While many PC manufacturers are lamenting Microsoft’s inability to design new generations of an OS that will work with their outdated hardware, many people are missing the fact that the PC manufacturers have been stalling their customers for many years.

Its very easy to point at big brother Microsoft and blame them for an OS that comes right at the end of a Christmas season, which will force computers to be discounted and blown out of the channels during the season.

Truth be told the manufacturers have been failing for over a decade now to design laptops in a way that would enable an easy hardware upgrade that would allow the new operating system to run effectively.  If manufacturers would focus on designing laptops with a more component style of a design, a consumer could readily go out this holiday season, pick up a laptop and in the spring when they are ready to upgrade to Microsoft’s Vista, they could pull out the component with the outdated mother board, or processor, sound card or video card and replace it.

Replacing a hard drive or battery or even a DVD bay is relatively easy.  There really is no good reason why the other major components of a laptop could not be as easy to replace. 

In Oligopoly style the manufacturers and Microsoft benefit from the arrangement.  If the laptops were easy to upgrade with components, then temporary blips in the supply demand curve would not create a pause in the marketplace at Christmas time that delays the purchase of a laptop until after Microsoft’s roll out.  This benefits Microsoft.  From the same perspective the manufacturers, despite their laments, benefit from this channel clearing blow out event.  It allows them to push the old inventory out of the channel and clear the path to reset prices to a new higher level on new equipment capabilities that might not be noticeable if it weren’t for the new and improved interface.

I wouldn’t weep to much for either Microsoft nor the equipment manufacturer’s this helps them both very much, but does not really help their customers, who must by computers at a discount now, which will be obsolete in 2 months.  Plus, its a bit of a misnomer that all computers are obsolete in 6 months anyway.  While this has some truth to it, most computers will remain functional and compatible with other systems for long after a 6 month period.  The computers selling right now however may not be compatible and functional. 


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