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Q&A: Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing
"We think most small-notebook PC buyers are either purchasing a secondary machine or buying a PC for the first time."

So either a netbook is your first PC or it's not... or it's, well, squirrel!
OK, I'm being snarky. But really, logic, people!

It's not the secondary/first time thing I;m snarking. It's the word 'most'. Most = not all. That implies some people for whom it is neither a first PC nor an additional PC. I suppose that there are people who have been given PCs or people who have a work PC or people who run Excel on their fridge and that it's not really a logical impossibility, but to me it's like 'A or B?' 'yes'



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
4th Feb, 2009 17:07 (UTC)
To be fair (not something I say in this context very often, see the incredible 'let's allow programs to turn off UAC with no warning' design decision) he's not being that silly.

Would "It's either their first (and only) PC or one to use alongside their existing one" be clearer?

4th Feb, 2009 17:50 (UTC)
indeed, if the word 'most' was absent I wouldn't snark it. But most means 'not all', suggesting that for some people it is neither their first PC nor a secondary PC. I'm very anti Humpty Dumpty when it comes to the meaning of words.

I could be charitable and assume most is shorthand for 'and then there are some weirdos like Mary who've lost count of the number of PCs they have and buy a netbook for some unfathomable reason', but as spoken, he has included the inherent contradiction that makes everything true, including statistics...
4th Feb, 2009 17:47 (UTC)
I read that as "it's not being purchased as a replacement machine", essentially.
4th Feb, 2009 17:52 (UTC)
hmmm, maybe. few of our users are daft enough to swallow the notion that nine inches are all you could ever need. makes more sense. i do have a bit of a snark on today...
4th Feb, 2009 18:21 (UTC)
I'd read that as there being two classes of people buying them:
  • The person already has a machine, which will remain their primary machine. The notebook will be used only for portability reasons.
  • The person has never had a PC before. So they don't mind that this thing is not terribly functional, because it's better than the nothing they had before.
That's logical enough in my eyes. I infer that Brad doesn't believe them to be functional enough to be either a primary machine for someone with more than one PC, or a sole machine for people who've previously had something else. Presumably his point is that they're too crippled to satisfy such people.

ETA: If you think of 'first' as a synonym for 'primary', then I can see the confusion.

Edited at 2009-02-04 18:23 (UTC)
4th Feb, 2009 18:22 (UTC)
I think, by "secondary", he meant "not primary" rather than "not first". I would take it to imply that at the present time people who've owned any computer before still use a desktop or large laptop as their primary computer, while the majority of users buying a notebook to be their primary PC have never bought a PC of any size before.

The big question is "is this a new trend, to be continued with more and more people using a notebook as their primary PC, and some eventually getting a replacement PC which is also a notebook?" If so, the observation is true of the present time, but will eventually stop being true.

Or is this like young people being vegetarians, which vegetarian enthusiasts always think will lead to universal vegetarianism as they get older? In other words, will first-time notebook users always move on to a large machine as their second purchase of primary PC, with subsequent notebook purchases being strictly for a portable secondary machine?
4th Feb, 2009 18:44 (UTC)
It sounds like he's whistling past the graveyard.

My feeling is that the current netbooks aren't primary-machine grade. But given a bump in screen resolution (cough, HP mini 2140 with 1366x768, cough) and CPU horsepower to dual core, it'll slot right in place of what most of us were overjoyed to be using back in 2005.

And we're in a global recession.

Upshot: a lot of consumers will not replace their laptops/desktops until they die, and by that time a netbook will make an acceptable substitute. Which is really Not Good At All for Microsoft's prospects (although the reports that Windows 7 is a lot lighter on its toes than Vista suggests that they're at least listening).
4th Feb, 2009 18:53 (UTC)
I'm just writing up my alternative theory for the FT... think upgrade revenue on the same PC

also - Sony VAOI P series - 1600 x something resolution. you should look at those...
4th Feb, 2009 22:04 (UTC)
Reasons Charlie will not go to a Vaio P:

1. Screen resolution meets 44-year-old eyes (presybyopia). KTHXBYE.

2. Runs Windows Vista.

3. Battery life.

4. It's Sony.

5. Price.

Now, if it turns out to be Ubuntu-friendly and the display res can be tweaked down a bit and they do a more powerful version with a better battery life next year ... I will be more than tempted. But right now, on generation 1? No thanks.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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Mary Branscombe
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