Whither Goest the Embedded PC Market?

While I am trying to finish a longer post on my Dell EMC experience from last week and all my Hannover experience, I’ll follow up on a conversation I had last week with Dell EMC’s Kevin Terwilliger about the embedded PC market.

He has written a blog post from his visit to Embedded World in Germany. The Embedded Computing market always seemed a little strange to me. In part because huge VME and PCI (and CompactPCI) chassis computers were alongside SOC (what I think of as “embedded”) and other chip and board level computing.

Check out his blog. I posted a comment.

His observation:

After attending Embedded World last month in Germany it was clearer to me than ever before – the embedded PC industry is not dissimilar to the desktop PC industry 30 years ago. When Dell entered the PC market back in 1984 and in the years shortly following, there were 430 PC companies who were each trying to compete based on some level of unique customization they could offer. Dell turned all this upside down with their direct configure to order model.

Good point. I would just add (again, check his blog) that part of the consolidation was technology-driven. CPUs became much more powerful and memory became more plentiful and cheaper. This meant that the PC itself could do much more without add-on cards and peripherals. Customization became firmware and software driven. You could buy one box and make it what you wanted (to a degree).

Dell’s embedded offering could be a foreboding of such a change in the embedded market. What do you think?

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