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IT Needs Its Darth Vaders

Nov 17, 2009, 20:33 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott M. Fulton)

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"Maybe having nothing to do with technology itself at all, we're obsessed with the notion of a nemesis with an unfair advantage influencing the decisions we make.

"In every major arena of information technology over the past five years, the principal topic of discussion has been the need to level the playing field, to restore something called "fair competition," to ensure that the smaller player still has a chance. For the topic of PC operating systems, to this day, there's a frenzied Pavlovian response to the notion that Microsoft Windows stole its ideas from Apple Mac OS -- I moderated public, online discussions about that same topic 25 years ago. For Web applications, we're beta testing the idea of shifting the Darth Vader mask from Microsoft over to Google, the dominant player in nine out of 10 of the world's queries; and we're reveling in the irony of AT&T proclaiming Google an evil empire. For smartphones, we're evaluating whether Apple fits the role of dominant player, whether that Halloween costume we used to fit on Bill Gates and that we're testing on Eric Schmidt can be swapped out with Steve Jobs."

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