January Squibs

January Squibs

Squibs are short bites of tech news you can browse quickly. In this issue: Industry-wide parts shortage causes delays in computer shipments; Windows 7 goes EOL in January 2020; what’s hot at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show.

Shortage of Intel CPUs delaying computer shipments

Shortfalls in Intel’s CPU production are affecting delivery times for PCs. The shortage began to manifest in 2018Q3 and has gotten progressively worse.

Example: Prices of PCs with solid-state drives have dropped. We prefer these drives because they are more reliable and yield better performance. But whereas during most of 2018 we could get so-equipped Dell PCs in a few days, our last order (placed in mid-December) came with an anticipated delivery date of February 2018! And Dell would not allow us to expedite the order, which is something we’ve always been able do to in the past.

Intel said in September last year that it was caught off-guard by higher-than-expected PC demand, that it was prioritizing CPUs for servers and high-end PCs, and that it had already committed $1B in extra capital expenses to boost production.

Nonetheless, the shortage is expected to continue through 2019Q1, and even into 2019Q2.

This is bad news, because…

You’ll need to replace all Windows 7 PCs by January 2020

Remember when Windows XP went end-of-life in April 2014 and you had to replace all your XP computers because they could no longer be considered secure? Well, prepare to do the same this year with your Windows 7 PCs—they’ll suffer the same fate in January 2020.

Considering the above-described PC CPU shortage, if you want to do that sooner rather than later, you might want to get your orders in!

2019’s Consumer Electronics Show opens January 8; here’s what’s hot!

182,000 attendees. 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. 24 categories of technology. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the biggest trade shows on the planet (though Apple no longer attends, lol).

Ironically, you can’t really take advantage of some of the technologies pundits label “hot” at CES:

  • 5G wireless. Even though the availability of 5G wireless networks is limited, expect to see 5G products. But don’t get too excited: T-Mobile won’t have a nationwide 5G network until 2020. Verizon launched 5G services in only a handful of cities, back in October 2018. AT&T similarly launched 5G in only 12 cities, and not until December 2018. Few 5G phones exist. And, you can expect to pay a premium for 5G data service.
  • 8K TVs. How about an 88” TV with eight times the resolution of high-def? 8K TVs will cost a lot, but they’ll be thinner. Too bad there’s no programming for them!
  • Smart Everything. Expect a broadening range of smart devices but beware that the escalating trade war with China could hamper their supply, or at least make them pricier. (China assembles much of the world’s electronics.)

Other areas getting a lot of press include artificial intelligence, vehicle technologies, and a new category called “Disaster tech”, which encompasses everything from cybersecurity and more resilient communications to drones and vehicles that have legs to “climb” over debris.

©2019 by Shulman Clark Associates DBA Nimble Systems. All rights reserved.