Friday, August 15, 2003

But do you do Windows?
IT consumers caught up in the industry controversy

From the IT consumer perspective, being caught up in the wave of controversy surrounding the new competition is a nightmare.

IT would be more advantageous for newer hardware manufactures and providers to get past the need to compete with Windows and work parallel in order assist growth and development with the consumer in mind.

I say this because I have work for a Windows platform based development firm and because I am a PC owner who finds that Windows OS and MS tools are still running the show.

Even when it comes to Mac, I like the look of a Mac desktop or laptop but the isolating software availability makes for a poor purchase where actually having to get work done is concerned. Especially where pricing is concerned, recently I was in the market for a practical laptop purchase. I wanted an ibook the way that children want an xBox. I could not, however, rationalize the price difference when it came down to the software compatibility concerns. If I caved and followed my fashion sense I would still find myself in the dubious position of being isolated.

I did the rational thing and purchased a PC laptop. I look at all the articles from servers to scripting languages and I see the same chaos. What is a consumer to do? Does anyone even care anymore? Is it more important to debate superiority or to live it and provide it?

I joined the “asp” group (active server page) not (application service provider) and I found myself in the middle of a heated debate over why php was a superior scripting language. I could have died laughing. Even after someone has made the choice of which way they want to go with development tools; the still are faced with the why should they be happy with their choice issues.

Then I read marketing statistics, which illustrate that only 75%-80% of Americans will be computer savvy owners and online shoppers. This controversy is self destructive for the industry as a unit that may only thrive if people are buying and investing in it.

MS Windows was here first. They have the name, the branding, and more over the software to back it up. I think newer server manufacturers would benefit more from assisting than competing. Windows will always win out because it is a name that carries respect, seniority, and glory.

Flaws and patches a side, Windows is here to stay. There is enough room for improvement that I would think that new developers would recognize the irony of competing. It is like an IT Greek myth or Freudian complex to do so.

Apache, Linux, and Unix would be better off finding ways that they may all create quality and affordable server solutions so that the consumer benefits and continues to invest in IT evolution.

Will they or won’t they? It is ironic but typical that no one sees the poor judgment call until it is too late. “Physician heal thyself.” Is the quote that comes to mind will the solutions providers find their own solutions?

Independent developers would likewise do well to remember they don’t have the big vendor budgets to afford this type of thinking, but will they?


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