PC Makers Get Crunched

Prices are collapsing, and there's nothing on the way to boost sales. Is the PC history?

Admit it: seated in front of a PC with the name scratched off, you couldn't tell the difference between an IBM and a Dell, Compaq or Gateway. And would you care? Probably not. Buying a PC today is no more complex than getting, say, a toaster. Or, if you're looking at something really sophisticated, a microwave oven.

And that's a problem for computer makers, whose industry is fast becoming commoditized. "It's no longer a technology business. You don't need a team of engineers to build a PC today," says Steven Dukker, CEO of eMachines. These issues have computer executives shuddering as...

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