From the field...|
Re: G3 upgrade %
Our clients are small-to-medium (mostly small) businesses with 2-50 employees. No huge budgets, but all are adding G3s at the top ends of their organizations and migrating older machines downward. In fact, they are all pretty excited that they can get two G3s for the price of one of the design stations they bought two years ago. No disgruntlement, no griping, no intention to switch.
BTW, I also don't have to do a lot of evangelizing to prevent PC migration, the question doesn't come up.
This small business niche is fairly diverse: ad agencies, PR firms, law offices, design firms, contractors, print shops, and ad and PR depts of banks, insurance companies, etc.
Design software is converging, but I don't expect Adobe or Macromedia to abandon the Mac. Most of our design clients feel that the current features address all their needs and don't even pay enough attention to the PC versions of software to be concerned if there is some new PC-only gee-whiz feature released.
Small business clients use MS Office, ClarisWorks, Quicken, MYOB, QuickBooks, Timeslips, Filemaker, Eudora, Netscape and Retrospect. Only Quicken and QuickBooks can be considered "at risk" and the current versions work fine. Most importantly, none of our clients are concerned about software availability. What they have works great and that's what matters to them.
SGI as a competitor:
SGI's image as a high end workstation works against them in the small design firm arena. Perception of high price/steep learning curve is enough to keep designers with their Macs. Webservers, on the other hand, are foreign enough in concept to small business users that SGI might be able to make some headway into the Mac market here if the price is right. SGI's "cheap" NT boxes are as much a threat as the Intergraph machines, that is, the learning of a new OS and interfaces just to be able to do what they already do with (perhaps) a speed boost.
All comments above are based on my experience with the small business niche only. I agree the points you bring up are definitely worth considering in general. However, in the small business niche (where I make my living), I'm not too worried.