Technological Grail Quest and some reviews too.

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Just in case this doesn't make it onto the blog at Computer World I thought I would post it here myself. This is an interesting bit and I think the debate is moot for the most part, and some of that is discussed in this post. I will be posting more on the pervasive web and no more computer issue latter here in this blog, as well as where ever else it seems appropriate. So here is my copy of my comment that may o0r not be posted on the Computer World Sound Off blog.

-James-

After reading the sum of the comments and the article to which they address, I can say that in general there are no "users" on this particular subject. Everyone of the commenter's is "tech savvy" and therefore really has biased view of the question. The fact that IE is dominant is not a question at all, but a basic fact due to the proliferation of Microsoft on basic PC's purchased, either in business or in the home. Years ago Apple put computers in the schools, and could have at that time dominated the market had they taken the same marketing route that Microsoft had. We would be talking about Macintosh's and not IBM (clones) with Microsoft OS. This did not happen, and as to that, IBM lost their dominance even in the corporate world to others because they made the same mistakes that most other companies did. They assumed that the consumer knew their own minds. Marketing in the last twenty years has proved that the consumer of general goods buys based more on influence than on facts, and because of this whatever the mass weight push is will appear to have dominance, regardless of functionality. The reason there is a market for the help desk is because there is a dominance of PC's that do not work the way they should.

I have used every OS that has been available, most browsers, including Lynx, Amaya, Gopher, and some that I can't even remember, although I am glad that we do not use telnet anymore. I remember a net that was text based, and then browser was more of technical term. Microsoft OS was an improvement to some over the command line code, but I sometimes still long for the simple in line programming of basic. The truth is it is not about the dominance of the browser but about the proliferation of the marketing. PC's are built with Intel chips, by companies like Dell, pre-installed with Windows OS, and IE browser. Most users do not know what the browser is unless you ask them the the program they use to access the web, although that is really through their ISP, another term they don't really know. We could debate the functionality of any browser, being a FF user myself currently on Ubuntu (Linux), on AMD-K6 HP, I know there are alternatives, but does that really matter. As long as we still have a obtrusive set of interfaces and networks that are separated by non-standard protocols, we will continue to need new software to be a replacement for whatever we have now, no matter where it comes from.

In a future time the OS as well as the browser will become less significant as the network becomes the service and the appliance becomes pervasive. In the future we will use our refrigerator to order groceries (this will most likely use some version of Linux with Opera or the outcome of those programs), and our TV's (such as they will be) to watch media, surf the web, and communicate with others. We will not consider the OS, or the browser, or any such individual piece of the entire network, as it all becomes part of the mash-up that the new network will emulate. We will then know names like Google, MSN, Yahoo, EBay, and some other players, but FF or IE will be only something that IT guru's know, as they continue to handle the flood of calls that will continue to come in as the network becomes the interface and the computer becomes whatever appliance we happen to be standing next to.

Just some thoughts. For a look, try looking at what MIT is doing with Project Oxygen.

IE might have the numbers, but open source has the IT gurus.

-James-

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