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Sometimes conspiracies are real.
April 10, 2001 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes conspiracies are real. The real reason the 3d net software is showing up again might best be summed up by a quote from this article: ' "The focus was to get someone to go out and upgrade to a Pentium 4," Benoit said. "We wanted to create new and compelling content that wasn't out there and that would cause people to make a decision to upgrade their processors." '
posted by gdavis (13 comments total)

 
3-D environments won't be successful for information delivery (e.g., non-games) for years to come. The last thing you'd want to do to spark interest in 3-D is to require people to upgrade their computers. This represents "they just don't get it" on a monumental level.
posted by fleener at 6:48 AM on April 10, 2001


Conspiracy? What's the difference between conspiracy and cooperation? This is pretty standard business strategy - especially for emerging technology businesses. I mean, the real reason Apple got Microsoft to develop Multiplan and Word for the Macintosh was to get people to by Macs. I don't see a conspiracy here. There's nothing wrong with a business trying to create reasons for people to upgrade to new versions of their product. It's still up to the consumer to decide if those reasons are good enough.
posted by dchase at 7:07 AM on April 10, 2001


> There's nothing wrong with a business trying to create
> reasons for people to upgrade to new versions of their
> product.

There is an excellent reason why this is wrong. It's called "building to last" and it's directly opposed to the practice of designing and building for instant obsolescence. I'm always pleased to see people so obviously shooting themselves in the foot when they try this repellant tactic. Oh yeah, and the pentium 4 is dogdirt and widely known to be dogdirt.
posted by
jfuller at 7:41 AM on April 10, 2001


Oh yesh, obligatory link.
posted by jfuller at 7:42 AM on April 10, 2001


I mean, the real reason Apple got Microsoft to develop Multiplan and Word for the Macintosh was to get people to by Macs.

Actually, it's because Microsoft owns parts of the Apple.
posted by samsara at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2001


But they don't want you to know that ;-)
posted by samsara at 7:44 AM on April 10, 2001


Not only is the P4 very disappointing its also very overpriced at the speed you would need to see any performance increase from a P3. This is also pretty anti-competitive, where's the mention of the superior AMD Athlon? Doesn't sound like there's going to be Athlon support, then again its a short article.

While they're at it maybe they can recommend an on-line retailer and put "Shockwave 8.5 inside" stickers on the front.
posted by skallas at 7:54 AM on April 10, 2001


samsara, this happened l o n g before MS invested in Apple.
posted by rodii at 8:28 AM on April 10, 2001


Wow, we have gotten way off the topic here. I think the intent of the original link is to point out that Intel wants you to buy the latest and greatest. How will they get you to do this?

By paying developers to write horrible code.

A partner and I were once asked to bid on a website design for a local TV station. The general manager of the station handed us a thick document and told us that Intel would subsidize as much as $20,000 of the site design if we could make a few "performance" tweaks.

A few gems from the document (to my best recollection)...

The website should show a clear and perceivable difference in performance between a 266 Pentium and 366 Pentium chip. The site should still be able to run on older Pentiums as low as 166MHz. Use technologies that are CPU intensive such as Flash, video, 3d, animation, audio, and DHTML.

There was a lot more to it than that, I am paraphrasing. After a look at that document we ended up passing on the project. I am not a fan of purposefully bulking up pages just for technologies sake. I would have heard Jakob Neilsen screaming in my sleep, had I built that site.

It does however, explain why crap like ExciteXtreme was built. It is no surprise that it is now gone.
posted by jasonshellen at 9:43 AM on April 10, 2001


>There is an excellent reason why this is wrong.
>It's called "building to last"

I don't think creating reasons to upgrade (in this case adding new features and getting other companies to create stuff that uses those features) is the same as designing for obsolescence (which, I agree, is a bad thing). In this specific case, the Shockwave animation will work fine for people with pre p4 machines. Unless I'm missing something, no one's being punished for not having the latest and greatest from Intel. If you only have a dial-up connection you'll be able to see Shockwave in all its gory with a P4 machine (supposedly - I'm not making any claims about quality here). If you only have PIII, Shockwave will simply continue to suck over a dial-up connection - same as always. I don't see any reference in the article (or elsewhere) that Intel paid Macromedia to develop shockwave to run slower on older machines (which would be truly heinous).
posted by dchase at 11:09 AM on April 10, 2001


they've been doing this for years. they spread money out to game developers, educational software developers, and apparently website developers. anyone remember microsoft's chrome? that was the 3d web technology that was supposed to drive sales of the pentium 3.

it isn't by accident that this site says the game was "optimized for the pentium III". (disclosure: i designed the website, and worked on 'mindventure'.)
posted by jimw at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2001


I don't think creating reasons to upgrade (in this case adding new features and getting other companies to create stuff that uses those features) is the same as designing for obsolescence (which, I agree, is a bad thing).
*wink*
posted by holloway at 8:56 PM on April 10, 2001


> *wink*

Now now, hol, I think the kitties have already played this particular catnip mouse pretty much to shreads. I know my own flamer fuelcells on the subject need recharging for at least a couple weeks.
posted by jfuller at 7:07 AM on April 11, 2001


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