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ScotFinnie.com: Build a Better User Experience ... or Get Out of the Way

Oct 05, 2001, 15:36 (37 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scot Finnie)

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"...What about Linux? Some hail open-source software development as the answer. But I have some doubts about that. It's essentially software by committee, and there's no incentive for participants to react quickly to changing market demands. The Linux open-source movement seems to be something of a contradiction, but "react quickly" is still the operative phrase. I'm hopeful the Linux community can create a truly Windows-competitive desktop OS. It has made some strides but isn't there yet. We'll have to wait and see.

First and foremost, PCs aren't dead. Not even close. Whether a computer slips into your pants pocket, slides into your briefcase, or sprawls across your desktop -- it's still a personal computer. The notion that every PC user has a single boxy computer affixed to a desktop may be a trend on the wane, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that. The steep decline in sales over the last year doesn't signify the end of the PC era; it signals that the market leaders have become fat and complacent. They've forgotten how to focus and innovate. Don't get sucked into a negative mindset.

The market drives technology, but it can't take the industry there on its own. The leading companies must divine the proper direction. Microsoft, Intel, and other industry players have in the past proved themselves perfectly capable of that kind of thinking and action. But Microsoft nearly missed the Internet revolution, and it apparently believed itself immune on antitrust issues. Don't get lulled into a false sense of negativity. Personal computing opportunities have never been more prevalent -- especially for any company that has vision. None other than Apple's longtime evangelist Guy Kawasaki agrees."

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