With the constant bombardment of new tech toys that journalists, buyers and other industry people are subjected to at CES (and no, I'm not complaining, exactly -- but it can be overwhelming, even to the most jaded professional), we can sometimes forget that we aren't everyone. Pushed to look at the thinnest laptops, the smallest routers, the largest 3D TVs, the fastest smartphones, etc. etc., we forgot that a lot of the people whom the technology is actually meant for are just looking for something that works.
I was reminded of this yesterday, when I fell into conversation with a couple -- a husband and wife -- on a bus going to the Las Vegas Convention Center. They owned a white box company that put together systems for small- and medium-sized businesses in the San Francisco area and, according to them, were doing quite well. "Many smaller businesses look automatically toward consumer vendors and find that the machines don't work for them and don't last," said the man. He said that he was successfully providing equipment and service to quite a few companies -- some with several hundred employees -- on a local level.
Was he looking at the new ultrabooks? Planning to offer his clients 3D-capable displays? Not particularly -- most of the companies who used his services wanted straightforward systems that did the job, could be easily upgraded, and lasted as long as possible.
This isn't to say that they weren't interested in the new and exciting technologies that were being shown this week in Las Vegas -- that's why they were there. But as Computerworld's Patrick Thibodeau says in his article on the new quad-core Tegra 3 processors, vendors cannot ignore price, and there are a lot of companies -- and providers -- out there that are looking to attain reasonably good capabilities at reasonably good prices.
In other words -- while the new, expensive stuff is fun, we can't forget that not all business -- nor, for that matter, consumers -- will be shelling out for the bleeding edge. And the products that they will be looking at deserve as much coverage as the 55-in. 3D TVs.
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