I don’t buy the idea that the PC business is no longer innovative because venture capitalists won’t fund PC development. Sure, VC companies have been reluctant lately to pump money into PC hardware and software development, but innovation continues to flourish in university research labs, large corporations, and small entrepreneurial companies. I expect industry-changing ideas to continue to emerge from these organizations, regardless of the VC investment level.
Just take a look at our First Looks this issue. Microsoft has finally shipped the long-awaited operating system Microsoft Windows XP. Intel has developed a 2-GHz Pentium 4 processor. Several companies are selling 4-megapixel digital cameras. And in our cover story, “The New Shape of PCs,” we take a look at the latest hardware designs.
Of course, there’s still room for more innovation. I can imagine dozens of new applications and devices I’d like to use. Progress in some areas may not be proceeding as rapidly as it once was. (After all, the easy problems have been solved.) But based on the products that pass through PC Magazine Labs every day, I can say that the pace of progress and innovation in the computer industry is very healthy.