IT Needs Its Darth Vaders

“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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