIs. So I think Apple should really let it go - set it free - as you did with Frontier. Laudable, daring, and maybe a pure fantasy. What do you think?

Anyway, hope to write to you again.


Let's Have Fun -- Now!

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