I rather like CES, oh not for the crowds and hype, but rather for the fact that it acts as a bell weather for what might, or might not, be heading in the direction of the consumer. Many companies are of the mindset that if you build it, they will come. That argument is however somewhat false. It is akin to inventing the Waffle Iron but not the Waffle. This years rash of 4k TV’s is living proof, manufacturers are solving a problem that quite honestly does not exist!

Sure, new and cute products are, well, new and cute. But will consumers consume? Only time will tell.

I look at CES not so much for what it has, rather what it does not. In a strange way predicting the future determines the past. What I am seeing this year is a strong and determined move away from the Wintel platform. Windows 8 seems to be about as popular as the Ebola virus, in usage terms it even lags behind other great Microsoft disasters like Vista, Windows ME and DOS 4 (you would need to be old to appreciate that one).

The same is true on the hardware side of the house. For three decades there was one architecture that shined, x86. The original IBM PC, the 5150 when released in 1981. Hugely expensive, had little functionality, and required a team of Olympic weight lifters to install it on your ‘reinforced’ desk.

As time went on other companies started to produce x86 CPU’s. The competition was fierce, and in some ways still is. Consumes should be happy that AMD exists, they have done much to keep prices in check.

There is a new kid on the processing block, ARM. And it seems to be ruling the roost. For every x86 based product there are many, many ARM’s. It would be long and tedious to write an article about the why. Instead, I will share a video.

Oh that is so very true!

Simon Barrett

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