It's been a classic month of adapt-or-perish in the technodrome. Just when I feared the arena of technology was getting dull, the corporate equivalent of Survivor pops up to keep me entranced.
Stories by Ric Shreves
After last month's column on cross-platform software applications, I received a variety of comments from my more vocal friends and associates. The Mac mob gave me a hearty "welcome back to the fold" slap on the back (unspoken subtext: "we KNEW you'd be back..."). Windows users seemed almost cavalier in their attitude towards losing yet another user to the Mac mob (unspoken subtext: "You never really were one of us anyway..."). The Linuxtistas simply shrugged and said: "Dude, why don't you just switch to Linux, you're already halfway there!" (unspoken subtext: "It's inevitable-give in."). The more objective in the crowd simply said: "Oh you switched? So which one is better?"
Platform dominance is the pat explanation often given for Microsoft's steel-like grip on the throat of today's enterprise IT. After all, if you control the technology from the Web browsers on their desktops down to the OS on their servers, there's not a lot of room for competitors to slip in and stake out territory of any size. Given the strength of the approach, it's no surprise to see Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Red Hat now trying to imbue their firms' with a similar vertical coherence.