Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sinking ship?

Is this the end for SGI?

It's been a long painful slide, but inexorably downwards, and I can't really see any way back (short of a government funded rescue package).

I remember sitting through a sales presentation from SGI some years ago. We were told of their grand plans to throw away their well-respected workstation technology and become a shifter of (not quite standard or compatible with anybody elses) PCs running Windows NT; to throw away IRIX and adopt Linux; and to throw away their own RISC chips and go down with Itanium. (Itanium wasn't even shipping at the time.)

We regarded this as doubly suicidal. Not only were the products entirely unattractive to us (as existing customers with investments in their hardware and software platforms, incompatibility is a big turn-off), but we could see the plan failing and were thus reluctant to invest in products from a company that - in a single presentation - had gone from a front-runner to certainly doomed.

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