Subject: Re: Slightly Off-Topic...
To: Dave McGuire <>
From: Brian Chase <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 06/25/2001 22:33:14
On Mon, 25 Jun 2001, Dave McGuire wrote:
> On June 25, Brian Chase wrote:

> > The gov't will keep them afloat for as long as they need them.  Within the
> > next few years I see SGI going the way of Cray, HP Convex, and Thinking
> > Machines.
>   HP/Convex (more specifically, the Exemplar line) are doing pretty
> well nowadays, from what I've read.  Those are some ALL-BALLS-POWERFUL
> systems.
>   TMC is flat-out gone, as far as I know..
>   But Cray...did Cray go out of business when I wasn't looking?  Last I
> heard (yesterday) they were doing pretty well.
>   Or was that not what you were suggesting...?

My point is that they're going to fall to the wayside and into marginally
profitable niche markets.  They won't offer any real competition to the
bigger players.  One only needs to look at the graph for 5 year market
value of SGI to see that they've been in steady decline for the duration
of that time.

  The "good guys"
  IBM has a market cap of $196 Billion US
  Sun has a market cap of $49 Billion US
  Oracle has a market cap of $100 Billion US

  The "bad" guys
  Compaq has a market cap of $23 Billion US
  Intel has a market cap of $192 Billion US
  Microsoft has a market cap of $371 Billion US

  The down and out
  SGI has a market cap of $203 _Million_ US
  Cray has a market cap of $91 _Million_ US

The bad guys in total have twice as much money as the good guys in total.
It's hard to beat them.  HP is valued at $53 Billion, but I'd imagine most
of that is related to the diverse range of PC peripherals, and their near
monopoly on test equipment.  They also have a fairly healthy PC business
and their servers are going the way of Itanium.  Apple Computer is valued
at about $8 Billion now but they're being kept alive in part by Microsoft.

As for Thinking Machines, the last I heard about them was that they're
still around but in the data mining business (probably because the spooks
needed this).  I did find a news release from June 7, 1999 saying that
Oracle bought them.  Hehe... well, see now--one only has to take a look at to see what noble end they've reached.  Wow.

It is indeed very sad to see that the companies with the best technology
are finishing last.