CNET has a story on the suitability of the major PC manufacturers' lines to survival in these tough economic times. There will be fewer people shopping for new PCs, and more notably, fewer businesses, and these manufacturers will have to make solid strategic moves to make it out (relatively) unscathed. So out of the top five PC makers, who's got what it takes? CNET decided that HP, the world's leading manufacturer, will best be able to survive. A full third of its revenue comes from software, services, and enterprise storage, which won't take as big of a hit as consumer hardware. Their hardware is well balanced from consumer up to large businesses, including servers, storage, and printers as well as laptops and desktops. CNET does predict that VoodooPC isn't going to cut it, but that's a minor problem compared to HP's strengths. Dell's move to services, software, and storage is helping it as well, and the company's move to China and India is a smart one. But Dell has recently undergone a change of direction with its smaller notebooks, and may have to scramble to figure out what sells in a depressed economy. Acer has been sacrificing money for marketshare by aggressively pricing its netbook line, and may have to cut staff to make up for its losses. According to CNET, Lenovo is totally screwed. They reported a quarterly loss of 78%, and is more focused on business than consumer lines. They're still doing fine in China but not so hot here in the States. This is all guesswork, since nobody knows what the economy will look like next week, let alone two years in the future. And nobody's sure what's going to happen to the buying habits of computer users, or the market for business PCs. But I think the analysis on HP and Acer is dead-on: HP has the money and the depth to adapt to a changing market, but Acer will have to make all the right moves to stay competitive. [CNET]
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