4 thoughts on “Ballmer, AMD and Me”

  1. Kudos Om,

    The only problems I see with the AMD box is that it has no ethernet port (for the future), and the OS is Windows CE.

    If the OS was Linux/BSD, then you would get a “force multiplier” effect by allowing users to experiment and educate themselves. Heck they’ll even start to support themselves. I know I already provide support for everybody in my family whether I want to or not.

    AMD should really reconsider an opensource platform, because it would provide a very tangible magnet to stimulate education, critical thinking and creativity. The talent and pride gained even from learning simple shell scripting would be a very powerful force on the collective self-esteem. By choosing a Windows CE based OS, I think AMD has really missed an opportunity to treat these markets with respect and not just naked consumerism. I have a feeling that the respective governments of the target markets might weight in on the OSS side.

    FYI, this market is often refered to as BRIC. That is Brazil, Russia, India, China, etc…

    Now for those that would like a more formal (dare I say) Business School analysis of “The Invisible Opportunity” that Om has touched on, I suggest this article:
    “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”
    see: http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/11518?pg=all&tid=230

    PS. I just saw you mentioned in one of the oreilly.com blogs. (That’s O’reilly the book publisher, not the TV nutjob.)

  2. The geode has been a fairly open platform in the past – designed a STB around it in 2000 and had FreeBSD/linux ported to it fairly easily. X86 architecture with fairly vanilla peripherals.

    The problem with adding Ethernet/etc. is that every little addition adds another $10 in cost – doesn’t matter what it is, it always seems to cost $10 by the time you factor in board space and support for the feature.

  3. I wonder why they have to “lighter.”

    Does gravity cost extra in third world nations? Or, do they sell computer equipment by the pound outside the US?

  4. Linux/BSD for the people at the bottom of the pyramid? For what, to boost their self-esteem? Certainly not.

    For people in BRIC countries where securing the basic neccessities of life can be a daily battle, I doubt if knowing shell programming will provide any boost to a family’s self-esteem.

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