Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Microsoft, Intel losing ground?

Author:Jim Gendreau
Posted:9/4/1999; 10:13:42 PM
Topic:Microsoft, Intel losing ground?
Msg #:10588 (In response to 10524)
Prev/Next:10587 / 10589

Cringely left out one cliche: Those that forget history are bound to repeat it [and often make the same tragic mistakes].

Cheap web terminals that let you do word processing over the net are little different from the minicomputer based word processing that was available in the early 80s. I don't know how many remember how worthless they were - As soon as I could get a personal computer and get off the mini, I did it.

Everyone is looking for a way to kill off MS, but virtually no one seems to really understand the non-technical reasons why a personal system is so successful. In particular, the folks at Sun seem to have a total lack of understanding about how real people use computers. They also seem to lack an understanding of how electronic communications works in the real world away from their office cubicles. Only a miniscule number of folks in the world have the networks that Sun has. When I look at Sun's strategies, what I see is them aimlessly looking for a way to kill MS so they can satisfy their egos - the fact that they are not succeeding just makes them madder.

The only possible scenario that makes reasonable sense is if some one that truly understands real people adds the necessary stuff to Linux to make it usable by real people, then MS may get bumped off. So far, the only folks that come close is Corel Linux.

As far as the processors, economics is the overwhelming determining factor of who is the winner - Unless Compaq either can get the volume of Alpha up near the Intel CPUs or is willing to sell each chip at a tremendous loss, Alpha has a very dim future.

The bottom lines are:

Software that does what people want, when they want it and fast enough so they don't get frustrated, will beat all other types of software - people that are used to the speed of applications on PCs won't put up with web based apps.

Other than in Enterprise offices, most people either have slow LANs or no LANs, meaning that web based apps will be extremely slow - The broadband explosion to the home is a distant dream for most people.

The hardware business is all driven by economics - If you can't afford to build or rent a FAB, and sell a lot of the chips you make for a decent profit, then you will lose.

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