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An Inflated PC Marketplace

Market segmentation is now a major theme promoted by big companies in a number of industries. Is it a good thing, as they say? The push for market segmentation parallels the arrival of really good technical solutions to the top PC bottlenecks.

The #1 PC processing bottleneck (single queue random read) has been around since the first PC. However, while the technically minded are aware, most of the marketplace is convinced that it is a sign that their PC is going out-of-date.

Then about the time really good affordable solutions became technically viable, major PC sellers instead responded by introducing "market segmentation", a phenomenon that draws market focus away from the real issues, making it seem as though the problems and their solutions are instead specialized and therefore in need of market segments to address them case-by-case. A sort of compartmentalization approach to sales that fools the market into thinking they are getting a better fit for their needs, when the problems and their solutions really have nothing to do with specializations.

Someone good at visualizing math will immediately see that this instead exponentially increases opportunities to charge more. And more often. There will be more parts monopolies, toll features, hype features, more aftermarket manipulation, and more planned obsolescence.

Microsoft is part of this game. Their software tends to require more memory than most others. This then causes PC's to creep past their inadequate disk caching sooner. Excel is a great example: every few megabytes of spreadsheet requires another gigabyte of RAM. This has potentially disasterous effects on all three PC processing bottlenecks. Which then makes the PC seem out-of-date.

Then when the consumer upgrades or replaces their "outdated PC", Microsoft then requires that they pay the OS license again. If they complain, they are pointed to a link where they can peg their license to a Microsoft account. The extra steps are uncomfortable for a lot of people, who might then just pay the fee instead. And if they turn out to be tech savvy and can't be talked into a new system because they know its their disk cache, then Microsoft points them to instructive articles on how to improve disk caching.

However, though Windows 7 & 10 disk caching is relatively advanced, it is quite likely to not configure correctly. Microsoft literature states that Windows 10 caching is so advanced that it automatically configures itself the best way. Yet considerable forum posts suggest otherwise. And then Microsoft hands out solutions to the tech-savvy complainers, while the uninformed consumer figures their PC simply went out-of-date.

Then where this gets interesting, is in reading all the research articles on how to improve caching. Nearly all of them lead the reader to advice on how to take space away from the disk cache, to give it to the virtual paging cache. This provides an immediate performance solution in extremely low RAM systems only. These articles are outdated, and yet they dominate search results on how to improve caching. A new PC today likely has enough RAM for you to completely ignore those articles.

Anyone following their advice is going to do one thing: take memory away from the disk cache. And of course that worsens the one queue depth 4k random read bottleneck, which of course strengthens planned obsolescence.

And if you think about it, this also means the complainers get recycled, back through to the point where they'll likely buy a new PC anyway.

If confused, the simplest/safest thing to do is to split your RAM down the middle, one half for the File System Cache, and one half for software (virtual paging cache). And to lock it there, so that Windows doesn't keep changing things. Of course Microsoft could have made this their default (on all systems with at least a modest amount of RAM). By NOT doing this they generate a LOT more revenue.

Windows now analyzes your hardware configuration, making use of the identities of each device to determine whether or not you have moved the license to a different PC. If your license is OEM it is more strict on the analysis, or if your license is Retail it is less strict on the analysis, but either way, if it figures out that you are on a different PC, or one that was significantly upgraded then it requires that you pay the license fee again.

And if anyone complains about this, they are again sent a link to peg their license to a Microsoft account to get around paying the fee again.

It isn't all that hard to see that this is similar in structure to a very common scam involving bogus invoices, collecting money from those that don't complain, while correcting the "accounting error" for those that do. In the case of Microsoft, this is legal because the law allows all sorts of leeway in the structure of a license.

If all that didn't make you dizzy, then just wait for the big finale...

Major software packages from Microsoft, Adobe, and other big names have already switched to a service model that requires being on-line to use the software, and to pay monthly for its use. More companies and products are following suit. It provides these companies considerably more profit and control.

We are convinced that the big push to consolidate into Windows 10 is a precursor for Microsoft switching Windows into a pay-monthly licensing model in the near future. Or forcing people to move to a new OS with that licensing model.

The writing is on the wall.

Its hard for the average user to see what's really happening amongst all the glamour, the advancing technologies, and market segmentation. Its a frogs-in-the-frying-pan procession of changes, where convenience and misplaced trust is converted into dependence, and ultimately a steady flow of dollars out the window.

Without market segmentation there would be greater transparency on the real issues, and more effective and timely support when needed. There would be a single standard to the PC. And this would force the industry to become more honest.

Silver Bullet PC is committed to the preservation of the standard PC.

A standard PC that is optimally designed for normal uses helps to deflate the PC marketplace.

For the money spent, a standard PC is compatible with more software, lasts longer, runs faster, is easier to service, requires less servicing, gives you more control over security, is easier to repurpose, retains its value longer, and is more convenient.

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