More than three years after the Internet bubble burst, IT forecasters are still being asked. "Will robust growth in information technology spending ever return and, if so, when?"
Stories by David Moschella
One of the great ironies of modern business is that while it's only natural for companies to cut back and be cautious during market downturns, these are also the times when the greatest competitive gains are usually made.
Has the IT industry lost faith in itself? In April, Larry Ellison told The Wall Street Journal that the computer industry “is as large as it’s going to be”. Google’s Eric Schmidt and others are making comparisons to historical market bubbles involving canals and railroads, which were followed by relatively humdrum periods. Perhaps most aggressively, in a controversial Harvard Business Review article, editor at large Nicholas Carr argues that IT doesn’t even matter any more, and that it’s rapidly losing its ability to deliver competitive and strategic advantage.
Over the past few years, the public image of the IT industry has deteriorated sharply. Having witnessed the false alarms over Y2k, the burst of the dot-com bubble, the decline of the Nasdaq, the telecom industry bust, the rising numbers of layoffs, frequent software viruses and the less-than-admirable behavior of Microsoft during its antitrust trial, many Americans have come to view our business with a sense of wariness and suspicion. The contrast with the late 1990s is amazing.
In an e-business world seemingly driven by competing forms of hype, this year's single loudest buzz is coming from the e-learning community. From Wall Street fortune-seekers to Ivy
With the mind-boggling success of the Harry Potter books and the annual rush of "what to read on your summer vacation" articles, the simple act of reading is now very much in the news. This makes now as good a time as any to ponder the following question: Five years into the Internet era, have there been any significant changes in the way we read?
Will Microsoft ever make a smart move in its losing antitrust battle? Even with its very existence now clearly at stake, Bill Gates and company are still sticking with the same strategy that has served them so poorly since the trial began: demean your critics, deny any wrongdoing, attempt to rewrite history and warn of calamity if things don't go your way.
Will Microsoft Corp. ever make a smart move in its losing antitrust battle? Even with its very existence now clearly at stake, Bill Gates and company are still sticking with the same strategy that has served them so poorly since the trial began: Demean your critics, deny any wrongdoing, attempt to rewrite history and warn of calamity if things don't go your way. If this mess is ever made into a book or movie, it should be called All the Wrong Moves.
Both Microsoft Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will likely rue the day that they failed to reach a just settlement and forced the antitrust process to move forward. Sadly, this result wasn't really surprising. Microsoft has consistently failed to manage this critical case in anything resembling a statesmanlike way. Similarly, government lawyers, especially the attorneys general for the 19 states involved in the case, seem to have forgotten that the public interest called for a solution, not another whipping boy.
Sometimes you come up with an idea that you instinctively feel should be important, but you have to wait a while to realize why. For example, in 1995, it struck me that one of the most fundamental changes brought about by the Internet was that customers were getting on the Net because of what other customers were doing. In other words, technology users such as Amazon, Yahoo Inc. and ETrade were doing much more to draw people to the Web than technology vendors, such as Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. or even America Online Inc.
Ten years from now, what will historians say about the impact of Windows 2000? Will this huge operating system initiative be seen as yet another great Microsoft and Intel triumph, completing the expansion of Wintel from the desktop into the highest echelons of corporate computing?
Ten years from now, what will historians say about the impact of Windows 2000? Will this huge operating system initiative be seen as yet another great Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. triumph, completing the expansion of Wintel from the desktop into the highest echelons of corporate computing? Or will this renamed Windows NT be viewed as the last big gasp of an outdated form of computing - a massive, but ultimately hopeless, struggle against an increasingly Web-driven world?
Let's start with the easy part. Contrary to much of what you've probably heard, the proposed merger between America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. isn't about broadband services, or at least it had better not be. The way I figure it, there's only about a one in six chance that Time Warner's broadband cable TV assets could do AOL much long-term good.
As has often been noted, one of the stranger things about the fast-approaching millennium is our almost total inability to see or talk past it. Way back in the 1960s, people were wondering what life in the year 2000 would be like. Yet, as the decades rolled by, our societal horizon somehow hardly budged, and now the whole Y2K issue seems to have shrunk much of our vision down to just a few short weeks. Amazingly, we still don't have a way to even pronounce the coming decade of the '00s.
Few topics are as inherently controversial as whether companies should monitor their employees' e-mail and internet usage. Perhaps the only thing that almost everyone agrees on is that all organisations should have some sort of written policy.