December traditionally is one of the busiest months of the year where most of the manufacturers generate a substantial amount of their revenue from, and when a lot of new products are being introduced. I’m afraid that this year is different; most of the products that are available have been announced a while ago already and are just starting to show up on the shelves. Some of these products are at best spit shined versions of older products, or in the case of software, bundle packages with very little extra’s. We ask ourselves, where’s HalfLife 2, Doom 3, etc. etc?
Fig 15. A screenshot from Valve’s HalfLife 2 which has been delayed into the 2nd quarter of 2004.
If we look at the trends of 2003 it is clear that wireless networking, WiFi, is here to stay and has revived the network market that has traditionally not been the most profitable. Due to the success of WiFi we see that many small manufacturers foray into this new market and take market share away from the large, established network equipment manufacturers. This meant that in 2003 WiFi networking was affordable and available from just about every retail outlet. The other trend was towards silent computing, PCs that produce very little noise, yet offer no trade-off in performance. This trend will undoubtedly continue in 2004 with manufacturers such as Intel including noise reducing technologies in their chassis specifications.
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