In my opinion the computer hardware industry is being pushed around by the gamers and multimedia markets. I have a TV for watching video content and a radio for music. I do not NEED a multimedia computer at home, (but it is nice if I can) but it is certainly not necessary in the office environment.
Why are there no computers made for the business environment? Thin clients are an alternative. Marcel Gagne has written an excellent chapter about thin clients in his book "Moving to the Linux Business Desktop". There is also an article he wrote about a specific installation of thin clients but I can't find it now.
It would be refreshing to hear that some key players in industry took Intel and AMD plus DELL and Lenovo to task and told them that industry needs a sub $150.00 workstation. They can do it. Just keep producing P3 750 MHZ boxes. The R&D has been paid for on this equipment, just keep cranking them out. I have one of these and it runs Linux and lots of apps just fine (including video)
I can hear the "it is not that much argument" now. My reply to that is "we have not that muched" ourselves into national debts that we have no idea how big they are. So come to think of it, all agencies that are supported by tax dollars need sub $150.00 workstations as well.
To get an idea of how much a company can save by using older less powerful equipment go to: http://news.com.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html
The businessman in this article found some real advantages in supplying his workforce with the equipment and software that they needed to get their jobs done.
I am not criticizing the purchasing choices made today by anyone in IT. I believe that for the most part they do not have much choice. They are boxed in by the offerings of the computer equipment companies.
I wonder if a few CEO's of some large corporations can make the sub $150.00 workstation happen? Depends, if they get ticked off enough about their IT equipment expenses.