Despite some recent stock market hiccups, the economy seems to be breezing along with many tech companies leading the charge. In addition to a booming startup scene and receptive market for IPOs, old IT stalwarts like Cisco and IBM appear to be quite strong. Of course, these things go in cycles, and it's only a matter of when, not if, the next slowdown will occur. Today, chip maker AMD warned of horrible results for the second straight quarter, prompting analysts to warn about a broader slowdown across all areas of consumer electronics, including mobile handsets. Already, the PC market has grown resigned to the fact that the release of Vista will do little to stem the sluggishness of that market. It's not just hardware either. Those covering corporate IT spending are also sensing increased fear and seeing evidence of a coming recession. The flip side to all of this is that we're clearly in a period that's seeing some major technology disruption, so we'd expect to see some pain in traditional markets. Factors that may be hurting the bottom lines of traditional vendors, like plummeting hardware prices and open source software, are boons to savvy companies and consumers. Furthermore, no matter what the overall economy is doing, companies that continue to innovate will be rewarded.
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