Originally Posted by Marvin
The G3 is old hardware not new low-end hardware though. Plus the G3 is a very old processor now. Cutting off 10 year old hardware is not really a sign that manufacturers will be able to keep people buying at the same rates.
My point is how long into the future will the current Atom processor be supported vs how long into the future the current Core 2 Duo processor be supported.
But in the last 10 years, those laptops weren't good enough vs the higher priced machines. There is a threshold beyond which no matter how much better manufacturers make the high end, a significant majority will deem it too much and opt for the cheaper models. The Mac Pro is a good example - a Mac Pro may be a very powerful machine but a Core 2 Quad is good enough that people who don't want to pay £1400 can pay just £500 and get 90% of the performance and satisfy their performance needs adequately.
10 years ago the difference between the high end and low end wasn't any different that what it is now. Notebooks won't have the capabilities of the Mac Pro anytime soon. Notebooks are tempered by the need to be thin and light enough to be portable, while not generating too much heat and maintaining decent battery life. I cannot see them ever have the problem of being "too powerful" anytime soon.
I think there will be a growing number of services that work in the cloud. But this is not as necessary for a full computer as it is for a mobile phone.
Looking at their feature lists, Snow Leopard and Windows 7 will continue to use advanced functions in newer CPU's and GPU's, while attempting to downgrade gracefully for older hardware.
Software developers are in competition with each other to continue to build faster - more responsive applications. This pushes them to use advanced instruction sets and frameworks that Intel, Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple builds into their platforms.
The PS3 is arguably the fastest console hardware and yet sells the least. Coming from the back of one of the best selling console in the world - the PS2 - this seems surprising. But contrary to what you have said, developers just can't push the software to a point where the hardware is worth it because the development time takes way too long. Because computers have to have every single behavior accounted for, this level of complexity has to be recreated by solid man hours and that's what will hold back computer growth.
This is an entirely different argument. The gaming platform that sells the best is the one with the best games. That doesn't have anything necessarily to do with hardware.
I looked at the device and wondered if that could be the next iphone. Full 1080p output, playing Quake 3 at 720p, 10 hour battery life.
This type of performance in a device the size of the iPhone, I'll believe in when I see it.
I could see a fragmentation happen in the Mac developer community though. A lot of devs may shift to targeting the lower power, high volume, low cost platforms and innovative desktop Mac software starts to diminish. We're already seeing this happen with Apple's Pro software and Adobe's software. The monolithic apps stagnate and it's the quirky new small apps like Aperture, Lightroom etc that get the attention.
I see no evidence of this type of fragmentation. Which large apps are stagnating? Aperture and Lightroom are gaining attention because they perform a function that no software previously accomplished as well as they do. Aperture and Lightroom don't directly compete with anything but themselves.