Hardware Reference
In-Depth Information
Will it be the PC market? The Apple/Mac market? Maybe you'll just focus on tablets?
Whatever your discipline, you're going to want to make an impression on the market. Re-
member, too, that even within the PC market you can fine-tune your business to specialize
in desktop units or laptop units, even down to focusing on a specific manufacturer of each.
Say, HP laptops.
Here are a couple of niches that you might find yourself thinking about. However, let's first
define the two major types of home-based computers on the market. All home computers
are “personal computers” or “PCs”—and this particular terminology is up for debate. For
the sake of this discussion, we are going to break the “personal computer” market into two
groups. I consider a “PC” to mean a computer that primarily runs the Windows operating
system, and a Mac to run the Mac operating system. Bearing that in mind, where will your
business begin?
The PC industry celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010. From its humble beginning in the
form of hobby computer kits in 1975, the PC industry has come a long way. In 1975 fewer
than 50,000 PCs were sold, with a total value of about $60 million.
Today's PCs are dramatically different from the massive, “room-sized” boxes that emerged
in the earliest years of computing. By the 1970s, the hobbyist could buy unassembled PCs,
also called “microcomputers,” and program them for fun, but truthfully they could not per-
form many of the useful tasks that today's computers can. Users could do mathematical
calculations and play simple games, but the novelty of the computer was its selling point.
Today, hundreds of companies assemble and sell personal computers, useful software, and
mind-blowing games. PCs are used for a wide range of functions, from basic word process-
ing for writing documents (as I am doing as I write this topic) to editing photos and videos
to managing businesses. At home or work, PCs are an important piece of the world today
and can do almost anything that you ask them to do; in fact, it's hard to imagine a world
without them now.
With all of the different businesses that create, assemble, and distribute PCs, most of them
are loaded with the most current copy of Microsoft Windows. In fact, Microsoft (owned by
Bill Gates) was selling an average of 650,000 licenses each day in 2011 alone. That's a lot
of computers, and a lot of potential customers for your new burgeoning business. How can
a business owner like you capitalize on the PC market? The sheer number of computers in
the market is a good indicator that there's business to be had.
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