The hardware conundrum

I recently bought a brand new laptop because my existing Mac was “dying”. The battery barely lasted two hours, and I needed a reliable computing device. Besides, they had announced a shift to the new ARM processor and gradual subscription changes for the software being installed in the device.

I had to make a switch to Windows because, as again, the mainstream software developers ignore the influential market- Linux. All things were considered, and I finally bought a ThinkPad with the Intel 5 processor.

My computing requirements are fairly modest, and “state-of-art” laptops have no meaning. There is no point in overpaying for a device that wouldn’t be the value of sticker price down the line. Sometimes, there is enough safety in numbers. I learned a lot about the processors and the associated drama around “benchmarks” which forms a considerable base for the marketing and then some.

Is the new processor variant worth it? The consumer grade market works on enticing the new users to join the platform, and if you look closely at Apple’s business strategy- it is to milk the user base for the subscription bundles. I won’t be commenting on their recent fiascos in the app stores because that commentary is too archaic or complex. However, look at the perspective from the healthcare and the consumer strategies would creep into the healthcare enterprises.

No longer content with the licensing norms, major tech companies are pushing for even more “subscription bundles”. These have a huge cost addition and therefore brings me back to where I started and I have been advocating for too long- enterprises should make a gradual shift to the open source technologies and use a carrot and stick policy (instead of lobbying efforts) to benefit themselves by ploughing in saved resources to fund internal research and development and hence intellectual property.

There are several aspects to it- dumb terminals or inappropriately called as master-slave and cloud based infrastructure versus on-premises hardware. The buzz around the machine learning is too hard to ignore and the business “leaders” are quizzed in the conferences about their “AI Strategies”. Glitzy conferences serve only to amplify the narrative.

TL;DR Hardware doesn’t matter if there’s an open source