08 May 2006

SGI chapter 11 -- long time coming

SGI files for Chapter 11 protection according to CNet. It was a long time coming. I looked at SGIs financials a few years ago, and it looked grim even then -- many quarters of consecutive losses with no new markets in sight, and (I was guessing at the time) only service contracts to existing customers (government?) keeping them afloat.

I hope SGI comes out of Chapter 11 as a compelling company. In 1995, they had the machines -- 16-processer Onyxs with amazing graphics, back when the PC was a 100MHz Pentium. The first ISP, world.std.com, used an Onyx as one of their servers.

But the days when SGI could make large sales dwindled as Sun, Microsoft, and Linux dominated the server market, Macs took the graphics workstation market, and Linux renderfarms eventually took over in Hollywood.

Now, besides OpenGL and devices like Linksys's wireless access points with processors descended from SGI's MIPS, I'd be hard-pressed to say how SGI influences the typical user.

Here's hoping that they can figure this out.

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