Friday, January 11, 2008

diversifying PC's for different interest groups

What we are looking at today is that the production model of "one size fits all" is no longer working with knowledgeable PC consumers. There was such an effort to build PC's that fit the broadest swath of users. A shifting consumer sweet spot can spell trouble for any manufacturer geared up to sell one design for all its customers. Let's see, we have business users and gamers, students, home users and then "special interests" like servers and multi-media centers. Up till now we have had computers that can be converted to satisfy almost any customer. But look what has happened. Gamers spun off into high power graphics, students demand laptops, home users are torn between "personal computers" and media centers. Now we are seeing the need for security centered business machines. It is hard to protect data from theft or systems from intrusion when there are ports and portable devices that use them. I appreciate the USB port and my jump drive, but when I go to do a tech job at a bank, I have to leave it at home. I can see the security problem but I wonder why companies don't build a more secure business machine. Please, build a more secure business machine. Today, the PS/2 port is disappearing and USB will connect besides the keyboard and mouse, memory sticks, hard drives, and whatever. Maybe there should be ways to lockout ports or recognize certain hardware plugged into a USB port so that IT people can secure it. In any case it should be noticed that business PC's have some vital requirements that aren't a priority in other uses. I don't think we need to return to dumb terminals connected to a mainframe but we do need to harden the defenses to protect a company's data. It's obvious that the business PC model is not the basic model to be converted into anything non-business users want. One machine for the masses no longer works. You should be able to buy a more secure computer with the same ease you buy a gaming machine or a media center or a general use home computer. It is a hardware solution as much as a software solution. And there is money to be made.

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